Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman
Friday August 3, 7pm
The village of San Isidro has been without its doctor for eighteen months. Moisés has remained a recluse, refusing to even look at a patient, since the day the army took his wife away during the country's civil war. But when a mysterious plague begins to ravage the countryside around San Isidro, Moisés discovers he has the power to heal with the touch of his hand, and he is forced to confront his past and the violence that tore the village apart.
Samsara by Lauren Yee
Saturday August 4, 3pm
When American couple Katie and Craig vow to make a last-ditch effort to create a baby of their own, their quest leads them to India, where a thriving commercial surrogacy industry offers them one final chance at parenthood. But will their decision to “rent out” a surrogate unite or divide them? A hilarious, unsettling look at reproduction in the 21st century, Samsara questions whether we can truly achieve intimacy in the face of shrinking worlds and expanding boundaries.
The Shotgun Message by A. Rey Pamatmat
Saturday August 4, 7pm
Journalist Kent MacDonald is no saint and certainly no savior. At least he never meant to be until 17-year-old Jared — the primary source of his article on teenage camwhores — winds up missing after turning in his pedophile clients to the FBI. In a lurid world of online sex, naïve parents, and kids who know too much, it’s up to Kent to find Jared, bring him home, and save both their souls in the process.
Dr. Ali Goes Native by Yussef El Guindi
Friday August 10, 7pm | Tickets
Noted authority in the field of anthropology, Professor Warda, is perhaps a little too eager to help her graduate student Amina work through some personal issues. After telling her that the root of the problem is really an unexpressed rage that must be worked through before she can give herself over to love, Warda leads Amina, with the assistance of a male student, through a bizarre and very physical ritual, crossing the teacher/ student boundary to counsel her in matters of love.
Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Saturday August 11, 7pm | Tickets
The Lafayette family patriarch (and compulsive hoarder) is long dead, and it’s time to deal with the deserted and heavily mortgaged Arkansan homestead. When his three adult children descend upon the former plantation to liquidate the estate, a gruesome discovery among his many belongings become just the first in a serious of treacherous surprises. A play about family secrets, memory loss and the art of repression.
Playwright's Ensemble Member MARCUS GARDLEY
is a poet-playwright who recently won the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. His most recent play Every Tongue Confess premiered at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon. It was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award for Best Play and was the recipient of the Edgerton New Play Award. His musical, On the Levee premiered at Lincoln Center and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. He has had six plays produced including: dance of the holy ghosts at Yale Repertory Theatre (now under a Broadway option.) He is the recipient of the Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a LPN fellow at the Lark Play Development Center and a member of the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis. The New Yorker describes Gardley as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” He is a playwright in residence for Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Gardley also teaches playwriting at Brown University.
Yussef El Guindi
Yussef El Guindi’s most recent productions include Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World (winner of the Steinberg/ American Theater Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2012; Gregory Award 2011; Seattle Times’ “Footlight Award” for Best World Premiere Play, 2011) at ACT, and Language Rooms (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, as well as ACT’s New Play Award), co-produced by the Asian American Theater Company and Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco; at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (premiere), and at the Los Angeles Theater Center, where it was co-produced by Golden Thread Productions and the Latino Theater Company. His play Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat was produced by Silk Road Theater Project and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His plays, Back of the Throat, as well as Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda’s and Karima’s City, have been published by Dramatists Play Service. The latter one-acts have also been included in The Best American Short Plays: 2004-2005, published by Applause Books in 2008. His play Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith is included in Salaam/Piece: An Anthology of Middle-Eastern American Playwrights, published by TCG, 2009. Yussef recently won the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright, dramaturg, and performer. His work has been seen at The Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, The Matrix Theatre, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany and the National Theatre in London and he is working on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theater. He is a former New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting fellow, an alum of the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab and Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. His honors include a Princess Grace Award, a Paula Vogel Award, a Helen Merrill Award the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship, and a fellowship in playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
A. Rey Pamatmat
A. Rey Pamatmat is the 2011–12 Playwright of New York Fellow at The Lark Play Development Center, and recently received a 2012–13 Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. His play Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them premiered at the 2011 Humana Festival, received multiple productions across the United States, and won an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Citation. His work has been produced Off-Off Broadway by Second Generation (Thunder Above, Deeps Below), the Vortex Theater (DEVIANT), HERE (High/Limbo/High), and Vampire Cowboys (Red Rover); developed nationwide at The Public, Playwrights’ Horizons, Ma-Yi, the O’Neill, Victory Gardens, The Magic, The Curious Theater, American Theater Company, Ars Nova, Rattlestick, E.S.T., New Dramatists, and The Lark; and published by Samuel French and Playscripts, Inc. Rey has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theater, the E.S.T./Sloan Foundation, Actors Theatre, Vampire Cowboys, and the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp. He was a recipient of the Princess Grace Fellowship for Playwriting, a NYFA Playwriting Fellowship, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab. Other plays include: And Right Now, Beautiful Day, Out of Joint, Pure, and The Shotgun Message BFA: NYU, MFA: Yale School of Drama.
Lauren Yee born and raised in San Francisco, is a playwright whose work includes Ching Chong Chinaman; Crevice; Hookman; in a word; A Man, his Wife, and his Hat; and Samsara. She has been a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell fellow, and Public Theater EWG member. She was a finalist for the Heideman Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PEN USA Literary Award, the PONY Fellowship, and the Wasserstein Prize. Ching Chong Chinaman was a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, with productions at Artists at Play, Impact Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Pan Asian Rep, and SIS Productions, and is published by Samuel French. She has also had her work produced/developed at Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, The Public Theater, PlayPenn, Hangar Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, AlterTheater, Company One, MoxieTheatre, and others. Current commissions: Mu Performing Arts (supported by the MAP Fund) and Lincoln Center Theatre. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.
Martín Zimmerman’s plays include White Tie Ball, The Making of a Modern Folk Hero, Seven Spots on the Sun, and The Solid Sand Below, and have been produced or developed at The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, The Playwrights' Center, Alliance Theatre, American Theater Company, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Teatro Vista, Chicago Dramatists, Primary Stages, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Theatre Row, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Borderlands Theater, Source Festival, The Gift, Red Tape, The University of Texas at Austin, and Duke University. Upcoming projects a reading at ACT as well as workshops at PlayPenn and Icicle Creek Theatre Festival. A recipient of The Jerome Fellowship, The Carl Djerassi Playwriting Fellowship, National New Play Network's Smith Prize, and a Core Apprenticeship at The Playwrights’ Center, Martín is a member of the 2011-2012 Playwrights’ Unit at Goodman Theatre, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and has been a finalist for the Kendeda Competition, Heideman Award, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. MFA in Playwriting: The University of Texas at Austin. BA in Theater Studies, BS in Economics: Duke University.
Victory Gardens Theater’s 2008 inaugural IGNITION festival, generously funded by the Ford Foundation, had a dual goal: to introduce exceptional new writers of color under the age of 40 to Victory Gardens and to ignite future productions of the winning plays around the country.
Six plays were selected for the festival weekend out of 120 submissions:
Fati’s Last Dance by France-Luce Benson
Six additional plays were selected as finalists: Dirty by Carla Ching; Holly Down in Heaven by Kara Lee Corthron; The Great White Way by Sigrid Gilmer; Native Speaker by Nambi E. Kelley; West of the Willow Tree by Janine Nabors; How Far? Too Far? by Tania Richard.
The six festival playwrights traveled to Chicago to participate in rehearsals, and leading theater artists of color from across the nation directed and performed in the new play readings. Following the festival, two plays were selected for intensive workshop and VG committed to produce at least one festival script.
In fact two scripts were chosen for production at VG during the 2009/10 season - Year Zero and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Generously funded by the Chicago Community Trust, the productions completed the first cycle of IGNITION.
In January, Victory Gardens announced The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, would be remounted at New York’s Second Stage Theatre, April 27 - June 20, 2010. And Second Stage presented the second production of Michael Golamco’s Year Zero May 18 - June 13, 2010.
On April 13, 2010 The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was named a 2010 Pulitzer Prize Finalist.