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Press Release

 

THE OLD GLOBE TO PRESENT THE NEW VOICES FESTIVAL,
A SERIES OF NEW PLAY READINGS, DEC. 13-15


The free weekend will include plays by
JC Lee, David West Read and Madhuri Shekar

The Festival will also feature plays written by participants of
The Old Globe’s local playwright program, Community Voices

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 20, 2013)—The Old Globe today announced it will present the New Voices Festival, a weekend of readings of new American plays by both professional and aspiring playwrights, Dec. 13 – 15, 2013. The Festival will kick off Friday with an evening of 10-minute plays, directed by Katherine Harroff, that were written over the past year by community members who took part in The Old Globe Community Voices, a program dedicated to introducing adult residents of San Diego County to the process of creating their own theatrical work. The Festival weekend will also feature readings by professional playwrights, including Luce by JC Lee, directed by Shana Cooper; The Great Pretender by David West Read, directed by Richard Seer; and A Nice Indian Boy by Madhuri Shekar, directed by James Vásquez. Funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, the New Voices Festival will take place in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets to all four readings are free but require reservations. Reservations are currently available to donors and subscribers. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Box Office at (619) 23-GLOBE.

“The Old Globe boasts a long and distinguished history as an incubator of new American works for the stage,” said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, “and in launching our New Voices Festival, we aim to build on that strong legacy. The three writers whose works we will showcase bring a variety of cultural and aesthetic perspectives to our stage that I know our audience will enjoy. But I’m particularly proud to build a bridge between their professional writing and the dazzling work created in our Community Voices writing workshops by an amazing group of talented San Diegans. Such connections deepen the bonds between The Old Globe and the community and place theater at the center of a conversation about the broad cultural life of our city.”

The complete New Voices Festival lineup is as follows:

  • An Evening of Community Voices (Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.)
    Over the past two years, The Old Globe Community Voices has provided free playwriting workshops in communities across San Diego County, resulting in the creation and public presentation of 10-minute plays. Now, a selection of plays written during Community Voices will be presented together in a unique evening of theater, giving life to a multitude of perspectives that truly capture the essence and diversity of San Diego.

    An Evening of Community Voices will feature plays by Ken Felts, Jessica Hilt, Miller Oliver, Chris Parker, Lorena Santana, Gill Sotu, and Khamp K. Thongrivong. Katherine Harroff directs.

  • Luce by JC Lee (Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4:00 p.m.)
    Everyone wants to believe they’ve raised the perfect child, and in the eyes of parents Amy and Peter, their son Luce has exceeded all expectations. Since he was adopted from a war-torn African country, Luce has grown up to be an honors student, all-American athlete, and model citizen. But when a teacher makes an alarming accusation, everyone’s lives are upended, and Amy and Peter begin to question their idealized image of their son. Shana Cooper directs.

  • The Great Pretender by David West Read (Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.)
    Roy and his team of puppeteers have dedicated their lives to bringing joy and imagination into the hearts of children with their popular TV show “Mr. Felt.” Their backstage antics and larger-than-life personalities have always threatened to overwhelm their world of make-believe, but when a private heartbreak strikes, their faith that the show must go on allows them to pull together the pieces and move forward. Richard Seer directs.

  • A Nice Indian Boy by Madhuri Shekar (Sunday, Dec. 15 at 4:00 p.m.)
    Megha and Archit Gavaskar always dreamed about having a nice Indian boy like Keshav as a son-in-law. They just never imagined that he would marry not their daughter but their son—nor that he would be a Caucasian with more knowledge of Indian culture than their Americanized children. In this unexpected romantic comedy, one California family must learn how to find common ground between their culture’s honored traditions and the ever-changing world around them. James Vásquez serves as director.
  • Please see below for complete show descriptions and profiles for the New Voices Festival.

    Funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, The Old Globe Community Voices was launched in September 2012 to introduce non-traditional audiences to theater arts and support a dynamic creative process for San Diegans who have not had opportunities to envision themselves as artists. Throughout the past year, community members from all over San Diego County have taken part in workshops that emphasize building skills in playwriting and performance, resulting in the writing, rehearsing and public presentation of 10-minute plays with professional actors at The Old Globe.

    The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Foundation was established in 1937 by James Irvine, a native Californian who devoted most of his life to business interests in San Francisco and the development of his 110,000-acre ranch in Southern California, which was among the largest privately owned land holdings in the state. Since 1937, the Foundation has provided over $1.3 billion in grants to more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.7 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $67 million in 2012 for the people of California.

    LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available ($10). For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.

    CALENDAR: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/16-12/28), Bethany (1/25-2/23), The Winter’s Tale (2/8-3/16), Time and the Conways (3/29-5/4), Water by the Spoonful (4/12-5/11).

    PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.TheOldGlobe.org/pressroom.

    The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 14 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater's education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.

    x x x

    NEW VOICES FESTIVAL


    Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

    AN EVENING OF COMMUNITY VOICES
    Featuring plays by Ken Felts, Jessica Hilt, Miller Oliver, Chris Parker,
    Lorena Santana, Gill Sotu, and Khamp K. Thongrivong
    Directed by Katherine Harroff

    Over the past two years, The Old Globe Community Voices has provided free playwriting workshops in communities across San Diego County, resulting in the creation and public presentation of 10-minute plays. Now, a selection of plays written during Community Voices will be presented together in a unique evening of theater, giving life to a multitude of perspectives that truly capture the essence and diversity of San Diego.


    Ken Felts (Playwright) is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee, a small town just north of Nashville. He has been an active-duty Marine for the past 12 years and has had the opportunity to travel the world. He has been married for 10 years and has three sons. They are members of Free Chapel church in Irvine.

    Jessica Hilt (Playwright) is from a tiny, Appalachian village in Ohio and moved to San Diego in 2001. Since then she has graduated from UC San Diego and the Clarion Writers Workshop, and she works as an artist with So Say We All. In her spare time, she has a husband and a two-year-old.

    Miller Oliver (Playwright) is 24 years old and is a part-time video editor and a full-time employee for a company contracted through the County of San Diego. He recently finished directing a play called Family Affair, which received a very successful run, and he is currently preparing to help produce a Christmas production for his church. His play was created as a result of Community Voices last year when the program was hosted at Victory Outreach Church in the City of San Diego.

    Chris Parker (Playwright) grew up with his multilingual parents in the military and moved often, allowing him to develop his own sense of curiosity and creativity. Among other things, he taught himself to pick locks, throw knives, and fly airplanes. After graduating high school in San Diego, he joined the army and then became an artist.

    Lorena Santana (Playwright) is an actress, writer, teacher, and producer. She was born in Tijuana and raised in San Diego. Santana currently teaches visual and performing arts standards for the San Diego Unified School District and is developing a travel series on Baja California called “Barefoot in Baja.”

    Gill Sotu (Playwright) is an award-winning San Diego spoken-word poet, host, and entertainer. Recently seen on NBC San Diego’s Art Pulse TV, he has won the 2012 San Diego RAW Award for Performing Artist of the Year, the 2012 San Diego City Anti-Littering Spoken Word Competition, and multiple Grand Slam Poetry titles. He regularly performs for schools, corporations, and non-profits throughout San Diego.

    Khamp K. Thongrivong (Playwright) is a 24-year veteran in law enforcement with local government. He is also a co-founder and former vice president of the Lao American Coalition and a co-founder and former recorder of the San Diego Pan-Pacific Law Enforcement Association. He is originally from Laos but has made San Diego home since March 1980.

    Katherine Harroff (Director, An Evening of Community Voices) is the Community Teaching Artist for The Old Globe Community Voices. She came to San Diego after obtaining her M.F.A. from Arizona State University in Performance with an emphasis in Theatre Education, Playwriting, Directing, and Acting. She has completed extensive training with SITI Company in Saratoga, New York, and is a certified educator in the Viewpoint/Suzuki methods. Harroff is an established playwright locally and has written over 20 theatre and film projects that have been produced in Arizona and California. She is the Founding Artistic Director and Head Playwright for the San Diego community-based theatre company Circle Circle dot dot, for whom she has written and produced The Break-Up/Break-Down, Ragnarok, The Deconstruction of a Drag Queen, Street. Art. Prophets, San Diego, I Love You, DerbyWise, and Bearded. She recently worked with Playwrights Project in developing their Telling Stories program that collaborates with members of the foster care system to create plays from real-life stories with the help of drama therapy and theatre for social change. In the spring of 2014, Harroff will be in residence at Arizona State University to develop an original play about sustaining interest in space exploration with the NASA scientists on campus.



    Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4:00 p.m.
    LUCE
    By JC Lee
    Directed by Shana Cooper

    Everyone wants to believe they’ve raised the perfect child, and in the eyes of parents Amy and Peter, their son Luce has exceeded all expectations. Since he was adopted from a war-torn African country, Luce has grown up to be an honors student, all-American athlete, and model citizen. But when a teacher makes an alarming accusation, everyone’s lives are upended, and Amy and Peter begin to question their idealized image of their son.

     
    JC Lee (Playwright, Luce) writes for theater, film, and television. His play Luce received its world premiere in 2013 at Lincoln Center Theater and was a prizewinner for the 2013 Global Age Project at the Aurora Theatre Company. His plays have been seen, staged, and developed throughout the United States at theaters including South Coast Repertory, The Playwrights Realm, Marin Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Sleepwalkers Theatre, Crowded Fire Theater, Azuka Theatre, Studio 42, and many others. He has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory and is currently writing a screenplay for Imagine Entertainment. Lee currently writes for the new HBO series “Looking.”

    Shana Cooper (Director, Luce) has previously directed American Night and Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre), the world premiere musical The Unfortunates and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet (California Shakespeare Theater), Camino Real (New York University M.F.A. Program), Three Sisters (The Studio, New York), A Lie of the Mind (American Conservatory Theater M.F.A. Program), The Whale Play and Twelfth Night Parking Lot Project (New Theater House), The Ghost Sonata and Richard III (Yale University School of Drama), and Oklahoma! as associate director (Hangar Theatre). She has worked with Willamette Repertory Theatre, Sonoma County Repertory Theater, Washington Shakespeare Festival, Amherst College, Willamette University (guest artist), and Magic Theatre’s Young California Writers Project. Cooper was the Associate Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater (2000-2004) and also a Co-Founder of New Theater House (2008-present). Her awards include 2010 Princess Grace Award, Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize for directing at Yale School of Drama, Drama League Directing Fellowship, Theatre Communications Group’s Observership Grant, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Phil Killian Directing Fellowship, and a G. Herbert Smith Presidential Scholarship.



    Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
    THE GREAT PRETENDER
    By David West Read
    Directed by Richard Seer

    Roy and his team of puppeteers have dedicated their lives to bringing joy and imagination into the hearts of children with their popular TV show “Mr. Felt.” Their backstage antics and larger-than-life personalities have always threatened to overwhelm their world of make-believe, but when a private heartbreak strikes, their faith that the show must go on allows them to pull together the pieces and move forward.

    David West Read (Playwright, The Great Pretender) is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter. His romantic comedy The Performers received its world premiere on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre in the fall of 2012 starring Henry Winkler, Alicia Silverstone, Cheyenne Jackson and Ari Graynor. His other plays include The Dream of the Burning Boy (The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Roundabout Underground, John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award nomination, Drama League Award nomination), Happy Face (Pacific Playwrights Festival), The Dark Pines (Cape Cod Theatre Project), and The Great Pretender (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley New Works Festival). He has been commissioned to write plays for Roundabout Theatre Company, Burnt Umber Productions, and South Coast Repertory, as well as screenplays for Bspoke Entertainment and Bunce Media, Inc.

    Richard Seer (Director, The Great Pretender) is an award-winning director and actor who has directed and/or performed on Broadway, Off Broadway, on film and television, and in over 70 productions at regional theaters in this country and Great Britain, including The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Huntington Theatre Company, Playwrights Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Studio Arena Theater, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Sybil Thorndike Theatre in England. He originated the role of Young Charlie in the 1978 Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Hugh Leonard’s Da and received the Theatre World Award for his performance. At The Old Globe, he has directed productions of Other Desert Cities, God of Carnage, Life of Riley, The Last Romance, The Price, Romeo and Juliet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Trying, Fiction, Blue/Orange (San Diego Critics Circle Award), All My Sons, Da, and Old Wicked Songs. His recent directing assignments also include Third (Huntington Theatre Company), Bill W. and Dr. Bob and Sonia Flew (San Jose Repertory Theatre), and Other Desert Cities (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley). He received his M.F.A. in directing from Boston University, where he was awarded the prestigious Kahn Directing Award in 1985. In 1990, Seer was invited to return to Boston University’s School for the Arts as an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing. He has been Director of the Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program since 1993. In 2010, he was awarded the Craig Noel Distinguished Professorship.

     

    Sunday, Dec. 15 at 4:00 p.m.
    A NICE INDIAN BOY
    By Madhuri Shekar
    Directed by James Vásquez

    Megha and Archit Gavaskar always dreamed about having a nice Indian boy like Keshav as a son-in-law. They just never imagined that he would marry not their daughter but their son—nor that he would be a Caucasian with more knowledge of Indian culture than their Americanized children. In this unexpected romantic comedy, one California family must learn how to find common ground between their culture’s honored traditions and the ever-changing world around them.


    Madhuri Shekar (Playwright, A Nice Indian Boy) was born in California and grew up in India, as well as in Singapore and London. She writes on themes of love, relationships, and sexuality inspired by her cross-cultural background. She is the 2013/14 winner of the Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition held by Alliance Theatre for her play In Love and Warcraft, which will debut there early next year. She is also the second-place winner of the East West Players’ 2012 Face of the Future playwriting competition for her play A Nice Indian Boy. East West Players will produce the world premiere in 2014.

    James Vásquez (Director, A Nice Indian Boy) has Globe credits that include recreating the original musical staging of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! since 2003, directing Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, serving as Associate Director of Jane Austen’s Emma – A Musical Romantic Comedy,and providing musical staging for Boeing-Boeing and last summer’s Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He received San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award nominations for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for the world premiere of Harmony, Kansas and the West Coast premiere of [title of show] (Diversionary Theatre) and won the award in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include the workshop of Harmony, Kansas (Goodspeed Musicals), Marry Me a Little, Birds of a Feather, Pippin, and Next Fall (Diversionary), Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Little Shop of Horrors (Cygnet) and Into the Woods (New Village Arts). In 2004, Vásquez founded Daisy 3 Pictures with Mark Holmes and Carrie Preston. Their first two feature films, 29th and Gay (TLA Releasing, Here TV) and Ready? OK! (Wolfe Video, LOGO), have played national and international film festivals, with Ready? OK! winning Best Feature Film awards in Seattle, North Carolina, and San Diego. Their latest feature film, That’s What She Said, starring Anne Heche, made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

     

    PRESS CONTACT:
    Mike Hausberg (619) 238-0043 x2355 mhausberg@TheOldGlobe.org