The 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival running July 24-26, brings together diverse artists from the Bay Area, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and across the United States who simultaneously, from around the world, tell the festivals powerful stories on revolution, love, and self discovery that resonates deeply with current times. 2020 BAPF features playwrights Tyler English-Beckwith, Stefani Kuo (Guo Jiayi), Jordan Ramirez Puckett, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, and Noelle Vinas running July 17-26, 2020 in VMix livestreamed on Vimeo in an online format available worldwide. playwrightsfoundation.org
2020 BAPF Plays- In To Saints and Stars by Jordan Ramirez Puckett, two women struggle to break the glass ceiling in science and religion, yet the play time travels through the drama of female friendship. In Mingus by Tyler English-Beckwith, two characters of color in academia fight for success, experience the trauma of failure, and every reveal feels like good jazz. In Derecho by Noelle Vinas, two first generation Latinx sisters struggle in the world of DC politics and fight against stereotypes and self-doubt as one aspires to run for office. Babes in Ho-lland by Deneen Reynolds-Knott, stylistically and musically captures the spirit of falling in love in the 1990s, as two women of color are tested by class, priviledge, and living with white gaze in an iconically Pittsburgh campus community. Final Boarding Call by Stefani Kuo (Guo Jiayi) fantastically captures the disruption of everyday lives through a series of relatable characters fighting for their personal aspirations during the recent Hong Kong protests and asks challenging questions of accountability.
"BAPF brings together over 50 artists including top Bay Area talent with directors for the festival Desdemona Chiang, Margo Hall, Nicholas C. Avila, Jessica Bird Beza and Dawn Monique Williams. Each are seasoned, acclaimed theater artists, deeply connected within the Bay Area community. Laura Brueckner, Leigh Rondon-Davis, Divinia Shorter and Heather Helinsky will serve as dramaturgs." says Executive Artistic Director Jessica Bird Beza, "Although the Festival has been around for 43 years, it feels like we are producing it for the first time. We are excited by the possibilities this new format brings to widen access and deepen our community. We are also exploring new technology using VMix to livestream the readings for a higher quality presentation than the popular Zoom."
The Plays and Artistic Teams
Babes in Ho-lland by Deneen Reynolds-Knott, a play about discovering black identity and female connection amidst a world that threatens to destroy it, will be directed by Dawn Monique Williams, Associate Artistic Director at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley who has worked across the US and abroad; and dramaturgy by Leigh Rondon-Davis, they are a performer, visual artist, and dramaturg from both NYC and the Bay Area.
Derecho by Noelle Vinas, a magical realism play that explores how fragmented identity can tear you apart, will be directed by Bay Area Nicholas C. Avila, who has directed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Dever Center, La Jolla Playhouse, among others; and dramaturgy by Laura Brueckner, freelance dramaturg in the Bay Area and recent Literary Manager at Marin Theatre Company.
Final Boarding Call by Stefani Kuo (Guo Jiayi), an interconnected personal drama on the Hong Kong protests, the fight for freedom, and our need for hope, will be directed by Desdemona Chiang, a veteran director at BAPF and whose work has been seen at the Guthrie Theater, Alley Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and dramaturgy by Heather Helinsky, a freelance dramaturg based in Philadelphia and current Literary Manager for Playwrights Foundation who works independently with 35-50 writers each year.
Mingus by Tyler English-Beckwith, an exploration of mentorship within the college system for first generation students and the struggle for one black woman to find her voice, will be directed by Bay Area Margo Hall, award winning actor, director, playwright, and educator.
To Saints and Stars by Jordan Ramirez Puckett, an exploration of the intersection of science and faith and the power of a lifelong friendship, will be directed by Jessica Bird Beza, Executive Artistic Director at Playwrights Foundation and Associate Director on the Broadway musical Come From Away; and dramaturgy by Divinia Shorter, a born and raised DMV dramaturg and writer who was previously Literary Associate at Adventure Theatre MTC.
FREE Panel Talks
Wednesday, July 22
BAPF Playwright Panel @ 5-6 pm (PST)
Saturday, July 25
Decolonizing New Play Development @ 10:00 AM-11:30 AM (PST)
Presented by Playwrights Foundation, NNPN and Calling Up Justice
Sunday, July 26,
Love and Desire @ 3:00 PM (PST
Public readings live streamed and hosted on Vimeo
FREE panels: Facebook Live, Youtube, and PF website.
INFO: playwrightsfoundation.org 415-626-2176 http://www.facebook.com/playwrightsfoundation/
General Admission: USD 5.0,
range USD 5-45 public panels free: USD 45.0
Artists: Tyler English-Beckwith, Stefani Kuo (Guo Jiayi), Jordan Ramirez Puckett, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, and Noelle Vinas, Desdemona Chiang, Margo Hall, Nicholas C. Avila, Jessica Bird Beza and Dawn Monique Williams, Laura Brueckner, Leigh Rondon-Davis, Divinia Shorter and Heather Helinsky
Time: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm