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Kitchen Dog Theater is at it again with its 22nd annual New Works Festival Virtual Reading Series, an event that showcases new voices in contemporary theater by choosing winning plays from nearly 500 submissions from around the world. For the 2020 festival, KDT is offering a series of six virtual readings as well as the 19th year of PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest. Both festivals are free!
“The themes range from comedy to drama, from gentrification to climate change. We’ve even got Harry Potter erotic fiction!” says Tina Parker, Co-Artistic Director of Kitchen Dog Theater. “The Festival is a great way for us to stay connected with you, our audience, and employ local artists during this unprecedented time.”
This year, the entire reading series will be shown digitally via Zoom.
Each reading is followed by a moderated discussion panel, possibly involving the playwright. Patrons will then be emailed their virtual access link prior to the performance.
Here’s a look at the virtual reading series:
- “Three Year Summer” by Amy Berryman
Friday, June 12 at 7 p.m.
Set in 2002, while awaiting the release of the fourth Harry Potter book, thirteen-year-old Tommie takes refuge in the deep, dark world of online fan fiction as her parents’ marriage falls apart around her. A magical coming-of-age story about fandom, betrayal, and family.
Director: Carson McCain
- “Paletas de Coco” by Franky Gonzalez (Winner of the 2020 Local Slot)
Sunday, June 14 at 2 p.m. – *Playwright to perform in reading*
A playwright searching for his father and for someone to read aloud a letter he’s written recruits a Performer who, along with the audience, are taken with the playwright on a journey through four Christmas Eves, coconut popsicles, depression, Santería ritual, Times Square, male breastfeeding, reunions with long-lost siblings, Applebee’s Nacho Plates, childbirth, suicide attempts, fatherhood, and robbing Chinese buffets.
Director: Dominic D’Andrea
- “Dream Hou$e” by Eliana Pipes
Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m.
Two Latinx sisters seize an opportunity to capitalize on their “changing neighborhood” by appearing on an HGTV-style reality show, unprepared for the show’s surreal left-turn through ancestry, capitalism and identity. What’s the cultural cost of progress in America — and is cashing in always selling out?
Director: Morgana Wilborn
- “Thrive, or What You Will” by LM Feldman
Sunday, June 21 at 2 p.m.
Jeanne Baret, a gifted 18th-century herb woman, falls for a university-trained botanist. Concealed as a man, she joins him on a sea voyage that will change science forever. An epically true tale of historical fiction about the first woman to travel the globe. “Thrive, or What You Will” is one of American Shakespeare Center’s Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries with a production slated for 2021.
Director: Emily Ernst
- “The Amphibians” by Dan Caffrey *Winner – 2020 University of Texas MFA Slot
Friday, June 26 at 7 p.m.
Set thirteen years in the future, “The Amphibians” takes place in west-central Florida shortly after we’ve passed the point of no return in the fight against climate change. When two high schoolers unearth a wondrous discovery in the woods, they learn hard lessons about the evolution of a friendship and what it means to take care of something at the end of the world.
Director: Libby Hawkins
- “Last Ship to Proxima Centauri” by Greg Lam
Sunday, June 28 at 2 p.m.
The Earth has become uninhabitable. The last escape ship from Earth (Seattle, to be exact) arrives at their new home centuries after all the others. They are not prepared for what they find there: A planet full of unimpressed people of color who are not happy to see them.
Director: Christie Vela
Also going on during the New Works Festival is the annual Playwrights Under Progress (PUP) Fest. The event is a component of Dallas Playwriting Arts Collective, a partnership between Junior Players, Kitchen Dog Theater, and the Dallas ISD. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for high school playwrights. This year, six scripts from a field of 64 submissions were selected for the staged readings.
Here’s the lineup for PUP Fest 2020:
- “207th Street” by Max Black (Conrad HS)- Directed by Kristen Colaneri
- “Chirp” by Spencer Bolding (Booker T. Washington HSPVA)- Directed by Montgomery Sutton
- “Beast of Burden” by Alaska Davidson (W.T. White HS)- Directed by Vikas Adam
- “Population: 15” by Avery Echols (Irma Rangel YWLS)- Directed by Chris Ramirez
- “Gold’s Gym: Northlake & Buckner” by Manon McCollum (Booker T. Washington HSPVA)- Directed by Jamal Sterling
- “A Fall to Remember” by Yalani Warren (Skyline HS) -Directed by Camika Spencer
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