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ABINGDON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR "VIRTUAL FALL FESTIVAL OF SHORT PLAYS"
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 07:28 pm EDT 10/13/20

ABINGDON THEATRE COMPANY (ATC)
IN COLLABORATION WITH
EDUCATIONAL THEATRE FOUNDATION (ETF)
ANNOUNCE THE FINALISTS FOR
"VIRTUAL FALL FESTIVAL OF SHORT PLAYS"

SIX FINALISTS INCLUDE: AUGUSTO FERDERICO AMADOR, ALBERTO BONILLA,
CHRISTINE TOY JOHNSON, NICK MALAKHOW, ALEXIS SIMS, MARCUS SCOTT

OCTOBER 19-30, 2020

New York, NY (10/13/20) - In this time of change, Abingdon Theatre Company (Chad Austin, Artistic Director) is recommitting to creating opportunities for all voices to be heard. With this in mind, they are delighted to announce the finalists of the Virtual Fall Festival of Short Plays! The 2-week festival begins on Monday, October 19th (through October 30) and will shed light on stories by people of color. A diverse panel of judges, theatre professionals who are BIPOC, chose 6 pieces from hundreds of submissions, and these will be directed and performed by people of color and streamed to the public via Abingdon Theatre Company's YouTube channel (here). The winner of the festival will receive a stipend to be used to support further exploration of their piece and will be invited to become an "Artist in Residence" at Abingdon Theatre Company. Abingdon will then also commit to producing the winning piece as part of its "Around the Table" free reading series. Through the outreach, online readings and finally the staged reading of the winning piece, ATC hopes to engage 1500 people of color to create a more diverse environment at Abingdon.

The Festival is free of charge to viewers and is a fundraiser in collaboration with the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF). Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will present a special video message.

"Congratulations to the Abingdon Theatre Company for the visionary 'Festival of Short Plays'," states Julie Theobald, ETF President. "And thank you for supporting Pathway - racial equity through school theatre - a new program which will help BIPOC students gain access to invaluable mentoring opportunities through their school theatre programs. The Pathway grant program honors the late Craig Zadan, a visionary with a lifelong commitment to addressing issues of diversity. Craig helped make musical theatre more accessible to millions, continually breaking down industry barriers around race and helping many careers. Pathway will enhance the school theatre experience for many students now and in future generations."

"With over 80 plays submitted from around the country, I am thrilled to present these six powerful voices as part of Abingdon's inaugural short play festival," states Chad Austin, Artistic Director. "To be partnering once again, with the Educational Theatre Foundation, in honor of my friend and mentor, the late great Craig Zadan, is a true honor. My hope is to shed light on these stories, and the artists behind them."

"As an immigrant myself, it was crucial to be part of a project that sheds light on BIPOC," declares Beatriz Cavalieri Associate Director of New Works. Abingdon Theatre Company wants to make sure that everyone, but especially people of color, have a chance in the theatre. I am proud to be part of a project that is taking steps to make that happen."

The finalists include Augusto Federico Amador (Screenwriter of 86'd, optioned by Wise Entertainment), Alberto Bonilla (Marvin's Room), Christine Toy Johnson (Come from Away, Nick Malakhow (Writer of Seeing Eye - finalist in the 2018 Latinx Theater Commons Carnaval), Alexis Sims (Matilda - Northern Stage), Marcus Scott (Finalist, Sokoloff Arts Fellowship at Town Stages 2020).

The cast for the plays will feature Andrew Allen, Rin Allen (Cyrano De Bergerac), Kezia Bernard-Nau (Sesame Street 50th Anniversary 'Rock Video'), Denise Blasor (Happy Feet) Danny Bolero (Plaza Suite), David Castillo (Juicy Stories), Jacob Dickey (Aladdin), Jose Febus ("Law and Order"), Brandon Gill (A Christmas Carol), Jeff Gorti (A Chorus Line, Signature Theatre), Rebecca Hirota (Vietgone), Deborah Lew (South Pacific), Esau Mora (Read to Me - Portland Stage), and Reynaldo Piniella (Venus).

The Jury Panel is comprised of Roberto Araujo, Rashad V. Chambers, Deidre Goodwin, L Morgan Lee, Jaime Lozano, Mauricio Martinez, and Juan Villa.

The 6 selected pieces will premiere online as detailed below:

Monday, October 19th @7pm EST
ATACAMA
Written by Augusto Federico Amador
Directed by Sara Guerrero
Cast: Denise Blasor/Jose Febus

Wednesday, October 21st @7pm EST
EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM
Written and Directed by Christine Toy Johnson
Cast: Rin Allen/Deborah Lew/Rebecca Hirota

Friday, October 23rd @7pm EST
THE INVITATION
Written by Alberto Bonilla
Directed by Adrian Alea
Cast: Danny Bolero/Esau Mora/Andrew Allen

Monday, October 26th @7pm EST
SUNDOWN TOWN
Written by Marcus Scott
Directed by Rebecca Clark
Cast: Reynaldo Pinella/Brandon Gill

Wednesday, October 28th @7pm EST
COIN TOSS
Written by Alexis Sims
Directed by Chari Arespacochaga
Cast: Jacob Dickey/Kezia Bernard-Nau

Friday, October 30th @7pm EST
A PICTURE OF TWO BOYS
Written by Nick Malakhow
Directed by Justin Lucero
Cast: David Castillo/Jeff Gorti

The Abingdon Theatre Company is dedicated to developing and producing brave, new American work by emerging and established artists. The company provides a safe home where playwrights, directors and actors can collaborate within a supportive and nurturing environment. We search for stories about the human experience that reflect our social, political, historical and cultural diversity. We are acutely aware of the theatre's power to unite disparate population groups through stories about common human interests, and we strive to shed light on a variety of perspectives. In January 1993, a group of five professional theatre artists eager for ongoing collaboration and greater control over their creative lives gathered in a brownstone near New York City's Abingdon Square Park for a series of bi-weekly readings of new plays. After a few months of informal meetings, enthusiasm swelled and the artists pooled their theatrical experience to establish an open-door home where they could collaborate, invite their colleagues to join the process, and develop new plays. Over twenty-five years later, Abingdon has collaborated with more than 200 playwrights, produced 85 New York and World Premiere plays, presented more than 700 readings, staged 175 ten-minute plays, and commissioned 6 one-act plays.

Theatre teaches essential skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking to enable success in college, career, and life. The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) is the philanthropic arm of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). The Educational Theatre Foundation provides financial support to enhance excellence in theatre education and to expand access to K-12 school theatre programs for every child. The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 135,000 student and professional members. EdTA's mission is shaping lives through theatre education by honoring student achievement in theatre and enriching their theatre education experience; supporting teachers by providing professional development, networking opportunities, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills. EdTA is home of the International Thespian Society (ITS), an honorary organization that has inducted more than 2.3 million theatre students since its founding in 1929.
Link http://www.abingdontheatre.org
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