Penumbra Theatre Company announced today the final staged reading of Word(s)PLAY! 2012, a forum designed to develop new plays by African American Playwrights. Word(s)PLAY! will present Holly Down in Heaven by Kara Lee Corthron, directed by Ching Valdes-Aran, Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM.
This event will offer a staged reading of the play followed by an open talk back with the playwright, director, artists and audience. The play will be read by a company of professional actors that includes: Ansa Akyea, Sun Mee Chomet, Shavunda Horsley and Daniel Laird.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through the Penumbra Theatre Box Office at 651-224-3180 or online at www.penumbratheatre.org.
Penumbra’s associate artistic director and curator of Word(s)PLAY!, Dominic Taylor said, “Kara Lee Corthron is an exciting new voice in American theatre—she is an artist we want to invest in, nurture and partner with.”
When Penumbra launched Word(s)PLAY! in 2008, Sydné Mahone was the dramaturge. An associate professor of playwriting and dramatic literature at the University of Iowa, and an established scholar and author, she shared this assessment:
“This is the first major black play development project of the 21st century. It now holds the position of standard bearer, due to the caliber of the playwrights and complexity of the works. This distinguishing mark is a result of the status and reputation of Penumbra, the leadership of Dominic Taylor, and the professionalism of the presentations. The program shows the potential to join the elite play development programs such as Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Unlike these flagship programs, Penumbra has the unique ability to fulfill the promise of play development with the production of new black plays. To illustrate the artistic impact of this program, Marcus Gardley (Yale 2004, Sundance 2005) remarked that it was his first experience at a black theater, that it was fulfilling, revealing and would have a long-lasting impression. It is imperative that our finest writers are at our finest black theaters.”