Wayne Lee and Mia Tagano in "Wild Goose Dreams" by Hansol Jung at the 2016 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Playwrights Foundation Sets 2017 Bay Area Playwrights Festival Lineup

Hilary Bettis, Clarence Coo, Bennett Fisher, Lauren Gunderson, Nilan Johnson, and Mona Mansour will receive readings of their plays.

SAN FRANCISCO: Playwrights Foundation, a new-play incubator, has announced the lineup for its 40th annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival, which will run July 13-23. The six playwrights that will received readings as part of the event are Hilary Bettis, Clarence Coo, Bennett Fisher, Lauren Gunderson, Nilan Johnson, and Mona Mansour. The festival will be held at Custom Made Theatre in San Francisco’s Theatre District.

“Equal parts acts of defiance, acts of sanctuary, and acts of love, we welcome these powerful and relevant new plays to our 40th anniversary season.” said Playwrights Foundation artistic director Amy Mueller in a statement. “These six cogent writers could not be more unique and exceptional in the poetic, ferocious ways they cut through the noise to the true heart of our current lives. They are brave, often searing, funny, heart-stopping, and passionate expressions of the cross-currents of race, culture and conflict we experience in America today.”

The following plays will be read at the festival:

  • Magic City by Hilary Bettis: a “Spanish-infused” adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie.
  • The Birds of Empathy by Clarence Coo, about a socially awkward gay man who is obsessed with birds.
  • Damascus by Bennett Fisher, a “road rage thriller” about a Somalian immigrant driver who has to take a white man home.
  • The Fatales by Lauren Gunderson, about a female pop group on a crusade for justice.
  • Endangered Species by Nilan Johnson, which takes place in a dystopian future where blackness no longer exists.
  • We Swim, We Talk, We Go To War by Mona Mansour, in which an Arab-American woman and her nephew dip into treacherous waters. The reading is presented in association with Golden Thread Productions.

The six plays were selected from nearly 500 submissions. In its 40-year history, the Playwrights Foundation has developed hundreds of plays, including Grounded by George Brant, Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, Exit, Pursued by Bear by Lauren Gunderson, and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall.

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