NATIONWIDE: The words “fall” and “festival” go together like pumpkin and cinnamon, don’t they? Accordingly, the next month boasts a bumper crop of festivals nationwide showcasing the work of artists and playwrights. If you have an appetite for performing arts binges and are in the areas below, check out the festivals and their offerings below.
1. 2014 F*CK!NG GOOD PLAYS, New York City:
The first of them kicks off this week with the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s ebulliently named 2014 F*ck!ng Good Plays, its fifth iteration. The New York City–based company is staging six plays for free over six consecutive nights, starting last night with Nylon by Sofia Alvarez and continuing tonight, Oct. 8, with Steve Jacobson’s Victory Soap. On Oct. 9 it’s Fernanda Coppel’s King Liz; on Oct. 10, Mark Roberts’s Parasite Drag; on Oct. 11, Gina Femia’s For the Love Of; and on Oct. 12, The Sibling Play by Ren Santiago. All performances are at 7 p.m., and though they’re free, you gotta reserve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. FESTIVAL FOR ALL SKID ROW ARTISTS, Los Angeles:
Next up is the Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Festival for All Skid Row Artists, Oct. 18-19 in downtown L.A.’s Gladys Park. The festivities include a wide variety of live music—reggae, gospel, rap, jazz—and spoken-word performances, as well as “creativity stations” for children to draw while they enjoy the performances. Highlights will be appearances by LAPD member and poet Michelle Yvonne-Autry, cabaret singer and Downtown Neighborhood Council president Patti Berman, and artist/designer/entrepreneur and rapper Crushow Herring. Visual art elements are also part of this annual organized by LAPD (yes, that’s their proud, defiant acronym), which creates theatre and other art with Skid Row residents.
3. PLANET EARTH NEW PLAY FESTIVAL. Berkeley, Calif:
In San Francisco, a troupe of writers are brewing up six new plays about planetary sustainability and social justice for the inaugural Planet Earth New Play Festival, to run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on Oct. 20, with a repeat performance on Oct. 21 at Stanford University (in partnership with the National Center for New Plays). The festival grew out of a collaboration between Bay Area writers’ incubator PlayGround and the Sustainable World Coalition. The events also serve as a kick-off for PlayGround’s regular Monday night reading series, which will run through March.
4. EMERGING PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL, St. Petersburgh, Fla.:
In St. Petersburg, Fla., American Stage gets into the new-works game with its first Emerging Playwrights Festival, Nov. 7–9. Led by Bill Leavengood and Meg Heimstead, the festival will showcase three new plays by Bob Clyman (The Exceptionals, The Good Bet and Above Water); a new play called The Knockout Mouse by St. Petersburg native Gabe Neustadt; and a series of short plays by some of Tampa Bay’s most talented young writers. Each public reading will be followed by a talkback between the audience and playwright, and a public workshop on the “art and craft” of playwriting will be offered.