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"The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias" by Michael Yates Crowley, at the Playwrights' Realm. (Photo by Daniel J. Vasquez)

Playwrights Realm Launches New Play Festival

The Off-Broadway theatre will present readings of new works by MJ Kaufman, Nia Witherspoon, Michael Yates Crowley, and Asiimwe Deborah Kawe.

NEW YORK CITY: The Off-Broadway company Playwrights Realm has announced the lineup for its inaugural Beyond the Realm festival, which will take place throughout February and will showcase four work-in-progress plays by MJ Kaufman, Nia Witherspoon, Michael Yates Crowley, and Asiimwe Deborah Kawe. Tickets to the festival are free.

“As a playwright-centric organization, we’ve always strived to embrace playwrights’ evolving needs,” said artistic director Katherine Kovner in a statement. “We are constantly evaluating whether our programming is doing as much as we can to nurture exciting new work from early-career playwrights. In programming this season we wanted to encourage big, bold, and unconventional work, so we decided to create space for those projects that needed a bit more support—ideas that were aiming bigger and pushing further.”

The first play to be presented will be Double Atlas by MJ Kaufman, a queer thriller, presented on Feb. 10 and directed by David Mendizábal.

The second play will be Witness by Nia Witherspoon, directed by Mei Ann Teo (Feb. 13 and 14). Witness is the first play in The Dark Girl Chronicles, a cycle that intertwines the stories of Black women warriors with Yoruba sacred texts.

The third play is Block Association Project by Michael Yates Crowley, directed by Michael Rau (Feb. 20, 22, and 23). The piece will be interactive, and is about the denizens of a neighborhood as they interact with the Block Association.

The fourth play will be Appointment with gOD by Asiimwe Deborah Kawe, directed by Saheem Ali (Feb, 26-28). The play is about a young woman seeking an American visa.

The Playwrights Realm is devoted to supporting and presenting the works of emerging playwrights.

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