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Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020 to Move Online

The festival’s 43rd edition will feature new plays by Tyler English-Beckwith, Stefani Kuo, Jordan Ramirez Puckett, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, and Noelle Viñas.

SAN FRANCISCO: Playwrights Foundation has announced that its 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival will move entirely online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s festival, “Be a Part of the Story,” will take place virtually July 17-26, and welcomes a new cohort of five female playwrights who are telling stories of strength, love, family, self-discovery, and the fight for freedom.

In Mingus, written by Tyler English-Beckwith, a first-generation college student finds a mentor in her Black Studies professor, a former member of the Black Panther Party. Over conversations on theory, jazz, and family, they unlock something inside each other, and their relationship develops into an entangled web of blurred lines.

Final Boarding Call, written by Stefani Kuo, tells the human stories of the recent Hong Kong protests via seven interconnected characters whose backgrounds and perspectives run the gamut.

To Saints and Stars, by Jordan Ramirez Puckett, explores the intersection of science and faith and the power of life long friendship. Sofía, a NASA astronaut, and Zoe, the wife of a Greek Orthodox priest, have been best friends since childhood—until events cause everything to change.

Babes in Ho-lland, by Deneen Reynolds-Knott, follows two Black students attending a predominantly white college who create their own bubble of self-discovery, music, and sanctuary. But the stress of love, financial hardship, and a persistent lack of privacy threaten to destroy it.

Derecho, by Noelle Viñas, takes place in Northern Virginia as sisters Eugenia and Mercedes must confront how traditional Latinx family values conflict with an American definition of success that is always changing.

Established in 1976 by Robert Woodruff, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival is one of the oldest and most successful new play festivals in the U.S., continuously discovering original and distinctive new voices in the theater, and investing in the development of their work. Alum include Pulitzer Prize winners Nilo Cruz, Annie Baker, and Sam Shepard.

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