NEW YORK CITY: Atlantic Theater Company has announced the lineup for its African Caribbean MixFest, a series of free readings co-produced by Guadalís Del Carmen and Kwame Kwei-Armah. The festival will run virtually Jan. 19-29, 2021. Admission is free, with a suggested donation, and reservations are required. RSVP here.
“Producing MixFest this year brings me so much joy!” said Del Carmen in a statement. “I think of Aimee Cesar and Errol John and their efforts to shine a light on Caribbean stories, and I appreciate Atlantic Theater Company for carving out a space to continue that work. Although we’ve all had to adapt to life on Zoom as theatre artists, these dynamic plays do not lose their shine. It’s also been important for us to curate a conversation around issues that directly affect the Caribbean, from sex tourism to environmental catastrophes. In a time of global reckoning around colonization, racism and anti-Blackness, I hope folks continue the conversations that these plays and panels will ultimately inspire.”
The festival will kick off with Kwei-Armah’s Let There Be Love (Jan. 21, 2021), about a cantankerous and aging West Indian immigrant living in London who experiences a powerful reckoning when a young Polish caregiver enters his life.
Next up will be a double bill with Whitney White’s Auction and I Used to Love Her (Jan. 22, 2021), written and performed by Jasmine Lee-Jones. White’s two-hander takes place in the holding room of a ship, and Jones’s solo piece explores the language of love throughout history. Dominique Rider will direct both works.
Following will be an evening of short plays (Jan. 26, 2021), featuring works by Jeff Augustin, Julissa Contreras, Dane Figueroa Edidi, and Patrice Johnson Chevannes. Danielle A. Drakes will direct.
Next will be a panel “Who Is the Caribbean in America Today?” (Jan. 27, 2021), moderated by Alisha Espinosa and featuring experts on topics of Caribbean history, sex tourism, and environmental concerns.
Following will be France-Luce Benson’s Tigress of San Domingue (Jan. 28, 2021), about an enslaved African healer-turned-soldier and a French expat caught between two worlds. The play is part of a trilogy of works on the Haitian Revolution. Awoye Timpo will direct.
The festival will close with Del Carmen’s A Shero’s Journey Or What Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me (Jan. 29, 2021). The play follows a woman who lets go of her life plan when tragedy hits and decides to embark on a journey with two ancestral figures. Timpo will direct.
“I’ve long been a profound fan of the MixFest series, and so when asked to help facilitate the articulation of Black Caribbean writers to the Atlantic Theater’s wonderful audience, I was elated,” said Kwei-Armah in a statement. “The Caribbean voice in America is not one that is often articulated, and so I simply couldn’t let this wonderful opportunity pass me by.”
Artistic director Neil Pepe adds: “All of us at Atlantic are thrilled to welcome and celebrate this extraordinary group of artists. And we are so grateful to partner with our remarkable friends Kwame Kwei-Armah and Guadalís Del Carmen to produce this festival.”
Founded in 1985, Atlantic Theater Company produces the work of both new and established playwrights.
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