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Old Globe’s 2021 Powers New Voices Festival Moves Online

The free festival, running Jan. 21-24, will be presented virtually for the first time.

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.: The Old Globe has announced its eighth annual Powers New Voices Festival, a four-day festival of new-play readings, which will be presented virtually this year for the first time. The festival will stream online Jan. 21-24 on the Hopin platform. The festival is free and open to the public, though reservations are required.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the Globe’s commitment to the safety of our artists and audiences remains paramount, and so, for the first time, we are pivoting our annual festival of new writing to this exciting virtual format,” said artistic director Barry Edelstein in a statement. “Though we cannot gather in person, we can and will continue to share with our audiences the best new work for the stage. This year we focus with even more intensity than in past years on plays by BIPOC artists, and we are excited to investigate a classic of world literature alongside world-premiere, Globe-commissioned work. We’re also thrilled to shine a bright light on San Diego writers, both those in our own playwriting programs, and the members of the San Diego Black Artists Collective. These valued partnerships will yield rich and important work both in this Festival and beyond. I’m looking forward to a great and varied weekend of excellent theatre.”

The festival begins with Celebrating Community Voices (Jan. 21), featuring short works created by San Diego residents through the Globe’s engagement programs. The evening will feature works from Queen Kandi Colke, KishaLynn (“KL”) Moore Elliott, Jonathan Hammond, and Thelma Virata de Castro. Directors for the evening include Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Katherine Harroff, Gerardo Flores Tonella, and Lamar Perry.

The festival will continue with Fuente Ovejuna (Jan. 22), translated and adapted by William S. Gregory and Daniel Jaquez. Based on the true story of a 1477 uprising in a southern Spanish town, Fuente Ovejuna follows a group of townspeople who band together against a tyrannical leader.

Next up will be An Evening With the San Diego Black Artists Collective (Jan. 23), produced by Karen Ann Daniels and Lamar Perry. The evening will feature works from Tanika Baptiste, Dea Hurston, Joy Yvonne Jones, Tamara McMillian, and Milena (Sellars) Phillips, in addition to an adaptation of Rich Soublet II’s Black Presence photo docu-series. Daniels, Perry, and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg will direct.

The festival will conclude with Under a Baseball Sky (Jan. 24), by José Cruz González, which brings together two unlikely friends around a story about baseball’s deep roots in the Mexican American community. James Vásquez will direct.

Three additional panel discussions will also be held during the festival, including Cocktails with the Canon, discussing the festival’s Latinx artists’ relationship to classic Spanish-language plays; Arts and Activism, where members of the San Diego Black Artists Collective will discuss their artistic and social goals; and Playwrights in Action, which will see festival playwrights discussing their process, plays, and views on new-play development in a pandemic world.

More information on the festival lineup is available online.

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