PHILADELPHIA: Simpatico Theatre has announced the first Jouska PlayWorks Virtual New Play Showcase, featuring excerpts from seven new plays. The works are all from members of Jouska PlayWorks, an ensemble of Black playwrights.
The showcase will employ 27 actors and three directors, and all digital readings will be presented in a Pay What You Decide model. Proceeds will benefit a variety of service organizations the playwrights have chosen.
The first play up is Josh A. Campbell’s 504 or the Savior Play (Feb. 11), which follows a group of middle school teachers navigating a toxic work environment. The reading will be directed by Katrina Shobe.
Following will be The Return of the Sho-Gun (Feb. 18) by Keenya Jackson, directed by Victoria Goins. The play follows 13-year-old Saleem as he works through the death of his stepfather.
The third play will be Teresa Miller’s Freud and His Negro (Feb. 25), which follows the life of Nabal Price, a Black psychologist in 1960s Harlem. The reading will also be directed by Goins.
Next up will be Twenty-Six (March 4) by Ang Bey. Twenty-Six is a Black queer love story set among students during their senior year at Swarthmore College. The reading will be directed by Shobe.
The next reading will be Nikki Brake-Sillá’s GTFOH (March 11), directed by Alexandra Espinoza. GTFOH follows a couple in their therapist’s office on the brink of divorce.
Following will be Megan Schumacher’s Sixteen (March 18), a contemporary reimagining of John Hughes’s film Sixteen Candles. Sixteen will be directed by Goins.
The final play will be If & When (March 25) by Quinn D. Eli, which follows a Black man and a white woman dealing with a racial profiling incident at the comic book store where they work. If & When will be directed by Espinoza.
The showcase will conclude with a marathon of all the recorded readings on March 27-28, including panel discussions and Q&As with the artists involved.
Simpatico Theatre stages thought-provoking work grounded in social justice, civil rights, and community service.
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