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Lineup Announced for 44th Bay Area Playwrights Festival

This year’s festival will feature works from Jaisey Bates, Miyoko Conley, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Sam Hamashima, and Johnny G. Lloyd.

SAN FRANCISCO: Playwrights Foundation has announced the lineup for the 44th annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival, which will be streamed online for a second year. This year’s playwrights include Jaisey Bates, Miyoko Conley, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Sam Hamashima, and Johnny G. Lloyd. The festival will stream online July 16-25, with tickets available on a sliding scale beginning on June 15.

“We are excited to expand on the success of last year’s online festival and to continue to innovate in how we build community both online and safely in-person,” said executive artistic director Jessica Bird Beza in a statement. “This dynamic cohort is telling stories of family, spirituality, self-discovery, healing, and legacy. We can’t wait to uplift them into the American theatre canon on a national scale.”

Last year’s audience featured audiences from around the world, including Hong Kong, Germany, Russia, and Canada. In addition to the readings being streamed online, the festival will be curating in-person, outdoor events in San Francisco this year.

In addition to the below lineup, the festival announced 10 honorable mention plays chosen from among the finalist list. Selected from 755 applications, the following plays and playwrights were selected for honorable mentions: All My Mothers Dream in Spanish, by Alexandra Espinoza; Rust, by Nancy García Loza; Three Antarcticas, by Kristin Idaszak; The Re-Education of Fernando Morales, by Justin P. Lopez; Black Mexican, by Rachel Lynett; The Pre-Med Math Club, by Megan Meinero; Light Switch, by Dave Osmundsen; the bottoming process, by Nicholas Pilapil; Young Men & Recovery, by Brian Scanlan; and The Devils Between Us, by Sharifa Yasmin.

“These 10 plays were championed by the Bay Area Literary Council as strong considerations with important stories and themes,” said literary manager Heather Helinsky in a statement. “At Playwrights Foundation we advocate a culture of abundance, and hope these excellent works will quickly find opportunities for further development and productions.”

This year’s festival lineup, to be streamed over two weekends in July, will include when we breathe, by Jaisey Bates, which follows twins in the Navajo Nation who, after their mother’s death, are protected by a recently deceased sheep, the last of the family’s flock, who works to keep them safe from a night of supernatural storms.

Human Museum, by Miyoko Conley, follows a group of robots who, after the extinction of humans, are running a museum dedicated to the artifacts of human life—until an unexpected radio call changes everything they knew about the final days of humanity.

Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin’s Tiger Beat is a coming-of-age story about a pop girl group, the Girls Next Door, as the group’s Asian American songwriter finally gets a chance to sing lead.

Supposed Home, by Sam Hamashima, blurs past and present in this anime adventure of Shiyo, who thought she had left the Japanese American concentration camps a long time ago.

The final play featured will be The Problem With Magic, Is, by Johnny G. Lloyd, which follows Jodie, who goes to help her brother run the family’s magic shop after the death of their mother and finds herself faced with the pressure to keep the business alive and the forces of gentrification.

More information is available on the Playwrights Foundation website.

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