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Playwrights Martin Giles, Inda Craig-Galván, and Tami Dixon, and a poster for the documentary "When My Sleeping Dragon Woke."

City Theatre Momentum Festival Slated for May

The festival will include new works by playwrights Martin Giles, Inda Craig-Galván, and Tami Dixon, as well as a documentary following Sharon Washington’s writing process.

PITTSBURGH: City Theatre Company has announced the lineup for the 2023 Momentum Festival: New Plays at Different Stages, which will be held in person on its South Side campus from May 18 to 21. The festival will offer public readings of three new plays in progress as well as a documentary featuring City Theatre, and will overlap with the final week of the mainstage production American Fast by Kareem Fahmy, a National New Play Network rolling world premiere.

“The Momentum festival is one of our favorite times of the year at City Theatre,” said co-artistic director Monteze Freeland in a statement. “We have the pleasure of inviting you into the exploration of new works in their various stages of development. This year we are excited to introduce the wildly imaginative Inda Craig-Galván to Pittsburgh audiences, in addition to welcoming back Tami Dixon, Martin Giles, as well as a documentary highlighting the making of Sharon Washington’s 2016 play Feeding The Dragon.”

The festival will open at the Lillie Theatre on May 18 at 7 p.m. with a one-man show, Bar Jokes Tales, written and performed by Martin Giles, and directed by Marc Masterson. Having given up the dream of being a standup comedian, a man spins tales based on classic bar jokes and a very unusual bar.

The weekend continues on May 19 at 7 p.m. with Inda Craig-Galván’s Berth Breach, Breach Birth, directed by Kyle Haden, which follows a pregnant large animal vet as she connects with one of her pregnant patients. When a blow to the head while performing an ultrasound on a pregnant horse causes Ashanti to see images of her ancestors, she is forced to face her past in order to move into the future.

On Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m., the festival will screen the documentary When My Sleeping Dragon Woke, directed by Chuck Schultz and co-directed by Judah-Lev Dickstein with executive producers Colman Domingo and Raúl Domingo of Edith Productions. It follows veteran actor Sharon Washington as she commits to writing a play about her fairy tale childhood living inside a New York public library, but it forces her to face a history she thought she’d silenced decades ago. This behind-the-scenes documentary follows Washington as she brings her world premiere play Feeding the Dragon to life at City Theatre (2016-2017 season).

Closing out the festival on May 21 at 12 p.m. will be a workshop of Tami Dixon’s South Side Stories Revisited, in anticipation of a full 2024 production at City Theatre. The reading will include an excerpt from the 2014 script as well as an interactive opportunity for audience members to share their own South
Side experiences.

City Theatre Company is a professional, mid-sized theatre company located on Pittsburgh’s South Side. The company seeks provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays that engage and challenge a diverse audience.

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