New Works From Anna Deveare Smith, Keenan Scott II, More in New York Stage and Film 2022 Summer Season | Playbill

Regional News New Works From Anna Deveare Smith, Keenan Scott II, More in New York Stage and Film 2022 Summer Season

Among artists developing work are Leigh Silverman, Josh Radnor, and more.

Anna Deavere Smith

New York Stage and Film has announced the in-person programming for its return 2022 Summer Season in Poughkeepsie, New York, running July 9–August 7. The season is presented in partnership with Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater and Marist College.

The full list of artists slated to develop work includes May Adrales, Shariffa Chelimo Ali, César Alvarez, Sarah Benson, Elisa Bocanegra, Steve H. Broadnax III, Marc Bruni, Diana Burbano, Deborah Cowell, Julia Doolittle, Keelay Gipson, Lily Houghton, Sheryl Kaller, Eric Lockley, Katie Madison, Tre Matthews, Marya Mazor, Don Nguyen, Steph Paul, Josh Radnor, Keenan Scott II, Leigh Silverman, and Anna Deavere Smith.

The season will feature three new play workshops at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theater. Starting off the series will be Don Nguyen's The World Is Not Silent July 15-17, to be directed by Marya Mazor. Performed in English, Vietnamese, and Sign Language, the work follows a father and son as they try to bridge the gaps in understanding each other.

Following will be Sweet Chariot by OBIE winner Eric Lockley July 22-24, an Afrofuturistic space exploration of escape, resilience, and liberation for Black people. Shariffa Chelimo Ali will direct the play, which was developed with The Movement Theatre Company.

Lastly, Julia Doolittle's Tell Them I'm Still Young will run July 28-30, an exploration of marriage and identity after losing an adult child to be directed by May Adrales.

Keenan Scott II, Leigh Silverman, Anna Deavere Smith, and Josh Radnor

At Marist College, NYSF will present three new musical workshops. 

The first of the series will be The Return of Young Boy, featuring a book by Keenan Scott II with music and lyrics by Scott and Tre Matthews. Steve H. Broadnax III will direct the work about Young Boy who goes on a journey of discovery to become the next Supreme Ruler that forces him to question what he used to believe of his grandfather. The work is set to run July 23-24. 

César Alvarez's The Potluck will receive presentations July 29-31 under the direction of OBIE winner Sarah Benson. Alvarez uses personal connections to the 1979 Greensboro Massacre of five communist labor organizers to explore themes of queerness, inherited trauma, and capitalism. 

Sun Songs, featuring a book by Deborah Cowell with music and lyrics by Katie Madison, is an existential musical about two entities being guided by their ancestors to find their place in time. It will receive presentations August 5-7.

Also at Marist College, a series of play reading weekends will be held in July and August.

On July 9, three readings will be presented, beginning with Diana Burbano's NUESTRO PLANETA: A Colombia Project. The Hero Theatre commission, devised and to be directed by Elisa Bocanegra, tells the story of Alondra, a young Colombian American scientist who goes to study Colombia's biodiversity and learns what it means to return "home." Next is Lily Houghton's My Brother Is Better at Love Than Me, to be directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman. The work is inspired by Houghton and her brother's own lives. Teenager Hank finds his first summer love at a neuro-diverse summer camp, but faces the challenges of doing so with his bossy younger sister, a camp counselor, in attendance. The last July 9 reading will be A New Play by Josh Radnor, directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller, which explores what it means to confront myths and how we learn to forgive.

Two readings are also planned for August 6. Keelay Gipson's surreal dark comedy demons explores inherited trauma, growing older, and losing a parent. Steph Paul will direct. Also being presented, Modern Gentleman by Preston Max Allen follows 28-year old Adam as he navigates dating for the first time as a trans man and his relationship with himself after his partner suddenly ends their five-year relationship. 

Finishing the season August 7, Tony nominee Anna Deavere Smith's Love All will receive a reading. The new work follows the rise of tennis icon Billie Jean King among the social upheaval and countercultural revolutions of the 1960s and will be directed by Marc Bruni.

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