Simpatico Theatre and Jouska PlayWorks announces new play showcase, featuring all Black playwrights

-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC

Simpatico Theatre and Jouska PlayWorks, an assembly of Black playwrights whose goal is to create theatre that enriches, entertains, empowers, and awakens the moral conscience, is proud to announce the first ever Jouska PlayWorks Virtual New Play Showcase, featuring excerpts from seven new plays created by Jouska artists. These pieces will be presented as Pay What You Decide (PWYD) digital readings with donations going to a variety of service organizations designated by the playwrights.  Presentations begin February 11, 2021 and run through March 25, 2021, with a celebratory marathon weekend of all of the plays on March 27-28, 2021 to coincide with World Theatre Day.

The project will employ 27 actors, 3 directors and a project stage manager, all while providing the opportunity for Black artists to lead the development of their own work.  The plays include:

504 or the Savior Play
By Josh A. Campbell
Thursday, February 11, 2021, 7PM
Directed by Katrina Shobe
Featuring James Whitfield, Elexis Morton, Amanda Robles, Alison Ormsby
Is there life after teaching in urban education? That’s the question that haunts a group of teachers working in a middle school in 2018 as they grapple with district mandates, a toxic work environment,  a pending teachers strike, influx of new bilingual students, traumatized students dealing with grief and each other. 

The Return of the Sho-Gun
by Keenya Jackson
Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7PM
Directed by Victoria Goins
Featuring, Abdul Sesay, SJ Hannah, Ebony Pullum
Saleem (13), and his mother Amina are working hard to navigate life after the death of Saleem’s step-father. Saleem’s biological father uses this as a chance to build a relationship with his only son.  Saleem struggles to discover who he is and if he wants a relationship with a man who abandoned him.

Freud and His Negro
By Teresa Miller
Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 7PM
Directed by Victoria Goins
Featuring Brian Anthony Wilson, Tasha Holmes, Charlie DelMarcelle
Freud and His Negro is the story of Nabal Price, an African American Psychologist in 1960s Harlem. A Harlem before the Civil Rights Act was signed. He has a struggling practice and he also struggles with being a supporter of Civil Rights. Nabal is a student and a zealous admirer of Sigmund Freud, so much so that he often visits and receives visits from a long-deceased Freud. At the advice of his loving wife Beth, a strong supporter of Civil Rights, and his colleague David, Nabal decides to host a dinner party for some of his wife’s friends and other black “established” people in the neighborhood.  The evening spins out of control when someone tells a racist joke at the party, a joke that originated from Sigmund Freud. All that Nabal thought he knew about himself and who he worshipped sends him into a tailspin which results in him almost losing his mind.

Twenty-Six
By Ang Bey
Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 7PM
Directed by Katrina Shobe
Featuring Adaeze Nwoko, Carter O’Brien Ford, Mya Flood, Tanya Morgan
Identity, retribution, and reckoning. Twenty -Six is a Black, queer (self) love story.   Senior-year at Swarthmore College is its own cruel layer of hell for Tasha Fields. She will stop being “she”… if the chest-binder fits nicely. She will fall in love… if Tyler gets his shit together. And, most importantly, she will die. Finally.  Wait, is that too morbid? Fine. Tasha Fields will transfigure into a God… if Em falls off the face of the Earth. Em ain’t going nowhere anytime soon. Maybe, at least, Tasha Fields will ace her thesis on race. Because she is SO secure in how to be Black. Believe her. Please. Believe her, so she can start herself.

GTFOH
By Nikki Brake-Sillá
Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 7PM
Directed by Alexandra Espinoza
Featuring Fatima Nelson, SJ Hannah, Tai Velery, Victor Rodriguez Jr., Lindsay Smiling 
GTFOH follows a couple in their therapist’s office on the brink of the dissolution of their marriage. The work deals with the perception of truth and the gray area between what is said and what is heard.

Sixteen 
By Megan Schumacher
Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 7PM
Directed by Victoria Goins
Featuring Kishia Nixon, Satchel Williams, Emma Gordon, Tyler Elliot, Paul Harrold
It’s Samira’s 16th birthday, but her family, consumed by her sister’s wedding, has forgotten. With the help of her friends, Samira works to create a birthday for the memory books while at the same time navigating the cliques, ignorance, and racism of her peers. This is a contemporary re-envisioning of John Hughes’s Sixteen Candles.

If & When
By Quinn D. Eli
Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7PM
Directed by Alexandra Espinoza
Featuring Michelle Pauls, Brandon Pierce, Alison Ormsby, José Raúl, Donovan Lockett
A real-life adventure is taking place inside of Damascus Comics, only there are no superheroes around to save the store’s African-American owner, Ramir, when his oldest friend and only employee, a white woman named Beth, becomes front-page news because of a case caught live on video: Convinced two white children traveling with a black man are somehow in harm’s way, Beth calls the police, setting off a series of events that endangers the store she runs with Ramir, threatens their relationship, and extracts in the end an enormous price for Living While Black.

The March 27-28, 2021 marathon weekend coincides with World Theatre Day, and will feature replays of all previous Jouska presentations, panel discussions, Q&A with the artists involved, and more; times and details will be announced at a later date.  All presentations are Pay What You Decide. This model empowers Simpatico and Jouska audiences to invest in art and artists in accordance with their own abilities. After seeing one of our shows, guests are encouraged to make a contribution to continue to support our work.

Reservations for the showcase are required.  For more information, or to reserve a spot, visit https://www.simpaticotheatre.org/jouska-playworks. To visit the ticketing link directly: https://ci.ovationtix.com/35118.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.