Azuka Theatre Closes Season with World Premiere of Funny and Moving New Play Galilee

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events

Azuka Theatre will close their 2022/2023 season with the World Premiere of Galilee written by Christine Evans and directed by Azuka’s Co-Artistic Director Rebecca May Flowers. The production runs from through May 21, 2023, at the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake (302 S. Hicks Street), in Center City, Philadelphia.

In a small town on the Great Barrier Reef, sea temperatures rise and the mining industry gets really, really rich. As a new hybrid shark appears in the harbor, a marine biology student comes home to help save her family’s business. Through dry humor, she juggles the colorful personalities of her town while avoiding diving back in the water. The people of Galilee have to decide: fight, flee, or adapt to the changing environment? Galilee’s story comes to life through the cast that includes Zoe Nebraska Feldman (Carol), D’Arcy Dersham (Mardy), David Bardeen (Jimmy), Ryane Nicole Studivant (Jemima) and Adam Howard (Harry). For this new season, Azuka continues its pay-what-you-decide model where audiences are invited to experience the art on stage and pay based on the value of their experience after. For reservations, visit azukatheatre.org.

“Azuka continues to honor our mission of telling the stories of the underdogs and the outcasts by spotlighting the voices of three female and non-binary playwrights,” said Azuka Co-Artistic Director Reva Stover. “For Galilee, in addition to being a funny story about a motley crew of folks in a changing town, this play talks about environmental issues, how we relate to them, and how the impact is ever-shifting. Azuka amplifies voices, and no one needs their voice amplified more than the environment.”

Galilee is a brand new work penned by Christina Evans, whose award-winning plays have been produced in her native Australia, the US and the UK and published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and in Theatre Forum. In 2013, NoPassport Press published her trilogy, WAR PLAYS. Selected productions include Trojan Barbie at the American Repertory Theatre, the Garage Theater, Playbox Theatre (UK) and Charing Cross Theatre (UK); You Are Dead. You Are Here., developed with Joseph Megel and Jared Mezzocchi (HERE Arts, NYC, 2013); Weightless, Mothergun and All Souls’ Day at Perishable Theatre; Slow Falling Bird at Crowded Fire, San Francisco and at Darwin Theatre Company; in Australia, My Vicious Angel at Belvoir St. Theatre, Vitalstatistix, and the Adelaide International Festival of the Arts. Honors include a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Award, two MacDowell Colony residencies, a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, an Australian Fulbright Award, Perishable’s International Women’s Playwriting Competition (2000 and 2002), the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, Plays for the 21st Century Award, the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award, and 2009 and 2013 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) Playwriting Fellowships. Evans is a Core Member of the Playwrights’ Center. She was a 2012 O’Neill Finalist, a 2010-13 Resident Artist at HERE (NY), and is a Women’s Project Playwrights Lab alumna. She holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Brown and joined the Georgetown Department of Performing Arts faculty in 2012.

The production is directed by Azuka’s Co-Artistic Director Rebecca May Flowers (she/her) who is a director, choreographer, and producer. Flowers first learned of the play in 2017 after she attended a reading during the PlayPenn Conference. She them fell in love with the work and wanted to produce it but the pandemic paused her plans. She then brought the show to Azuka when she became Co-Artistic Director.

As a director, Flowers has worked at schools, universities, and regional theaters across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida. Recent credits include: The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe and Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes (Temple University, Director), White Christmas (Candlelight Theatre, Director), Matilda the Musical and Beauty and the Beast (Steel River Playhouse, Director/Choreographer), and New Voices Festival (Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Director/Choreographer). Flowers serves as Producing Consultant to the recently reopened Centre Theater in Norristown and previously held the position of Associate Artistic Director at Theatre Horizon. A Florida native, Rebecca earned her B.A. in Theater from Florida State University and her M.A. in Theater from the University of Central Florida.

“The plays for this season deeply resonate with us and our needs and hopes of the moment,” said Flowers. “It has been quite a wild ride these past few years, and we are feeling an ever-present need to reconnect and recharge to sustain the energy to continue fighting the good fight. Galilee and our other two main stage productions this season have examined these needs and hopes through multi-generational families- both the ones we are born into and the ones we choose for ourselves. Like the people in these plays, we are continuing to find our place and growing together. Like the people in these plays, we are people who want to change the world. We think our audiences are those kinds of people too and will find themselves in our season.”

For Galilee, Flowers will direct a mix of actors new and returning to Azuka, including Zoe Nebraska Feldman (Carol), D’Arcy Dersham (Mardy), David Bardeen (Jimmy), Ryane Nicole Studivant (Jemima) and Adam Howard (Harry).

For production, the team includes Dirk Durossette (Scenic Designer); Lily Fossner (Lighting Designer); Tiffany Bacon (Costume Designer); Larry D. Fowler, Jr. (Co-Sound Designer); Adiah D. Hicks (Co-Sound Designer); Avista Custom Theatrical, LLC (Properties); Miranda Watkins (Production Stage Manager); Liv Hershey (Rehearsal Stage Manager & Production Assistant Stage Manager); Mackenzie Raine Kirkman (Dramaturg); Leonard Kelly (Dialect Coach); Lauren Tracy (Production Manager); Joe Daniels (Technical Director) and Flannel & Hammer (Scenic Construction).

Galilee by Christine Evans runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. The show is for audiences 13+ and up.  All performances are pay what you decide.

Azuka Theatre thanks Honorary Producers Robin and Patrick Tracy, as well as season sponsors Harmelin Media and Two Roads Brewing. For show, event and reservation information, please visit azukatheatre.org or call (215) 563-1100.

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 )

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.