San Diego Rep’s Latinx New Play Festival supports Latin playwrights
With the goal of promoting the development and production of Latin-Hispanic-Chicano plays in San Diego, the Latinx New Play Festival returns Friday for its second edition.
San Diego Repertory Theatre, a longtime supporter of multicultural theater, and Amigos del Rep announced that the event will showcase four readings of new plays, based on contemporary topics, all written by Latin playwrights from across the country. (“Latinx” is a gender-neutral term used in place of Latino/Latina.)
Patrice Amon, San Diego Rep’s producer-in-residence, said that it is really hard for new playwrights to get new work produced.
“Sometimes it takes years to develop a new play, and names that are more traditional in theater get more funding and support, but Latinx playwrights don’t get as much support. The San Diego Rep is committed to produce Latin stories, so our goal with the festival is to bring in four Latin playwrights and give them support to hear their plays and help them to continue to develop them.”
The theatrical fest, running Friday through Sunday, was launched last year by Amon and San Diego Rep and received 85 submissions. This year, that number reached 112, making the selection process much more competitive.
“We had a total of 20 volunteer readers, some members of the community, artists, students, so each play was read by two people who gave it a score,” said Amon, adding that the four readings selected were the strongest stories with the highest scores.
This year’s selection: “Bad Men/Good Wives” by Herbert Siguenza; “The Book of Leonidas” by Augusto Amador; “Bess and Honey” by Guadalís del Carmen; and “Azul” by Christina Quintana. This year’s festival will also feature a special production by award-winning artist Alex Alpharaoh, a solo performance titled “WET: A DACAmented Journey.”
“If you come to the festival, you will see the development of a play,” Amon said. “If you have ever wondered what the steps in the process of producing a play are, this is a great example. You will be able to see a first draft and then, if it gets picked up for a season being produced by San Diego Rep, you will see later a full show with costumes, full sets, and you will be able to balance the memories of the early stage to the final production.”
The four readings will be evaluated by Sam Woodhouse, the Rep’s artistic director, who will play an important role selecting one of the plays for a full production. However, Amon emphasized that the selection of one of the plays is only a possibility: “There is no commitment that it will happen. Only if one of the plays gets picked up by our artistic director, and if we can ensure the rights, then maybe it will be produced in our main stage in the future.”
Latinx New Play Festival
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3: “Bad Hombres/Good Wives,” by Herbert Siguenza
1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4: “The Book of Leonidas,” by Augusto Amador
3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4: “Bees and Honey,” by Guadalís Del Carmen
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4: “WET: A DACAmented Journey,” by Alex Alpharaoh
1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5: “Azul,” by Christina Quintana
Where: Lyceum Space Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Gaslamp Quarter
Tickets: $10 single reading, $20 “WET” single ticket, $30 festival pass.
Daugherty is a freelance writer.
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