PlayCo is launching #Playfrom6FeetAway, an initiative of programming for our community while theatres are dark. We’re concocting a series of stimulating conversations and experimental new works that can be experienced together, even as we hunker down and shelter in place.
Follow along at #Playfrom6FeetAway
As part of our experimental programming while theatres are closed, in early April we distributed 5 mini-commissions for work to be shared digitally, aiming to provide something useful and positive for artists and audiences in our PlayCo community during this time. Projects will be released this Thursday, July 23. Read more about the projects here.
Theatre artists Ana Graham & Antonio Vega of Por Piedad Teatro follow the misfortunes and adventures of a man and a three-legged dog in this “table-top theatre” piece.
María Fernanda Videla Urra's experimental short film follows a drawing mannequin's journey through its own material identity.
Singer/actress Lauren Worsham and her musician/writer husband Kyle Jarrow collaborate on a new song and animated musical short film recorded with members of their band, Sky-Pony, and other artists across the globe.
Director Katie Brook and writer Trish Harnetiaux launch a serial podcast about a cruise ship conglomerate using avant-garde theatre to rebrand on their latest voyage.
PlayClub is a virtual gathering to talk about a contemporary play with an intimate group, and a rotating slate of special hosts. Like a book club, participants read a designated play and then come together via Zoom for a one hour discussion. Each host lends their own perspective in leading the conversation. We draw from a treasure trove of contemporary playwriting as a way to continue our mission of introducing our audiences, in a meaningful way, to a worldwide variety of plays. Spots are limited to the first 20 people to sign up via our website, so keep an eye out for the announcements. While stages are dark, we can enjoy theatre on the page!
Admission is free but space is limited.
Thursday, August 6 at 5:30PM
Winter Solstice by Roland Schimmelpfennig
Translated by David Tushingham
Hosted by Ana Graham (Director; Actor; Translator;
Christmas Eve. Bettina and her husband Albert aren’t happy. Bettina’s mother is staying for the holidays. Which is awkward. Not least because Bettina’s mother met a man on the train. And now she’s invited him around for drinks…
Family, betrayal and the inescapable presence of the past reverberate through this razor-sharp comedy from Roland Schimmelpfennig, the most-performed playwright in Germany.
Ana Graham is a director, actor, translator and costume designer born in Mexico City. She is Artistic Producer and Founder of Mexico-based Por Piedad Teatro where she has developed most of her work. Since 2009, she splits her time working in Mexico City and in New York City, where Por Piedad Teatro partnered with The Play Company to present Ettore Scola’s Working On a Special Day in New York at 59E59 and The Duchamp Syndrome at The Flea. In 2017 Graham and collaborator Antonio Vega co-directed and performed in Mexico City, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s play Winter Solstice. As an actor she has performed in more than twenty plays. In 2005 Graham received an Ariel nomination as Best Actress for her role in the movie Mezcal directed by Ignacio Ortiz.
Thursday, August 13 at 5:30PM
Barcelona, Map of Shadows by Lluïsa Cunillé
Translated by Marion Peter Holt
Hosted by Charlene Adhiambo (PlayCo Literary Intern)
On a summer night in Barcelona, an elderly couple confronts their own mortality and grapples with the husband’s terminal illness. They make a plan to evict their tenants so that they can live their final months together alone. Both the tenants and the landlords are trying to survive in a city that has long since turned its back on them. Lluïsa Cunillé is one of Catalan’s most important contemporary playwrights.
Charlene Adhiambo is The Play Company’s current Literary Intern as well as a playwright and screenwriter. She hails from Atlanta, Georgia by way of Nairobi, Kenya. An African Drama course in college piqued her interest in playwriting, but she has always loved theater: from Hamlet to A Raisin in the Sun to TINA: The Tina Turner Musical. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University.
Previous PlayClub Conversations
The Attic by Yōji Sakate
Translated by Leon Ingulsrud and Keiko Tsuneda
Hosted by Tyler Micoleau (Lighting Designer)
Bintou by Koffi Kwahulé
Translated by Chantal Bilodeau
Hosted by Charlene Adhiambo (PlayCo Literary Intern)
The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise by Toshiki Okada
Translated by Aya Ogawa
Hosted by Dan Rothenberg (Director)
Lunch Bunch by Sarah Einspanier
Hosted by Phillip Howze (Playwright)
A Bring-Your-Own-Lunch conversation with Sarah Einspanier
Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury
Hosted by Catherine Coray (Program Director of the Lark Play Development Center US-Middle East Playwright Exchange; Arts Professor at NYU)
Consent by Nina Raine
Hosted by Trip Cullman (Director; PlayCo Associate Artist and Board Member)
Lunch Bunch Programming
We’re collaborating with community partner Bronx Defenders to offer a series of online conversations in anticipation of Sarah Einspanier’s Lunch Bunch (a play inspired by the Bronx Defenders’ own lunch bunch). The play was initially scheduled to be performed in March & April, in a production presented with Clubbed Thumb and directed by Tara Ahmadinejad, but has been postponed.
Upcoming Lunch Bunch Programs
Lunch Bunch & The Bronx Public Defenders Podcasts.
The team behind Lunch Bunch is teaming up with attorneys and staff at the Bronx Defenders to make a new podcast. Look out for the release in August.
Previous Lunch Bunch Programs
Idea Lab: Creative Works
Moderated by Kate Loewald, PlayCo Founding Producer
Featuring Sarah Einspanier (Playwright), Tara Ahmadinejad (Director), and lawyers from the Bronx Defenders
Sarah, Tara, and lawyers from the Bronx Defenders discuss the play: Bx Defenders as inspiration; the cross over from real life to the theatrical world; what it’s like to be theatricalized; the complexity of writing about friends or directing actors to portray real people; how often real people are actually characters. The Bronx Defenders Family Defense lawyers will also share The Bronx Defenders holistic defense model and discuss how they get creative to advocate for clients: will they really file that 1028…what is a 1028?
The Idea Lab
POST-SHOW: Every play is an opportunity to bring our community together around issues and ideas that shape our lives. We partner with cultural, educational, social justice and social service organizations to leverage stories for positive change, co-programming public events and activities. ARTIST CONVERSATIONS delve into creative process with playwrights, directors, designers and actors. Or artists might lead ACTIVITIES with audience members to share playlists, play a game or try out a foley sound technique. PANEL DISCUSSIONS investigate themes raised in a play with journalists, scholars, activists and community leaders. PLAYBACK sessions welcome audience members into a conversation with each other about the show they’ve just experienced, facilitated by a PlayCo staff member or guest artist.
ANYTIME: Idea Lab occasionally presents staged readings, teach-ins, and other special events.
All Idea Lab events are free and open to the public.
Current Idea Labs
Creative Works, moderated by Kate Loewald, PlayCo Founding Producer.
Featuring Sarah Einspanier and Tara Ahmadinejad.
Sunday, May 31 at 4:00PM – RSVP HERE
Public Defense, moderated by Justine Olderman, Executive Director of the Bronx Defenders
Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30PM – RSVP HERE
Our commissioning program for both original works and new translations of plays from abroad.
Linda Bartholomai for a translation of Seymour, or I’m Only Here by Accident by Anne Lepper
Abhishek Majumdar for his new play 9 Kinds of Silence
Lee Sunday Evans for a new work with Christopher Chen
PlayCo is an international theatre for new writing. We host residencies for visiting collaborative artists, and introduce them to the local community through events such as artist roundtables, audience conversations, and informal receptions. The Residency Program also offers local students unique educational opportunities to engage with visiting artists in special classes and workshops. Students of theatre, literature and foreign studies see the work of visiting artists in production and interact with them directly in subsequent classes to learn about different theatre traditions, practices and points of view.
Paused for now – please check back soon