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21st Century Voices New Play Fest Thursday February 27 2020 at 8:00 PMLobby Cabaret
× STRANGE COURTESIES by L. Peter Callender. Citizens of South Africa are confronting a painful past through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has heard thousands of reports about murders, tortures, and other human rights abuses of the apartheid era. The TRC is grounded in a constitutional commitment to the African concept of ubuntu, or humanness. Amnesty is available on a conditional basis to alleged perpetrators. STRANGE COURTESIES explores the potential restorative power of truth telling; the significance of sympathetic witnesses; and the tasks of both perpetrators and bystanders in the TRC process. Can dignity be restored to victims and their families while offering a basis for individual healing, and promoting the reconciliation of a divided society?
21st Century Voices New Play Fest Friday February 28 2020 at 8:00 PMLobby Cabaret
× THE IMPOSSIBLE ESCAPE OF DON MISTERIOSO by Hal Borden. Nine months after a CIA-backed coup, the warden of a Guatemalan prison agrees to an interview request from Maxine Whitman of Life magazine. When Max arrives at the prison, she reveals that her true agenda is to interview Francisco, a prisoner who she believes is the last living assistant of Harry Houdini. With the warden’s grudging cooperation, Max urges Francisco to divulge Houdini’s secrets before they’re lost to history, but she ultimately becomes more interested in Francisco’s own career as a magician—and when he attempts a daring prison break, Max plays an unexpected role in his final performance.
21st Century Voices New Play Fest Saturday February 29 2020 at 3:00 PMLobby Cabaret
× YOU TOO? By Taylor Leigh Lamb. Liza is a strong advocate for the #MeToo movement and is pretty clear on a few things: all men who sexually assault women deserve to be exposed, and as a journalist, it is her job to help make that happen. In the course of her work, she discovers that her own father – the only Black partner at his law firm, and Liza’s biggest supporter – may be a perpetrator of sexual assault. As she chases the story, she uncovers complicated and conflicting motivations, and grapples with the questions of loyalty to family versus belief in one’s own personal values.
21st Century Voices New Play Fest Saturday February 29 2020 at 8:00 PMLobby Cabaret
× MLM IS FOR MURDER (OR, YOUR SIDE HUSTLE IS KILLING US) by John Bavoso Side hustles. It seems like everybody has at least one these days. For Minerva Ross, the way to escape the doldrums of her graphic design job in Washington, DC, is to write and narrate her own feminist true crime podcast about how and why women commit murder. Meanwhile, across the country, Felicity Evanston, a Mormon stay-at-home wife and mother—and Minerva’s high school nemesis—has just started selling ridiculously patterned leggings for the multi-level marketing company Linen & Fate, as much as a way of having something that’s just hers as to supplement her husband’s income. The two haven't crossed paths in years, but when the bubbly and unassuming Felicity snaps and realizes the only way to get ahead in a rigged pyramid scheme is to literally start killing off the competition, both women suddenly experience the kind of overnight success they’ve been so desperately craving—but risk losing their families, freedom, and very souls in the process.
21st Century Voices New Play Fest Sunday March 1 2020 at 3:00 PMLobby Cabaret
× PREDICTOR by Jennifer Blackmer. PREDICTOR is the real-life story of Margaret Crane who, in 1967, defied all odds and expectations to become the inventor of the first home pregnancy test. Based on interviews with Ms. Crane herself, and told with a witty nod to 1960’s pop culture, this is a fascinating true account of a time when men had even more control over a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive fate.