American Mariachi by José Cruz González
Lucha and Bolie are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band. The only things standing in their way are a male-dominated music scene, patriarchical pressure from inside their families and finding the right women to fill out their sound. Watch them strive to earn the respect and admiration of their community as they make their way from practice to performance. González writes a passionate story about families, friendships and the music that ties them together.
José Cruz González's plays include The San Patricios, Sunsets and Margaritas, The Heart’s Desire, September Shoes. A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González – Magical Realism & Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences was published by the University of Texas Press in 2009. He teaches theatre at California State University at Los Angeles. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America. He is a Playwright in Residence at Childsplay.
The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson
Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without the duo of Henry Condell and John Heminges, we wouldn’t have Shakespeare. After the death of the prolific playwright, the two actors set out to find and reassemble his scripts to create the first Folio while facing challenges from rival poets, competing publishers, and old flames (literal and figurative). The impact of their resourcefulness, dedication and friendship continue to shape the literary world even today. Shakespeare lover and Steinberg/ATCA Award-winner Lauren Gunderson weaves a hilarious and heartfelt play about the story behind the stories we know so well.
Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America for 2015/16. She is the winner of the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA Award for I and You, also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her plays have been commissioned and premiered by companies across the country including South Coast Rep, TheatreWorks, San Francisco Playhouse, Crowded Fire, Marin Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and more. Her work is published by Playscripts, Samuel French, and Dramatists.
Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist
What does it take to change the world? For the Earth, a two degree rise in temperature is enough to change the environment. For Emma Phelps, a scientist studying ice core samples in Greenland, grief over her husband’s death seems unmoving, harder with each passing month. Now, at the request of an old college classmate, she’s been asked to come to Washington, D.C. to testify in a Senate Committee regarding climate change legislation. In this intersection of science, politics and the personal, she struggles with life’s most difficult lesson: change.
Tira Palmquist’s plays include Two Degrees, Ten Mile Lake (Serenbe Playhouse), And Then They Fell and Age of Bees (MadLab Theater, Tesseract). Two Degrees has been featured in numerous festivals, most recently the New American Voices festival in the UK. And Then They Fell (finalist for the Global Age Project) will premiere in Los Angeles in 2016. Development: Seven Devils, Inkwell, EST-LA, Workhouse Theater. Publications: Age of Bees (Original Works Publishing). More info at tirapalmquist.com.
Midwinter by Mat Smart
Nothing is simple about romance at McMurdo Station, Antarctica — a small community made even smaller during the shut-in winter months. Helen loves Dmitri, Dmitri loves Hillary, and Hillary loves Tamara (who just might love her back). In this funny and complicated companion piece to the 2015 Jeff Award winner for Best New Work, The Royal Society of Antarctica, Mat Smart weaves a web of love and laughter on the edge of the world, taken from his own experiences living in Antarctica for three months.
Mat Smart (Playwright) is currently a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages. Plays include: The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre, 2015 Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago), Naperville (Slant Theatre Project), Tinker to Evers to Chance (Geva, upcoming at Merrimack Rep), The Steadfast (Slant, published by DPS), Samuel J. and K. (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf), The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre, Huntington) and The 13th of Paris (City Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre). MFA: UCSD.
2016 SPECIAL COMMISSIONED ARTISTS: THIRD RAIL PROJECTS
Hailed as one of the foremost companies creating site-specific, immersive and experiential dance-theater in the United States, Third Rail Projects, led by Artistic Directors Zach Morris, Tom Pearson, and Jennine Willett, is dedicated to re-envisioning ways in which audiences can engage with contemporary performance. They have made work in New York, internationally, and abroad for over 15 years, and their long-running, award-winning work, Then She Fell, was named as one of the “Top Ten Shows of the 2012” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Learn more at thirdrailprojects.com