This year’s Source Festival will feature 24 new works, several by area playwrights under the direction of such well-known directors as Jennifer Nelson, Factor 449 Artistic Director Rick Hammerley, and Adding Machine co-librettist Jason Loewith, the Festival’s leadership announced yesterday.
A new full-length play by veteran Washington playwright Norm Allen will head up this year’s festival. The Allen play, The House Halfway, tells the story of the Dandle House, overlooking the Caribbean, which offers a “unique service—to assist its guests in their suicides.”
The House Halfway will be one of three full-length plays running at the Source Festival this year. The Festival will also feature Qualities of Starlight, by Gabriel Dean, in which a cosmologist on the verge of an important discovery about the universe travels back to Appalachia to make an important discovery about his parents – that they’re meth addicts – and Gregory Moss’ Uses of Enchantment, about a young girl who accesses fairy tales to help her deal with her adult-sized problems.
The Source Festival will also be presenting eighteen ten-minute plays, including several by local playwrights. Collateral Damage, by Sarah Kellogg and Cynthia Wilcox, shows how an eleven-year-old girl can be the grownup when her parents talk with her about their impending divorce. In Billy Finn’s National Smoke Signal Day, two boys, playing hooky on a Long Island Beach, see a large dark cloud absorb the New York City skyline. Lee August Praley’s Northern Indiana Wildlife Preserve is about a guilt-haunted Ranger on her first day at the job. Lisa Frank Virginity Club is Christin Siems’ story about a man whose uncle died and left him a unicorn, and a boatload of implications. And in James Hesla’s Lost and Found in the Hotel Mogador, an American traveler loses his memory while backpacking in Morocco, and when “a local police officer tries to help him piece together his identity…[t]hey both discover more than they bargained for.”
Finally, the Source Festival will be presenting three “Artistic Blind Dates” – cross-discipline collaborations among artists to produce singular effects. Filmmaker Dannie Snyder, designer and puppeteer Lisi Stoessel, and object manipulator Ben Drexler will create Shadow-Matter: Exam Log X, which they describe as a “movement-based experiment in studying the effects of the unseen; from intimacy and the human subconscious to the vastness of space and the mysterious structure of matter.” The Pressure Cooker will be a collaboration among choreographer Hayley Cutler, playwright Liz Maestri, and musician and visual artist Nguyen Nguyen in which “[t]hree strangers build a house out of their dread and longing, because home is where the art is.” And choreographer Sarah Ewing, composer James Garver, and visual artist Kristy Simmons say this about their Filter: “Combining the synchronicity of street theater with the inner and outer worlds of Fourteenth Street, a shared voyeuristic experience emerges that you never knew was possible.”
Previous Source Festival productions have gone on to success elsewhere – Emily Schwend’s 2010 full-length play Splinters was among six finalists for that year’s Steinberg Award from the American Theater Critics Association, and last year’s Artistic Blind Date Collapsing Silence led to the founding of the interdisciplinary arts organization Force/Collision.
The Cultural Development Corporation of Washington sponsors the Source Festival, Jenny McConnell Frederick produces, joined by Associate Producer Patrick Magill, Assistant Producers Aaron Yost and Alaina Talley and Dramaturges James Hesla & Kate Coughlin.
The Source Festival will run from June 8 to July 1, 2012, at the Source Theatre, 1835 14th Street, Washington, NW.
Details and tickets