DC’s Source Festival of new plays will try to extend its two-year streak of award-winning plays when it opens Friday, June 5 at – this will surprise you – the Source Theatre, 1835 14th Street NW in DC.
In 2013, the Source Festival debuted Topher Payne’s Perfect Arrangement, which won that year’s Osborne Award for best new play by an emerging playwright. Last year, Source presented Nathan Alan Davis’ Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea, a runner-up for the prestigious Steinberg Award, given to the best new play done outside of New York City and now enjoying rolling world premieres through National New Play Network.
Who will be best in show this year? It could be local playwright and composer Timothy Guillot, whose The Word and the Wasteland opens on Wednesday, June 10 at 8 o’clock. Guillot, whose work is familiar to habitués of children’s theater (he composed the music for Blue for Imagination Stage) and of the Fringe Festival (The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs – the Musical), has here created a story about a poetry-writing terrorist. (Not entirely implausible; bin Laden was also a poet.) But in Guillot’s telling, the terrorist’s poetry becomes a national sensation…and, possibly, a clue to an imminent, massive attack on the United States.
June 5 – 28
1835 14th Street, NW
Tickets: $10 – $32
Details and Tickets or call 866.811.4111
The Word and the Wasteland is one of three full-length plays commissioned by the Source this year. Rebecca Bossen’s Blue Straggler is the story of a love affair between a brilliant astrophysicist and a dreamer who believes in magic and fairytales. When tragedy intrudes, the astrophysicist abandons her work in a desperate attempt to find a mathematical formula which will bring her lover back to her – even though to do so risks tearing the fabric of the universe apart. Blue Straggler opens on Wednesday, June 17 at 8 and also plays on the 20th, the 25th and twice on the 28th.
The third full-length play will be Kelly Lusk’s (a love story), a detailed and intimate exploration of what it means to be in love, or to believe that you are in love, and to find out otherwise, or to think that you have found out otherwise. (a love story) opens at 8 o’clock on Friday, June 12th, and also plays on 14th, the 18th, and twice on the 27th.
Each of the full-length plays has been thematically matched to an evening of short plays and to an artistic blind date, which is a theatrical presentation made by a combination of artists from different disciplines. Guillot’s play links to a collection called Mistakes & Media, which features plays by Christopher Holbrook (Connected), Graziella Jackson (Palm), Alyssa Wilden (Prince and Repunzel), John Yunkel (The Sales Rank Also Rises), RN Healey (The Death of a Stupid Man or How I Became an Internet Sensation) and Lucas Kruger (The Sad Funeral). Mistakes & Media opens the Festival tomorrow at 8, and also runs the 11th, the 13th, the 21st, and the 26th.
The Word and the Wasteland’s blind date will be Narrative the Build We, billed by artists Ashi Day, Bruce McCaig and Abby Zan as “a multi-sensory performance piece exploring paths and protocols tracing chaos to order, silence to sound, message to medium.” Narrative the Build We opens on Wednesday, June 10 at 7 and also runs on the 13th, the 21st (twice) and the 26th.
Matching Blue Straggler is a collection called Science & Soulmates, which includes plays by Alison Donnelly (Limit: A Function of Word and Thought), Stephen Spotswood (Dissection), T. Adamson (Math), Rick Espey (Ball Drop), Alex Dremann (The Physics of Now) and Elizabeth Archer (Both Sides, Now). Science & Soulmates opens on Sunday the 7th at 8 and runs twice on the 20th as well as on the 24th and the 28th.
Blue Straggler’s blind date is Seeking, Bonding, Breaking: The Science of Love, in which artists Bernadine Okoro, Elizabeth Pringle and Alison Waldman tell a story about how and why we seek intimacy, using as its tools movement, light, song, text, science and the study of human relationships. Seeking, Bonding, Breaking: The Science of Love opens on Wednesday, June 17 and also plays on the 20th (twice) and the 28th (twice).
(a love story)’s companion shorts are collected under the title Love & Botany, and include Tree Danglings by Kristy Simmons, A Bouquet a Day by Madeline Dennis-Yates, The Tomato and the Onion by Simon Henriques, Dioecius by Kristen Davis-Coelho, Allergy, by Erica Smith, and Manus Dei by Jeffrey Strausser. Love & Botany opens on Saturday the 6th at 8, and runs on the 14th (twice) and the 19th.
And as a blind date, (a love story) has (a sprout story), in which artists Jessica John, Olivia Sabee and Carmen Wong trace the life cycle of a sprout who has dreams of being human. (a sprout story) opens on Friday the 12th at 7, and plays on the 14th (twice) and the 27th (twice) as well.
Tickets to the Source Festival are $10 for each blind date, and $20 for each full-length play or collection of short plays. A 3-day pass if forty-five simoleans, and for a hundred bucks you can see the whole kit and caboodle. Go here to buy tickets.