It’s back! The tremendous success of last year’s “Ignition” program at Victory Gardens Theater has brought some special excitement to the second week end which started this evening. For those of you unfamiliar with the “Ignition” program, it is a festival showcase of new works by emerging playwrights of color under the age of 40. Victory Gardens hosts 6 new works over a five day period, each play is different, but all share passion, humor and images that may cause one to think. The subject matter deals with love, independence, sexual identity and personal responsibility. Two of last years featured readings,”The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety” written by Kristoffer Diaz and “Year Zero” written by Michael Golamco, went on to be fully staged as part of last year’s season at Victory Gardens and then went on to New York as full productions. This is quite a feather in our cap as Chicago, known by New Yorkers as “The Second City” became the recepient of high quality works FROM Chicago ( not the other way around)! These two young and bright playwrights were this years Festival Keynote speakers talking to us about what this festival has meant not only to them, but to the other finalists of the first one. Again, two of the six, will be selected by the panel for a similar experience.
This year’s writers come from New York,New Jersey,New Mexico and Chicago. Yes, Chicago’s very own Tanya Saracho has a new play in this festival. Since these are readings and not “ready-for-prome-time-plays”, they are not reviewable, but I will tell you that this is a strinking piece of work dealing with love, family, responsibility and desire versus obligation. Directed by Sandra Marquez and with a number of Teatro Vista players, I look forward to one day seeing this powerful story as a full blown production.
While “Ignition” is readings, I have found that the actors are able to pull off keeping our interest and the stories presented are all solidly written. The rest of the schedule is as follows:
Friday, 8/20 7:30 p.m. “Undone” by Andrea Thome
Saturday 8/21 3 p.m. A long titled play “We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About the Hero of Namibia,Formerly Known as South West Africa,From The German Sudwestafrika, Between The Years 1884-1915” by Jackie Sibles
Saturday at 7:30 p.m. “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” by A. Rey Pamatmat
Sunday, 8/22 1 p.m. “The Subject” by Chisa Hutchinson
Sunday at 4 p.m. “Aurora” by Leonard Madrid
Tickets for each play are only $5 each, a Festival pass is only $25 for all productions.
Friday the 20th, after the performance, there will be a party celebrating the IGNITION FESTIVAL in the lobby, featuring food, music and a chance to meet and greet these talented writers and actors.
To purchase tickets call the box office at 773-871-3000 or visit www.victorygardens.org.