When we met, we each had very specific stories to tell. And yet, in our specificity, we found a cultural unity connecting all of our communities.
BY JESSICA CHARLES
DIRECTED BY T.B.D.
Jasmine [GIRL] and Diggy [GUY] have passion, humor, and friendship, but what they want are careers.
Playwright Jessica Charles slyly explores the creative struggle of two Black, queer artists trying to make it in an industry that considers them at once too Black and not Black enough.
The characters gas each other up and tear each other down with razor sharp dialogue as Charles poses the question of whether they can maintain their friendship as each tries to claim their space in a world that needs to hear them but doesn’t want to.
Incorporating recorded stories from her now-passed grandmother and oral stories from her friends and community, Jessica Charles sets out to explore antiquated practices, not only in theatre but in life— how they have affected black people in the past as well as the present, and how they will inevitably affect our future. Antiquated F*ckery at its most stripped down is a story of a black, queer girl and guy trying to create a space in a place where they feel there is no space for them.
A very real and occasionally dark comedy that melds Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, the oral histories of our past, the jokes of our present, and the hope for GenZ ahead.
Antiquated F*ckery received its virtual debut as part of Google Pride 2020.
THE BERLIN DIARIES
BY ANDREA STOLOWITZ
DIRECTED BY WILLIAM STEINBERGER
The great-grandfather of Oregon Book Award-winning playwright Andrea Stolowitz kept a journal for his descendants after escaping to New York City in 1939 as a German Jew. Following the complicated lure of genealogy, Stolowitz goes back to Berlin to bring the story of her unknown ancestors out of the archives into the light. The record keeps as many secrets as it shares; how do people become verschollen, lost, like library books?
In this complex, contemporary drama about the search for home, fragmented heritage and Jewish diaspora, two performers scintillate between characters and locations at the border of reality and memory and the intersection of national history and private lives.
The Berlin Diaries is a recipient of the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund. The play was developed at English Theatre Berlin/IPAC, Hand2Mouth Theatre, New Dramatists, Theatre Lab at FSU, PlayPenn, San Diego Rep and the Playwrights’ Center. The Berlin Diaries has had theatrical runs in Portland, Toronto and Berlin. The play was selected for the Kilroy’s List and developed into an audio drama by Artists Repertory Theatre in the summer of 2020.
Director William Steinberger brings his unique multidisciplinary approach to this hauntingingly theatrical tour-de-force created for two performers who portray 14 characters.
TWO BROWN PORTERS
BY NAREN WEISS
DIRECTED BY RAJESH BOSE
Two Brown Porters is a dark comedy about two seemingly average individuals who get swept up into the world of bloodshed surrounding history’s most infamously looted item - the Kohinoor diamond.
Helmed by South Asian theatre stalwart Rajesh Bose in his New York directing debut, Naren Weiss captures the beauty and heartbreak of the bloody history of India’s long lost treasure, through the curious and sensitive eyes of two simple porters in 1850.
Jessica Charles is a black queer woman identifying playwright whose work holds and uplifts historically underrepresented voices. As a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Jessica’s work has been workshopped, heard, and seen in spaces and stages across the world. She was a member of Liberation Theater Company’s New Voices Writing Residency and a finalist for The Lark’s Van Lier New Voices Fellowship. Her recent plays include HIGH, INFLATABLES, THE GENUINE N*GGER SHOW, [THE BLACK WOMAN] AND THE MYTH, WHITE SAVIOR, and THE GEEK.
Andrea Stolowitz is a multinational playwright whose work embraces bold theatricality ranging from intimate portrayals of the human condition to the intersection of national history on private lives. Andrea is a member playwright of New Dramatists, an alumna of The Playwrights’ Center, and a collaborating writer with the devised ensemble Hand2Mouth Theatre. Andrea is the Lacroute Playwright-in-Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre.
Naren Weiss is an award-winning writer whose work has been published and/or performed on four continents, including at the prestigious Metroplus Theatre Festival (India), the National Arts Festival (South Africa), the Alliance Francaise (Singapore), and numerous Short+Sweet Festivals around the world. He is among a small number of playwrights from the South Asian subcontinent who have been writing theatrical plays in English. He has published five books of plays, poems, and short stories - three of which have gone on to become Amazon “Best Sellers.” He received his M.F.A. from Brooklyn College.