Date(s) - May 16, 2022 - May 19, 2022
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The second annual New Roots Festival celebrates Work In Process by inviting audiences into the development of new theatrical works. This is a chance for you to be among the first to hear commissioned work from Pacific Theatre playwrights, and to see full readings from our Working With community playwrights’ group.
The festival spans four days of free readings, with audience feedback and interaction after each event. A celebration of creation is the perfect way to send off our season and close out our New Roots Campaign.
All our New Roots Festival events are free to the public – reserve your tickets today!
THE FESTIVAL LINEUP
THURSDAY JUNE 16
7:00 PM | PLAY READING – ABBAMMA!
by Keith Murray
ABBAMMA! A new play inspired by the ancient sayings of the desert fathers, mothers and others, looks through a dressing room mirror into the life of a 6th-century CE Christian monk. Through the temporal-drag of herstory, we scry a mirror dimly: can a spiritual refugee fleeing a binary world, create Eden in the desert? Can a drag performer, wrestling with faith and identity, find their truth, and reconcile their fractured family?
ABBAMMA is being developed as part of Pacific Theatre’s Working With community playwrights’ group. This event is a reading of Keith’s current draft, with an opportunity for audiences to share their thoughts on the piece through feedback cards.
FRIDAY JUNE 17
7:00 PM | PLAY READING & TALKBACK – THE TETSURO PROJECT
by Tetsuro Shigematsu
Before she passed away last summer, Tetsuro’s kids prayed with their grandmother every night. Even though Tetsuro has long departed from his childhood faith, he can’t help but notice that their home – without Grandma’s prayers – feels emptier. Told in his signature style, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s latest solo work (Empire of the Son, 1 Hour Photo) wrestles with his complicated relationship with faith. In it, he questions belief, what parts of faith we leave behind and what we carry forward for the rest of our lives.
The Tetsuro Project is in development through Pacific Theatre’s New Roots initiative with dramaturg Daniela Atiencia and director Kaitlin Williams. This workshop is a reading of the first 45 minutes, followed by a discussion and talkback with Tetsuro and Daniela.
SATURDAY JUNE 18
7:00 PM | PLAY READING & TALKBACK – MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
by Shauna Johannesen and Laura Koch
Mary is an icon. Literally and figuratively. And yet, we know almost nothing about Mary herself. The centrepoint of the Christian Story is that God became human and dwelt among us and yet we seem to go to a lot of lengths to keep Mary, his mother, from being too human – to keep her saintly, sanitized, and other-worldly. Virgin birth… How would that have played with your parents? Silent night… She literally gave birth in a barn, so probably not. Mary took these things and pondered them in her heart… OK, and then what? What was the WHOLE REST OF MARY’S LIFE like? And in the centuries since, how has Mary’s story been used, who has used it, and what is the power of a person’s story anyway?
Mary, Mother Of God is in development through Pacific Theatre’s New Roots initiative. This workshop is a reading of a few scenes from the play (with songs!), followed by a discussion and talkback with Laura and Shauna.
SUNDAY JUNE 19
3:00 PM | PLAY READING
by Tina Teeninga
Through treeplanting, Daria’s out to prove to those who’ve never believed in her (and there are a lot of them) that she’s one tough S-O-B. The only problem is, Daria sucks at planting, maybe at relationships, and even life-in-general. No matter, with the God of the universe at her side, she’s bound to get better in all areas and succeed, right? When things in the woods go brutally awry, Daria’s clear path towards personal redemption is blurred and she’s forced to reconsider all she knows about herself, others, and even God. A tough and tender coming-of-age story with a host of wonderfully weird characters set in the rugged, rocky forests of Northern Ontario.
This play is being developed as part of Pacific Theatre’s Working With community playwrights’ group. This event is a reading of Tina’s current draft, with an opportunity for audiences to share their thoughts on the piece through feedback cards.
7:00 PM | PLAY READING – THE LAST CONCESSION
by Kathy Parsons
A comedy/drama set on a farm in rural Ontario. An old farmer picks up a ‘city-girl’ wandering along the road early one morning and takes her home. The city-girl won’t tell anyone who she is or where she is from and sparks fly when the hired hand becomes suspicious of her. There is, however, cause for suspicion on many sides because she’s not the only one keeping secrets.
This play is being developed as part of Pacific Theatre’s Working With community playwrights’ group. This event is a reading of Kathy’s current draft, with an opportunity for audiences to share their thoughts on the piece through feedback cards.