Atlanta’s Synchronicity Theatre is pleased to announce the four works that will be produced as part of this season’s Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project. They are: The Unbound trilogy by Shernā Ann Phillips with visual art by Dr. Lisa Whittington (September 17 – 18, 2019), What the Woolf Wore by Abraham Johnson (November 13, 2019), The Gun Show by Elizabeth Dinkova (January 15, 2020), and I’m a Motherf*#%ing Super Star: So Where Are My Babies? by Valeka J Holt (May 13, 2020). All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at Synchronicity Theatre. Performances are free and open to the public, but require reservations. Please go to synchrotheatre.com to reserve tickets and for more information. Complete project descriptions are below.
Stripped Bare focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages artists to think about the essentials of theatre “stripped of” intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes. The focus is on actors, words, passion, and ideas. Each selected project will get up to three days in Synchronicity Theatre’s performance space. The participants will receive a technician, producer and/or facility manager, house manager, and a box office staffer for each performance. Each project will also receive marketing support and mention on Synchronicity’s website.
Learn more about Stripped Bare experiences and projects here: https://synchrotheatre.wordpress.com/category/stripped-bare/.
The Unbound trilogy
By Shernā Ann Phillips
Visual Art By Dr. Lisa Whittington
September 17 – 18, 2019
The Unbound trilogy features short African-American slice-of-life stories set in a controversial visual art gallery:
Play 1: Ebb & Flow – An unrefined slam poet pursues a sophisticated philosophy professor on opening night, and a battle of the sexes “ebbs and flows.”
Play 2: Tison Tucker – When a 17-year-old activist confronts the gallery’s owner, she uncovers secret ties to slain visual artist Tison Tucker.
Play 3: As Purple is to Lavender – As they reflect on the controversy behind a white woman curating the visual art exhibit of a black man slain by police, a feminist and womanist unleash blistering honesty that tests their decades-long friendship.
About Shernā Ann Phillips
Shernā Ann Phillips (“Sher-nay”) is a writer and performer from Baltimore, Maryland and based in Atlanta, Georgia. An instructor and scholar, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Morgan State University and teaches English 1101 within the University System of Georgia. A screenwriter, her first feature-length script, Induction, advanced to the second round of the 2016 Sundance Screenwriters Lab and placed in the Top 15% in the 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. As a playwright, her work has entertained audiences in festivals, universities and black box theaters in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. In June 2019, she directed and produced a Southeastern tour of her award-winning, all-women, multicultural choreopoem, Double X, with stops in Atlanta, Birmingham and Chattanooga. She is a communications officer at Atlanta Public Schools and a board member at Strand Theater Company, Baltimore’s only women-centric theater devotedly solely to promoting women’s voices on the stage. More information is available at www.shernation.com | IG: @Shernannigans
About Lisa Whittington
Dr. Lisa Whittington, a product of Harlem, NY, believes she has been called and pursued by the spirit of Art to serve a divine purpose in humanity. Her artwork heals, educates, narrates, and moves people to reflect, analyze, testify, and act. Her studio is full of cultural and biographical stories she is developing and waiting to share. Her work is fervidly truthful and weaves together a deep historical narrative on a seemingly colorful canvas. Yet still, like the sun revolves around the earth, her passion for creating and the power of art upon her revolves from studio to classroom. Teaching and speaking are just as much a beloved art to Lisa as painting. She has over 25 years of experience teaching art in public school and college classrooms. She believes her first mission is to help students to use their eyes and understand “why art?” Dr. Whittington is currently teaching at Drew Charter School in East Atlanta, diligently working to help put the “A” in their STEAM program. Her TED talk “What Does Art Want With You?” motivates other creators to think about their purpose in art. NBC News called upon her to shed light on a very controversial protest at the Whitney Museum in NYC. As an artist and an educator, she has stirred up discussion all around the world about black art and who should create it. Her works have been featured in juried exhibitions and museums around the country, creating additional healthy and necessary discussions about race. Several of her paintings are in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s permanent collection. Her collaged painting, “I Am A Man,” is currently hanging in the Marietta Museum of Art Metro Montage Exhibition. www.lisalovewhittington.com
What the Woolf Wore
By Abraham Johnson
November 13, 2019
After Harold’s Halloween party is abruptly cancelled, two couples – Marti with Georgia and Nik with Hon – have to fake smiles, finish their guacamole, and avoid the breakup conversation hanging over them – until drinks start flowing and the games begin. Will the shattered glass and ghosts of their pasts tear apart their current relationships? Is “The Monster Mash” the queer anthem we need for 2019? Come find the answers to these questions and more in this remix of the queer theatre canon.
About Abraham Johnson
Abraham Johnson is a Georgia playwright who writes about modern queerness, spirituality, and how being a person is hilariously, wonderfully terrible. He has been named a two-time Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow, a two-time finalist for residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a resident at the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and an undergraduate Research Fellow at the University of Georgia. Around Atlanta, their work has been developed or produced with Horizon Theatre, Out of Box Theatre, Essential Theatre, Lionheart Theatre, the Classic City Fringe Festival, and now Synchronicity Theatre. They have also published works with the Howlround Theatre Commons, Hello Mr. magazine, Athens Playwrights’ Workshop Press, and the Lambda Literary EMERGE Anthologies. Abe loves libraries, long showers, and uses any pronouns.
The Gun Show
By Elizabeth Dinkova
January 15, 2020
The Gun Show is an unnerving look at American culture through the buying and selling of firearms. Two outsiders from Atlanta journey to one of the South’s largest gun shows. There, they encounter a spectrum of beliefs and stories that make up America’s obsession with guns. In this participatory theater experience, audience members will encounter a curated presentation of views on gun legislation, and attempt to find common ground and solutions to a national crisis.
About Elizabeth Dinkova
Elizabeth Dinkova is a director and writer from Sandanski, Bulgaria and a graduate of the M.F.A. Directing program at the Yale School of Drama, where she received the Julian Milton Kaufman prize for Directing. She was the 2017-2018 Yale Directing Fellow at the Alliance Theatre. Upcoming projects include TIT co-written with Jesse Rasmussen at the 7 Stages Home Brew Festival; Rage, adapted from Stephen King’s novel at Quinnipiac University; and BULGARIA! REVOLT! co-created with Miranda Rose Hall at Single Carrot Theatre. Since moving to Atlanta, Elizabeth has directed a BRAVE New Works Festival workshop of Road to a Dream, Mark Valdez’s Alliance-commissioned new play about Buford Highway, and her adaptation of The Seagull at Serenbe Playhouse. Other recent productions include the opera Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck at Bel Cantanti Opera, and The Congresswomen inspired by Aristophanes with original music by Stew (Passing Strange).
I’m a Motherf*#%ing Super Star: So Where Are My Babies?
By Valeka J Holt
May 13, 2020
An ambitious D.C. stage actress with dreams to take over Hollywood and Broadway is finally starting to see the fruits of her labor. After several years of trying to conceive a baby with her loving husband, and blaming herself for the unsuccessful attempts, her dream of motherhood is “tick-tocking away.” But, during an exploratory appointment, one doctor makes an eye-opening, life-changing observation: “Maybe it’s not you.” Pushed to the extreme, will Valeka trust herself and choose her career, or will she have faith that God will deliver it all?
About Valeka J Holt
Valeka J Holt, affectionately known as “V,” is a critically acclaimed actress, director, professor, playwright, socialite, producer, casting director and digital content creator. “V” stars as Eileen, and is the lead casting director, in Dewey Ortiz Jr.’s The Runaways, the award–winning short and 2019 official selection at the BronzeLens Film Festival. Her one-woman show, I’m a Motherf*#%$ing Super Star: So Where Are My Babies? is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Her workshop performance at the Barbican Center in London received seven out of five stars. The show has an upcoming staged reading this fall in Philadelphia as a part of The Bridge PHL Festival. As a recent Atlanta transplant, “V” has become a member of Working Title Playwrights, has screened her award-winning film First Love at Screening Room ATL, and has participated in workshops and readings at True Colors, Alliance and Horizon Theatre Companies. More information at @valekajholt.
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