In the Wings: San Diego REP's Black Voices Play Reading Festival

San Diego Repertory launches a new online series Monday, with the spotlight on new plays by Black playwrights and directors.

San Diego Rep Black Voices will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through April 5. The schedule of plays includes:

  • Monday – Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids, by Vincent Terrell Durham
    and directed by Rondrell McCormick, focuses on a cocktail party at a Harlem brownstone owned by a white couple. The guests include a gay Black Lives Matter activist, his white partner and the mother of a slain 12-year-old black boy. Their fraught conversation ranges from the plight of underweight polar bears to protecting the lives of Black boys.                        
  • March 22 –Baton, by Deneen Reynolds-Knott and directed by Dexter Singleton, introduces a black couple on a date that is interrupted by news of unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s funeral. Ava and Tim grapple with their differing feelings about the case, and when Ava reveals her past engagement to a white cop, it sparks a night of accusations and confessions.   
  • March 29 – Mud Row, by Dominique Morisseau (a Tony Award nominee) and directed by Patricia McGregor, features Elsie, who hopes to move up in the world by marrying into “the talented tenth,” while her sister Frances joins the fight for civil rights. Decades later, estranged sisters Regine and Toshi must reckon with their shared heritage, when Regine inherits Granny’s house.
  • April 5 – The Great Khan by Michael Gene Sullivan and directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, about two Black teens, Jayden, a gamer, and tough girl Ant, who connect after she’s attacked. As they seek to defy expectations, define themselves and reclaim their identities, an unexpected guest shows up to challenge their ideas.

In addition, viewers can take part in a live online discussion hosted by artists and scholars, for conversations on topics ranging from race and class to gender and police brutality.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested price of $20, and can be obtained by RSVP’ing. Once viewers register for access, they will be emailed a link on Mondays.

Note: Photo credit – Screen shot, @SanDiegoRep, via Facebook.