ALBANY — The Theatre Program of the University at Albany’s Department of Music and Theatre announced its annual FRESH ACTS: Festival of New Plays, will be presented digitally this year with five presentations of new plays from April 7-10.
The schedule includes 8 p.m. performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 3 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. All of the performances will happen live via Zoom, allowing the Festival to potentially reach its largest audience ever. There will also be a digital manuscript of the plays, together with interviews with the writers and information on the directors’ visions for the plays, available after the productions.
The festival will present readings of four one-act plays written, directed, stage managed and performed by students, under the mentorship of FRESH ACTS Artistic Director Kate Walat, associate professor and playwright-in-residence in the Theatre Program. It will also include a showcase of excerpts from student solo performance works-in-progress, presented by the writers, for the Friday, April 9 performance.
The plays were chosen from a competitive, blind submission process. The final play selection was made by Brooklyn-based playwright Amina Henry whose own play Interstate will kick off the Festival with a Zoom reading and discussion 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 22 as part of the Authors Theatre series, a free event open to the public and co-sponsored by the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment and the New York State Writers Institute.
This year’s FRESH ACTS festival includes two different programs of plays, presented by two ensemble student casts chosen by audition. The plays are: Brewed Kindred by Ryan Buchholz, Please Listen by Witnie Dupre, Hope by Christopher Guillaume and Face the Music by MJ Johnson. Directors are Natasha Daniels, Billy Feerick, Colin Gioia and Liv Larson, respectively.
A solo showcase will take place on Saturday, April 10 featuring work by Deborah Brannan, JadeElise Brown, Ryan Buchholz, Natasha Daniels, Claire Dell-Priscoli, Jordyn Drue, Witnie Dupre, Christopher Guillaume, Vyanna Hill and Ben Sinkora.