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Seven East African Theater Fellows Joining Sundance Institute 2013 Theatre Lab, July 8-28

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 13, 2013 at 11:32AM

Seven East African Theater Fellows Joining Sundance Institute 2013 Theatre Lab, July 8-28
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Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Labs
Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Labs

Sundance Institute today announced the seven projects selected to participate in the 2013 Theatre Lab, from July 8-28 at the Sundance Resort in Utah. Under the supervision of Philip Himberg, Artistic Director, and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the Theatre Lab is the centerpiece of the Sundance Institute's Theatre Program's year-round work and is designed to support emerging and established artists and to create a place where their original work can be effectively mentored and challenged.

The seven playwrights selected for the 2013 Theatre Lab in Sundance, Utah are: Adam Bock (The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Jackie Sibblies Drury (Really Really Really Really Really), Taylor Mac (The Fre), Mona Monsour (The Vagrant), Qui Nguyen (War is F**king Awesome). Mfoniso Udufia Sojourners), and Paula Vogel (The Vengeance Project).  

Of special note, seven East African theater Fellows who participated in the 2012 Theatre Stage Directors Workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and are traveling to Sundance, Utah, will divide their time between mentorship sessions with director Liesl Tommy and rehearsals of Lab projects to experience first-hand how play development processes function. These artists are: Habiba Issa (Tanzania), Aida Mbowa (Uganda), Rogers Otieno(Kenya), Wesley Ruzibiza (Rwanda), Freddy Sabimbona (Burundi), Azeb Worku Sibane (Ethiopia) and Surafel Wondimu (Ethiopia).

Fellows at the Lab will be supported by a team of advisors and colleagues who provide feedback on the material and process. Dramaturgs for the Lab are Janice Paran (Senior Program Associate), ElissaAdams (Minneapolis) and Jocelyn Clarke (Dublin, Ireland). Creative Advisors for the Lab are: PlaywrightLynn Nottage and Artistic Director of Tricycle Theatre in London Indhu Rubasingham. The seven projects were selected with input from an Advisory Committee including: Program Associates Liesl Tommy andMame Hunt Octavio SolisStephen Wadsworth and Senior Program Associate Janice Paran.

Projects selected for the 2013 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab are:

The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
By Adam Bock
Directed by Trip Cullman
Meet the Colby sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Five sisters, "It girls" slightly past their time, living in New York City, trying to figure out how to put up with each other. Family. What are you going to do?

The Fre
By Taylor Mac
Directed by Lisa Peterson

This project is part of Mac's "Kothornos Festival" (four plays that will premiere separately but ultimately be performed in an all-day festival mirrored after the Greek Dionysia). It is an all-ages play written in the form of Old Comedy. It is the story of an intellectual aesthete, who is trapped inside a mud pit in the middle of a swamp, and his desperate attempt at escaping the swamp's fatuous inhabitants who call themselves, the Fre. Commissioned by the Children's Theater Company.

Really Really Really Really Really
By Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Dan Rothenberg

Sibblies Drury's play centers on two women (the Mother and the Girlfriend of a conceptual artist who has vanished) leaving them to sort through his overwhelming body of work. It is a piece about artists, legacy and photography that asks about what we try to leave behind, what we actually leave behind, and how we deal with being left.

Sojourners 
By Mfoniso Udufia
Director TBD

Abasiama Ekpeyoung came to America with high hopes for her arranged marriage and her future, intent on earning a degree and returning to Nigeria. But when her husband is seduced by America, she is forced to choose between the Nigerian or the American dream.

The Vagrant
By Mona Monsour
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey

England/London 1982. Part three of a trilogy. As Arab émigré, Adham faces his last hurdle to secure a coveted permanent position at university, a wave of "domestic terrorism" hits his chosen city, while at the same time, the family he's left behind in the Middle East faces their own escalating horrors. The life Adham has created threatens to unravel, destroying the political and personal equilibrium he's spent 15 years perfecting.

The Vengeance Project
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Rachel Taichman

Vogel's latest play follows the circuitous path of Scholem Asch's play God of Vengeance from 1905 Warsaw to 1951 Stamford Connecticut. It chronicles a contentious work written by a young man during the Yiddish Renaissance: from the fights in the salon after its first reading in Warsaw to its triumph on Second Avenue New York—and onward to 1923 Broadway. What should be the pinnacle of the Yiddish theatre crossing over to the Great White Way becomes a spectacle of scandal: prosecution for obscenity, struggles over anti-Semitism, and oh yes, the first kiss between two women on the American stage. When does one fight to produce a manuscript? When does prudence dictate a manuscript stays in the drawer? And when should an author burn his/her own script?

War is F**king Awesome
By Qui Nguyen
Directed by Liesl Tommy

A politically incorrect action-comedy following the life of Unity Spencer, a young colonial girl imbued with immortality but cursed to fight in every American conflict from the American Revolution to present day and beyond.



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