Virtual festival shines spotlights on plays based on truth
“It feeds your soul.”
The it being referred to is Fran Powers describing the magic of creating theatre.
In March 2021, a full year has passed since Working A Musical completed its run, and Powerstories Theatre, like all others, turned off its stage lights, closed its doors, and collectively held its breath during a pandemic that took the entire world by surprise.
On March 10, 2021, the theatre will re-emerge from its extended intermission to debut as a brand-new hybrid live and professionally-live-streamed film theatre venue. Powerstories invested in the ability to provide patrons worldwide an opportunity to take a virtual seat without leaving their homes’ comfort or safety.
A collaboration with Outcast Theatre Collective, The Voices of Truth Festival makes its inaugural debut from the technology-updated theatre on March 10-28, 2021.
Sixteen thought-provoking, conversation-starting productions – fourteen original plays and two curated as the dream productions of its directors – will take three different directions to the virtual stage. The playwrights had a choice to produce their play live-streamed from Powerstories, via Zoom, or as a prerecorded theatre experience.
“Theatre is a transformative experience, and during this time of COVID, even if we can’t have our patrons seated in our theatre yet, we felt we owed our audiences lots of opportunities for transformation,” explained Fran. “In late 2020, we threw out a wide net and asked for playwrights to give us their plays based on true stories. And they did! We are excited to be presenting fifteen very diverse themes. We have authors from here and around the nation, with local, national, and in the case of Dwayne Yancy’s story, “Miss Mitchell’s Comet,” even an international cast.”
After receiving submissions from all over the world, a play committee read, evaluated, and virtually met to discuss each play. Topics covered in the 15 selected plays are the first female astronomer, a hearing child raised by deaf parents without ASL, a potential school shooting and its aftermath, mental illness and sexual violence, a homicide trial, a young trans woman’s struggle, homelessness, a ghost story, an eating disorder, hiding failing health, crowd-sourced reflections on the outgoing president, the extinguishment of self-expression, the social impact and polarization of healthcare in 2020, exposing secrets, and Outcast’s theatre of the oppressed.
Several plays in the festival will feature post-show talkback discussions with the playwright, cast, crew, and noted experts in the field, providing live questions and answers sessions via Zoom.
With the goal to make theatre accessible to everyone impacted by Coronavirus, Powerstories is offering an Early Bird All-Access 16-Show Festival pass through February 14 for only $79, after February 14, $99 until March 8. Individual tickets are also available at $10 per show.
“More than ever, in this time in our country’s history, we feel compelled to honor our mission statement and bring Truth to the stage. We hope that The Voices of Truth Festival will increase courage and confidence, deepen appreciation for diversity, and strengthen people’s bonds. Whether you are an actor, a director, or an audience member, we all miss that feeling that is telling a story, a feeling that only live theatre can give. We can’t wait to give that back to our audience and artists in March with our Voices of Truth Theatre Festival.”
To learn more or to purchase tickets for the virtual Voices of Truth Theatre Festival on March 10-28, 2021, visit https://powerstories.com/voices-of-truth-theatre-festival-schedule. Powerstories Theatre is proud to be sponsored by Hillsborough County Commissioners and Arts Council.
- Wednesday, March 10 – 8 pm
Listen… Can You Hear Me Now? By Gloria Rosen (New York)
A talkback will follow on Zoom with playwright and other experts
- Thursday, March 11 – 8 pm
Trifles By Susan Gladspell – Project Curated By Sheri Whittington (Florida)
- Friday, March 12 – 8 pm
Miss Mitchell’s Comet By Dwayne Yancey (Virginia)
- Saturday, March 13 – 8 pm
A Conversation with Myself By Julliette Moore (Florida)
- Sunday, March 14 – 8 pm
The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe By Rich Courage (New York)
- Thursday, March 18 – 8 pm
Scenes from the Outcast By Outcast Theatre Collective (Florida)
- Friday, March 19 – 8 pm
Dancing Among the Wildflowers By David John Preece (New Hampshire)
- Saturday, March 20 – 8 pm
A Necessary Conversation By Peter Nason & Deborah Bostock-Kelley (Florida)
A talkback will follow on Zoom with playwrights, cast, crew, and noted bully-prevention, mental health, and gun violence prevention experts
- Sunday, March 21 – 8 pm
No Know Nothing By Elizabeth Indianos (Florida)
Survivor By Ellen Kaplan (Massachusetts)
- Wednesday, March 24 – 8 pm
Outcast Interactive Forum By Outcast Theatre Collective (Florida)
- Thursday, March 25 – 8 pm
The Drowning Girls By Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson, and Daniela Vlaskalic – Project Curated By Clareann Despain (Florida)
- Friday, March 26 – 8 pm
Stat Geek in Natick By Bretton Reis (New Hampshire)
- Saturday, March 27 – 8 pm
Classic Six By Leigh Flayton (New York)
- Sunday, March 28 – 8 pm
45 – Project Curated by Pamela Bulu, complete list of playwrights in the program (Florida)
In A Moment By T.R. Butler (Florida)