Speak the Speech. Or Read It.

12 Apr

There’s been some amazing signal boosting on social media of the speech I delivered at the Humana Festival a few weeks ago. In addition, American Theatre Magazine and the lovely Lark folks have brought it to folks I wouldn’t have reached on my own.

How to Be an Artist in a World that Hates You (American Theatre, April 10, 2018)

The Lark Blog: Loving What You Hate When It Hates You, Too

Thank you to everyone for your inspiring and kind responses. I’m glad I was able to talk about things that we’re all feeling and am hopeful that we can keep forging ahead. GOOOOOOOOO TEAM!

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Morocco, Here I Come!

11 Apr

Marrak-YAAAAAAAS!!!

The secret is out, thank god (because let’s be frank: I was so excited that I was pretty crap at keeping this secret. So thank you, all of you, who kept it for me after I whispered it to you)!

I am so grateful, excited, and all kinds of other emotions to be joining the Sundance/MENA crew at the Theatre Lab in Morocco this summer. Lisa Peterson and I are reuniting to take apart and put back together Blood in Your Blood, an early draft of which you may have caught at a past LabFest. And since this year’s lab is filled with so many friends, I know we’re going to have a fun and super productive time.

Casting is still underway, but I’ll keep you posted on how that all turns out.

My Humana Festival College Days Keynote Speech

2 Apr

Last week on Saturday, March 24, 2018, I addressed the College Days attendees at the first full weekend of the 42nd Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. The wonderful folks at Actors Theatre of Louisville asked me to talk to them about transitioning from training to the professional world, and this is what I came up with.

Loving What You Hate When It Hates You, Too: Join playwright and Humana Festival alumnus A. Rey Pamatmat for a queer artist of color’s totally serious, life-or-death tips on how to survive in a world that hates and fears you—without having to be part of The X-Men. #liveyourtruth #soultherapy #Speedsicle4life

To say I had fun that weekend would be an understatement. The ATL folks were as welcoming and kind as they’ve always been, and the students, educators, artists, and other folks who attended were so generous with their attention.

Thank you to everyone and hugs all around. For those who couldn’t be with us, video of the speech is available above or at YouTube here.

Blood in Your Blood in Ma-Yi’s Fall LabFest

26 Oct

I found a tree troll.

My newest play Blood in Your Blood will be heard publicly for the very first time ever as part of Ma-Yi’s 2017 Fall LabFest next Monday. Once again I have a stellar team (how do I get so lucky? — seriously, now), and I’m so excited to share this play for the first time.

Details are below but beyond just plot and characters, this play could probably use a bit of context. Between A Power Play: Or, What’s-its-name, Tilda Swinton Betrayed Us, and a little one act I wrote called A Thing, it’s pretty clear that my playwriting post-2016 election has become more directly political. In particular, unseating ideas of white supremacy, male supremacy, and white male supremacy has sort of taken over my brain.

This play started when I was in residence this past January with Serenbe Playhouse who tasked visiting artists to create plays inspired by sites within Serenbe. During my time in that lovely, progressive, rural Georgia community, I sketched out a few scenes that took place under a tree. The scenes weren’t inspired just by the site; I wondered what had been in this idyllic environment before Serenbe existed. Were their secrets buried in this community’s origins? (It’s America, so, I mean, aren’t there always?) How do people live knowing the difficult, possibly violent history of the land they occupy? And with racism shoving itself into the foreground of every conversation these days, that’s what I’ve been writing about since January.

And about a dirty ol’ tree troll who talks about popping wood when young men sit on his face.

Come join us Monday! There’s something for everyone.

* * * * *

Blood in Your Blood

by A. Rey Pamatmat

Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

Star-crossed lovers, fractured time, and a lusty troll are all connected to the violent, buried history of Cora’s family. In her quest to find out how, Cora discovers an enchanted tree that might have the answers tangled up in its roots. But once she digs up the past, what will she do with it?

with Alton Alburo, Wyatt FennerJames Lloyd ReynoldsMaureen Sebastian, and Ching Valdes-Aran

Ma-Yi’s 2017 Fall LabFest
Ma-Yi Studio, 260 West 35th Street, Room 203
October 30 @ 7pm

Admission is free. Reservations are recommended. Please email chris@ma-yitheatre.org.

 

A Power Play is at The Atlantic TONIGHT!!!

17 Aug

Wait — to win an election a politician gets in bed with unscrupulous forces that then prove uncontrollable when they empower unstable people and incite violence? I wrote a play about that???

Yep.

Last night at The Atlantic Theater Company‘s Asian-American Mixfest you got to see some actual Nazi-punching thanks to Qui Nguyen and the War is F**king Awesome! team. Tonight the A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name team will take on our political establishment for embracing systems that somehow put us in a position of having to punch Nazis again. Also, cocklebread (link NSFW).

We’ve had a great time in rehearsals crafting this sucker. Join us tonight at 7pm!

* * * * *

A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name

by A. Rey Pamatmat

Directed by May Adrales

After State Assemblywoman Alex Hathaway’s district suffers a terrible tragedy, she goes to great lengths to capture a House seat in the next election. She even employs a strange, nameless thing to gain victory over her enemies through supernatural practices. But with all that determination and those ancient powers on her side, how did Alex end up with a community in shambles and a gun pointed at her head?

with Ethan Dubin, Will HochmanJason LiebmanTeresa Avia LimSarah NealisMaulik PancholyTijuana Ricks, Mirirai Sithole, Luis Vega, and Rocky Vega

Asian American MixFest
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 West 16th Street
August 17 @ 7pm

Admission is free. Reservations are required. Please email readings@atlantictheater.org.

 

A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name in The MixFest

7 Aug

ZOIKS! One of my most topical, experimental, ambitious, fun, and bizarre plays is getting a workshop and reading next week!

The Atlantic Theater Company is doing something amazing with their new work festival this month: they’re presenting the some of the awesomest playwrights in their first ever Asian-American MixFest! Not only are so many of these playwrights, directors, and actors my friends, colleagues, and the people to whom I literally owe my career (and, at times, sanity), but I get to present this crazy piece of which I am so, so proud.

Also, some of you might know that back in the day Sweet Baby Rey was an actor training at the Atlantic Theater Company through NYU. I’m sure you can imagine how excited am I to make a return as a grown up playwright. I’ve seen many a show there and admired (and hired) their graduates, but this is a whole other level.

To say, then, that A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name in the Asian-American MixFest directed by May Adrales at the Atlantic Theater Company alongside the work of Carla Ching, Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Rajiv Joseph, Qui Nguyen, Jiehae Park, Ralph Peña, Madhuri Shekar, Lloyd Suh, and Leah Nanako Winkler is a dream come true is not an exaggeration. And the directors — ! And the casts — ! Take a look at all the folks involved in this Playbill article. (Also, look: Rajiv and Lauren Yee are in their 2017 – 18 season!)

This MixFest is going to be a weeklong party of ass-kicking theatre artists at the height of their artistic powers. Come join us for the kick-off panel this Wednesday at 5:00pm, see the readings the whole week through, and then join my team as we close out the festival with A Power Play on August 17 at 7pm!

* * * * *

A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name

by A. Rey Pamatmat

Directed by May Adrales

After State Assemblywoman Alex Hathaway’s district suffers a terrible tragedy, she goes to great lengths to capture a House seat in the next election. She even employs a strange, nameless thing to gain victory over her enemies through supernatural practices. But with all that determination and those ancient powers on her side, how did Alex end up with a community in shambles and a gun pointed at her head?

with Ethan Dubin, Will HochmanJason LiebmanTeresa Avia LimSarah NealisMaulik PancholyTijuana Ricks, Mirirai Sithole, Luis Vega, and Rocky Vega

Asian American MixFest
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 West 16th Street
August 17 @ 7pm

Admission is free. Reservations are required. Please email readings@atlantictheater.org.

 

Keen Teens 2017!

10 May

My short play Tilda Swinton Betrayed Us is part of Keen Company’s 2017 Keen Teens Festival of New Works this weekend, May 12 – 14! You’ll also have a chance to catch two other new short pieces by Boo Killebrew and Eleanor Burgess on this triple bill.

Zi Alikhan is directing brilliantly and with the fullest heart. I’m very excited to have these young thespians tackle such an emotional play. Many of you know what a huge fan I am of Tilda Swinton, others might also know how deeply saddened I am by her recent myopia. It’s enough to make you want to throw a chair… or ten… or to have teenage actors throw them for you…

* * * * *

Tilda Swinton Betrayed Us

by A. Rey Pamatmat
directed by Zi Alikhan

An actress’s fan club finds its survival threatened when the actions of their beloved icon leave the group sharply divided on how to respond. Discovering that they can’t address this incident without acknowledging broader cultural truths, they realize the only way forward is to discuss the difficult and complicated things we don’t like talking about.

with
Saman Bayako, Petra Brusiloff, Marina Davey, Jake Dylan, Tashi Everett, Maeve Farrell, Natalya Gammon, Irene Lauren, Sadie Parker, and Craig Steely, Jr.

assistant director
Henry Nettleton

assistant stage manager
Marisa Ayerst

2017 Keen Teens Festival of New Work
The Lion Theatre in Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street (btw 9th and 10th)
Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14, 2017
Get Tickets

Another Beautiful Day

15 Nov

Come one, come all! My play Beautiful Day is returning in an all new form for Ma-Yi’s Fall LabFest this Thursday, 11/17 @ 7pm.

As mentioned when Picture 24 was in last year’s Winter LabFest, I’ve been at work on a three-play cycle now called Safe, three queer plays. Beautiful Day is Play 2 in that cycle. The cycle in full is about remaining human in a world that dehumanizes you. The plays follow the personal relationships of Joey (the queer, Filipino-American photographer introduced in Picture 24) over the course of 15 years — a time in which perceptions of LGBT Americans shifted drastically from deviance to conditional acceptance.

I’m reuniting with Pat Diamond (director of the world premieres of Thunder Above, Deeps Below and A Spare Me) for this one, so it will be a family affair!

* * * * *

Image by Angi Parks

Image by Angi Parks

Beautiful Day

by A. Rey Pamatmat
directed by Pat Diamond

In 2007, Joey, Felicia, Kat, and Matthew reunite for a wedding in their small hometown of Port Huron, Michigan where a constitutional amendment was passed defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Haunted by their past lives, they navigate the present traditions of marriage in the five nights preceding one beautiful day.

With Helen Cespedes, Cleo Gray, Mark Junek, Jacob KnollJeffrey Omura, and Maria Peyramaure

Ma-Yi Writers Lab’s Fall LabFest
Ma-Yi Studio, 260 West 35th Street, Room 203
Thursday, November 11 @ 7:00 pm

Tickets are free but reservations are recommended. Click here to RSVP.

Thunder at The Yale Cabaret!

2 Nov

cabI typically don’t post productions of my plays with which I’m not directly involved, but there’s something happening at my alma mater that is too exciting not to mention.

My play Thunder Above, Deeps Below is being performed at The Yale Cabaret this weekend, November 3 – 5, with a trans woman in the part of Gil for the first time in it’s history! Bianca Castro (who you may know as Jiggly Caliente from RuPaul’s Drag Race) is joining current Yale School of Drama students Patricia Fa’asua, Jason Land, Francesca Fernandez MacKenzie, Ricardo Perez, and James Udom under Sebastian Arboleda’s direction.

I’ll be in New Haven for the Saturday early show at 8:00pm and will hang out afterward to chat. Show info and tickets for all performances are available here.

Come join us!

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-10-28-51-am

I Am Bad at This, Part 2 of 2

24 Oct

Next, Actors Theatre of Louisville fun times and more!

First, tonight and tomorrow a play I wrote for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s New Play Project will be performed by their Professional Training Company. It’s a quirky, site specific piece called Gratuitous Nudity and the Undisclosed Costs of Questioning Surveillance Rather Than Bad Broccoli and you can get tickets to the four performances here. It’s a little bit about broccoli, a whole lot about surveillance, and the the apprentice actors and director Sammy Zeisel are doing some excellent work. Come see them shine!

I also have a reading coming up on November 17th as part of Ma-Yi’s Fall LabFest. Details are still being worked out for that, but I promise I’ll keep you posted this time.

* * * * *

Gratuitous Nudity... Bad Broccoli

Gratuitous Nudity and the Undisclosed Costs of Questioning Surveillance Rather Than Bad Broccoli

by A. Rey Pamatmat
directed by Sammy Zeisel

A group of people who have done nothing wrong are being watched like they’ve done everything wrong. They grapple with government surveillance, its benefits and compromises, and the clever ways you can use metadata to find out things about your friends, family, mortal enemies, strangers, and assassination targets.

with Jenn Geiger, Kevin Kantor, Sam Kotansky, Anna Lentz, Kathiamarice Lopez, and Laakan McHardy

Presented by The Actors Theatre of Louisville
at

The Louisville Nature Center
3745 Illinois Avenue
Louisville, KY
Monday, October 24th @ 7pm and 9pm
Tuesday, October 25th @ 2pm and 4pm

The performances are FREE but ticketed and open to the public. Please call the Box Office at (502) 584-1205 for more information.

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