The Q-Fest Round Three was a full eight hours of theatre and talk-backs featuring 20 playwrights (five per theatre). Artists from Adventure Theatre MTC, ArtsCentric, 4615 Theatre Company, and Convergence Theatre had 48 hours to develop, write and rehearse a one-act, 10-minute play.
You could feel the love for theatre in both the response from the online audiences who saw a dizzying 20 new plays in a day and in the financial support.
The focus was on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGBTQ+ artists who were asked to create stories based on their communities.
Each theater hosted a 90-minute livestream on their Facebook pages, and all donations received during the presentations went directly to the playwrights. Some well-known DC theatre patrons and benefactors also put their money where their mouthes were by matching donations up to a certain dollar amount.
You could feel the love for theatre in both the response from the online audience who saw a dizzying 20 new plays in a day and in the financial support.
Below is a list of the shows, with the exception of ArtsCentric in Baltimore (I watched the afternoon and evening shows). The plays/playwrights are listed first and followed by the actors who participated.
Adventure Theatre began the Fest around 11 a.m. with:
“Imani the Great” by Shayla S. Simmons
“Spice of Life” by Brandon Rashad Butts
“In the Middle” by Rebecca Kiser
“both.” by Elizabeth Ung
“The Machine” by Da’Von Moody
Alex De Bard
Directed by Cara Gabriel
ArtsCentric in Baltimore followed and presented five shows. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch or to get more information.
At around 5 p.m., 4615 Theatre presented:
“The Master Key” by Renea Brow
“East Hall, Room 313” by Claire Lichtenstein
“The Woodcutter” by So-Jin Lee
“The Sun & The Moon” by Nathanael Hatchett
“Stillwood” by Jon Jon Johnson
Featuring Paige Washington, Jordanna Hernandez, Reginald Richard and Ezra Tozian
Directed by Gregory Keng Strasser and Dylan Arredondo
The final line-up for the day came from Convergence Theatre:
“Therapy” by Jasmina Tang
“Bloodlines” by Nikki Owen
“Muerte Virtual” by Adrian Iglesias
“Sunday” by Shalyce Hemby
Cast and Production Team:
Ryan Anthony (Actor and Stage Manager)
Tsaitami Duchicela (Actor)
Diana Gonzalez-Ramirez (Actor)
Olivia Haller (Dramaturg)
Mecca Howard (Dancer)
Joy Jones (Actor)
Aja Starkey (Dancer)
Lauren Williams (Dancer)
Jacob Yeh (Actor)
Daniel Young (Assistant Dramaturg)
Stan Kang (Director)
Elena Velasco (Director)
The 4615 and Convergence plays were intriguing in how much could be packed in a 10-minute arc. While a couple of plays left me confused, just watching all these new plays with the caliber of the writing and cast was a pleasure. The last play, “Sunday,” was a beautiful dance meditation on the traditional day of rest — a church and home day, and what that looks like when every day is a home day.
All of the actors were stellar in their portrayals, and for the most part, the shows went off without any technical glitches. It was a day to showcase talent on all fronts, and I’m sorry for anyone who missed it.
Running Time: Each of the four participating theaters had 90 minutes to present their plays and talkbacks.
“QFest 3.0” was streamed by Adventure Theatre MTC, ArtsCentric, 4615 Theatre Company, and Convergence Theatre on Sunday, September 6, 2020. For more information, go to each theatre’s Facebook page.