The OC-centric New Play Festival returns live onstage and on the web this summer. OC-centric, which was awarded the honor of Orange County’s “Best New Play Festival” by the OC WEEKLY, is the only theatre festival devoted to new works from dramatists who live in or hail from Orange County. This year’s festival opens Thursday, August 11 at Chapman University in Orange, complemented by digital recordings of new plays available at YouTube and Vimeo.
For 2022, the festival presents professional staged readings of two superb new plays in the university’s O.L. Halsell Foundation Studio Theatre, with props, lighting designs, and scenic and thematic elements that make them feel closer to a production. As a complement, OC-centric is also presenting a ten-minute play, a one-act play, and a full-length work online.
All these plays feature actors, directors and writers who have worked nationally as well as locally, who have proven that the theatre talent of Orange County belongs on a national stage.
“We are thankful to be back onstage for 2022 and glad to present these wonderful new works with such talented actors and directors,” says OC-centric founding artistic director Tamiko Washington. “This is our eleventh festival, and we are excited about presenting plays online this year as well as onstage.”
>> Live Onstage (August 11-20)
Kate, by Robert Riemer | Directed by Kelly McMahon
Featuring Izzy Geldbach, Toby Guebert, Stephanie Jeker, Elle Maslanova, Melinda Oschmann and Judy Rosenfeld
It’s summer in Laguna Beach, on the eve of Independence Day, and Kate wonders how free she really is. Her husband Gordon, a famous artist, has abruptly disappeared. Is he unfaithful, crazy, dead, or all three – and should she bother to care? Why doesn’t she feel fulfilled by what seems like an idyllic Southern California life? As the second wave of feminism crests, Kate, her daughters, her mom and her mother-in-law examine the meaning of love, family and independence. And when Gordon finally comes home, no one is prepared for what comes next.
Th-Fri Aug 11-12 @ 8pm | Sat Aug 20 @ 2pm and 8pm | O.L. Halsell Foundation Studio Theatre
$10 student tickets may be reserved via [email protected] and ocnewplays.com (show valid student I.D. and pay $10 at the theatre before the performance)
The House of Flightless Birds, by Baylee Shlichtman | Directed by Angela Cruz Martinez
Featuring Jon Lance Duran, Sara Guerrero, Nic Lara and Jose Orozco
When undiagnosed autistic Manuel tosses a wish to a satellite to make him feel less alone, an injured sparrow crashes from the heavens into his apartment patio. Manuel takes the bird inside to nurse it back to health in secret from his family, but all does not go according to plan. And as Manuel and his older brother Augustín work on ways to escape and transcend the days and nights in their unhappy home, the bond between them grows stronger.
Sat Aug 13 @ 2pm and 8pm | Th-Fri Aug 18-19 @ 8pm | O.L. Halsell Foundation Studio Theatre
>> Streaming on the Web (beginning in July)
These three plays are presented in fully produced staged readings, with actors performing in a conceptual environment augmented by professional lighting.
On YouTube @ OC-centric New Play Festival in July
Kvetcher In the Wry, a full-length play by Jordan R. Young | Directed by Shinshin Yuder Tsai
Featuring Joshua Kawika Aguilar, Paul Burt, Steven Harvey Hirsch and Hayley Jackson
This offbeat comedy-drama chronicles the evolution of Dizzy Moskowitz, from hit-and-miss Fifties comedian to Sixties anti-war activist to shlemiel. Dizzy is played by two actors, one providing the narrative and one depicting him as a younger man. Two additional actors play all the supporting roles. The story unfolds as the self-destructive funnyman ponders the age-old question – to be or not to be?
LOL, a ten-minute play by Craig Holland | Directed by Ruth Burgess
Featuring Lauren Hinrichs, Theo Rosenfeld, Christian Jordan Skinner, Claire Sparr, Lexie Watkins and Wade Williamson
Two young people with smartphones encounter a crisis in the park and comically struggle to do the right thing.
On Vimeo in August
Marcello and Musetta Break Up for Good, a one-act by Gillian Gonzales | Directed by Reed Flores
Featuring Amy Rebecca King, Judy Rosenfeld, Ramon Suzara, Nic Lara, Adrián Genesius Barrón and Justine Banal
The story of La Boheme continues in Marcello and Musetta Break Up for Good, as the relationship between Marcello and Musetta implodes, Rodolfo grieves for Mimi, Colline and Schaunard make plans, and Benoit, insensitive as ever, ups the rent. Marcello and Rodolfo realize that in life and love, sometimes you have to let someone go for good.
>> As always, we are updating our website, Facebook, and Instagram this summer with a stream of social media content. Follow us at ocnewplays.com, facebook.com/occentric and @occentricnewplayfestival.