In 2009, Ignition developed, premiered and launched both Michael Golamco's Year Zero and Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Both productions were later remounted by Second Stage in New York City. The Diaz play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
The plays for 2010 are The Subject by Chisa Hutchinson; Aurora by Leonard Madrid; Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat; Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho; We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 by Jackie Sibblies; and Undone by Andrea Thome.
The plays will be presented the week of Aug. 16 and will be directed by leading artists from Chicago and around the country.
Following the readings, two of the plays will be selected for intensive workshops during Victory Gardens 2010-11 season, and Victory Gardens will produce one of these final scripts in an upcoming season.
Ignition Festival 2010 Schedule of Events and Readings Aug. 18 at 7:30 PM
Ignition Scene Sampler
A sneak peek at all six plays with a playwright Q&A, followed by a reception.
Aug. 19 at 7:30 PM
Special Keynote Addresses
With last year's inaugural Ignition playwrights Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) and Michael Golamco (Year Zero).
Aug. 19 at 8 PM
A Reading of Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho
"The trophy wife of a border magnate wavers between her wifely duty and the love of her life as she navigates the dangerous waters between desire and obligation."
Aug. 20 at 7:30 PM
A Reading of Undone by Andrea Thome
"Loosely inspired by the Greek tragedy of Oedipus, Undone takes place in a city neighborhood troubled by fear and violence, where the unresolved history between a mother and daughter affects the whole community around them."
Aug. 21 at 3 PM
A Reading of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 by Jackie Sibblies
"When a group of actors gather together to give a presentation on a distant genocide, they realize that summaries are not enough. In their attempt to delve into history they struggle with stereotype, fear, and their own personal histories — uncovering the potential for brutality in all of us."
Aug. 21 at 7:30 PM
A Reading of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat
"Three kids are all but abandoned on a farm in remotest Middle America. But when Edith shoots something she really shouldn't shoot, the formerly indifferent outside world comes barging in — whether they want it to or not."
Aug. 22 at 1 PM
A Reading of The Subject by Chisa Hutchinson
"Having built his success on the gang-related death of one of his subjects, documentarian Philip Waterhouse is having a crisis of conscience. Of course, it doesn't help that he's being stalked by the mother of the victim."
Aug. 22 at 4 PM
A Reading of Aurora by Leonard Madrid
"Aurora Reyes, her husband Adelino, and her nephew Sol are forced to test their love for each other when the Lady Death visits the streets of Mora, New Mexico."
Ignition tickets are $5 per reading. A special, $25 Festival Pass offers access to all public events. Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens box office at (773) 871-3000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.victorygardens.org.
Ignition, one of Victory Gardens most daring new play development projects, was conceived to support the theatre's mission of new play development and diversity. In the spring of 2008, 120 writers of color under 40 years of age from around the United States submitted new scripts for the first phase of Ignition. The top six plays were then selected, workshopped and presented as staged readings in a successful weeklong festival later that same summer.
The current second annual Ignition Festival received over 150 scripts. Seven additional plays were selected as 2010 finalists: one week in spring by Kristiana Colon; Beautiful Province (Belle Province) by Clarence Coo; blu by Virginia Grise; microcrisis by Michael Lew; Yasmina's Necklace by Rohina Malik; Lost Accents by Qui Nguyen; Icarus Burns by Christopher Pena.
Victory Gardens Theater associate artistic director Sandy Shinner is producer of Ignition.