Michael R. Jackson's White Girl in Danger, Melissa Li and Kit Yan's Interstate, More Set for 2021 New York Stage and Film

Readings and Workshops   Michael R. Jackson's White Girl in Danger, Melissa Li and Kit Yan's Interstate, More Set for 2021 New York Stage and Film
The incubator series returns to the Hudson Valley this summer.
Michael R. Jackson
Michael R. Jackson Marc J. Franklin

The 2021 New York Stage and Film summer season will include new works by 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Michael R. Jackson, 2021 Kleban Prize winners Melissa Li and Kit Yan, and more. The in-person programming will run at venues around Poughkeepsie July 17-August 1, with all tickets available at a pay-what-you-can price (on sale July 1).

“NYSAF is excited to gather artists in the Hudson Valley—and we eagerly await that first rehearsal when we come together to build stories that are the bridges for connecting communities,” said NYSAF Artistic Director Chris Burney. “We are grateful to our institutional partners—Vassar College, Revel 32°, and Marist College—for working with us to make the summer possible and to help bring live theatre back to audiences. After a year of working with artists online, we cannot wait to be back in person and in process together.”

Melissa Li and Kit Yan Valerie Caviness Photography

Marist College will host a presentation of Interstate (July 25) by Li and Yan, directed by Jesca Prudencio. The show follows a transgender slam poet named Dash who goes on a cross-country tour with his best friend Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter.

READ: How a Life-Changing Road Trip Inspired Writing Duo Melissa Li and Kit Yan to Pen a Musical

Following Interstate is Jackson’s White Girl in Danger (July 31–August 1), directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. The musical follows a young woman who lives in the “Blackground” of a melodramatic soap opera town called Allwhite. Tired of repetitive Blackground stories of enslavement and police violence, Keesha sets out to become Allwhite's leading heroine by appropriating the storylines of her three main rivals: Meagan, Maegan, and Megan. But as she gains power for herself, she also attracts the attention of the Allwhite Killer, putting her story and her life in more danger than ever.

Prior to the headliners, NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season will kick-off with an outdoor presentation of songs from Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson’s concept album Mexodus (July 17) at Vassar College’s outdoor amphitheatre. The work is inspired by the estimated 4,000–10,000 enslaved people in the southern part of the United States who pursued a journey into Mexico instead of looking north. A second performance will play July 24 at Marist College.

Next up is South (July 23–24) at Revel 32°, a music venue in Poughkeepsie partnering with NYSAF for the first time. With a book, lyrics, and music by Florencia Iriondo, and music and arrangements by Luis D’Elias, South is a solo musical about finding one’s roots and home.

Casting and artists-in-residence for all works will be announced at a later date. For more information, click here.

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