WP Theater has announced the creative teams for its 2022 Pipeline Festival, which runs March 24-May 14, and the cast for the festival's first project, They Came in the Night. The festival will also hold three Black Theater Nights for the three plays penned by Black playwrights.
The festival will present five new works in development: They Came in the Night (March 24-26), Room Enough (For Us All) (April 14-16), Kin (April 21-23), plural (love) (April 29-May 1), and RE/MEMORI (Of Hair Land & Sea)-Working Title (May 12-14).
These works have been created over the course of the two-year WP Lab residency. Performances range from staged readings to full-length workshop productions presented live and in-person with one project streaming.
Written by Zizi Majid, They Came in the Night stars Sarah Nina Hayon, Hana Chamoun, and Lameece Issaq. The play follows Zsa Zsa, following the death of her mother, and her recently-immigrated aunt from Baghdad as their family deals with the aftermath of America's fraught War in Iraq. Carolyn Cantor directs the production and is joined by dramaturg Kristin Leahey, lighting designer Liz Schweitzer, sound designer Caroline Eng, associate sound designer Joe DiBernardo, and production stage manager Bea Perez-Arche. Stage directions will be read by Jackie Romankow.
Room Enough (For Us All) by Daamiah Mubashshir takes a look at the journey of an African-American Muslim family coming together for an Eid celebration. Recently widowed Fatimah invites her estranged and queer daughter Jamillah home after 10 years, intending to make progressive changes to the family's holiday that Fatima's son, Abdullah, rejects. Katherine Wilkinson directs with scenic design by Deilis Curiel, lighting design by Judy Kagel, sound design by Caroline Eng, and associate sound design by Joe DiBernardo. The show's Black Theater Night will be held April 15.
Next will be Gethsemane Herron-Coward's Kin, the first part of a trilogy investigating the interrelations between sexual trauma, memory, and the temporality of violence. GHC's family members gather to welcome an imprisoned relative home, spurring her to reveal her worst secret via the internet. Led by director Chika Ike, the creative team features costume designer Alexis Carrie, lighting designer Kat C. Zhou, sound designer Caroline Eng, fight choreographer and intimacy director Rocio Mendez, stage manager Tyler Danhaus, associate sound designer Joe DiBernardo, and assistant stage manager Jessica Dell Beni. Kin's Black Theater Night is scheduled for April 22.
Co-written by Haruna Lee and Jen Goma, plural (love) is a short film about the boundaries of desire, power, and responsibility inspired by auto-theorists Audre Lorde, Maggie Nelson, and Roland Barthes. This pastiche of styles that layers autobiography with theory, pop songs, and rituals is directed by Sophiyaa Nayar. The film features director of photography Helena Gruensteidl, production designer Deilis Curiel, assistant production designer Katherine Gaunche, costume designer Karen Boyer, and editor Kate Freer. The first assistant director is Lauren La Melle, and the sound engineer is Mariya Chulichkovoa.
Closing the festival is RE/MEMORI (Of Hair Land & Sea) - Working Title. Written by Nambi E. Kelley, this one-woman show asks questions about dreaming, ancestry, consciousness, and agency in a construction of a Black woman's understanding of how she connects to her ancestors. The work, commissioned by National New Play Network, spans American history from slavery to Black Lives Matter through one family over the generations. Machel Ross will direct with lighting design by Cheyenne Sykes, sound design and original compositions by Christopher Darbassie, and production stage management by Caren Morris.
The 2022 Pipeline Festival is the fourth iteration of the biennial showcase of playwrights, directors, and producers participating in the WP Lab residency. Casting for the festival is by Daryl Eisenberg and Ally Beans of Eisenberg/Beans Casting. Penzi Hill serves as the festival's associate producer.