As part of this month’s rolling world premiere, Philadelphia Theatre Company will stream its debut of Days of Re-Creation: A Virtual Play on Wednesday, September 30, at 7 pm. Conceived by Devenand Janki, Artistic Director of Live & In Color – a company centered around an annual two-week retreat at The Bingham Camp in Salem, CT, to develop bold new innovative work for the New York and American stages that promotes and celebrates diversity – the cycle of seven ten-minute plays revisits the Biblical story of Creation from the perspective of the pivotal events of 2020. In light of the significance of both the theme and the mission, the play is being offered for production with no licensing fees or royalties through July 2021, as a gift to the artistic community and to engender discussion of our shared experiences among participants and viewers.
Multi-award-winning New York-based playwright Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band, which is scheduled for regional productions in the Spring of 2021, following its critically acclaimed award-nominated Off-Broadway run at Pershing Square Signature Theatre earlier this year) numbers among the work’s seven illustrious writers of color (Yee, according to TCG, was the second most produced playwright in the country in the 2019-20 season), along with Tony Award-winning actor BD Wong (M. Butterfly), Masi Asare (winner of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award), AriDy Nox, SEVAN, Nandita Shenoy, and Erlina Ortiz. Each was commissioned to re-examine one of the seven days of Creation, recounted in the Book of Genesis, through the lens of our tumultuous time and its potential to effect the rebuilding, rebirth, and re-creation of the inequitable institutions of our society.
Directed by Rebecca Aparicio (who wrote the book of Pedro Pan, winner of five New York Musical Festival awards in 2018), the cycle, designed specifically to be performed in a virtual format, has a total running time of 80 minutes. The storyline segments and their Old Testament inspirations, in chronological order, are: Three Karens by BD Wong, based on Light and Dark; The Strong Friend, and Company by Masi Asare, based on Sky and Water; Soilmates by SEVAN, based on Land and Plants; To the Stars, With Love by Nandita Shenoy, based on Planets and Stars; The Nerd by Lauren Yee, based on Fish and Birds; S.C.R.I. by AriDy Nox, based on Land Animals and Humans; and La Egoista by Erlina Ortiz, based on Rest.
Days of Re-Creation: A Virtual Play streams through Friday, October 2, 2020, on the Philadelphia Theatre Company’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Tickets are free, but viewers must register for a link online, or by calling (215) 985-0420.