The Drama League goes virtual with ‘DirectorFest 2021’ this month

Starting today, the Drama League of New York, founded in 1916, to provide an artistic home for directors and the audiences they inspire, will present its annual longstanding multi-week festival celebrating the art of stage directing. Going virtual this year, and switched to June from the usual dates in January, DirectorFest 2021 honors the service organization’s 2020-21 New York Directing Fellowship recipients, chosen from hundreds of applicants worldwide, with a lineup that features four select early to mid-career women.

“This year’s Drama League Directing Fellows have responded to this extraordinary year with grace, innovation, adaptability, and deep curiosity,” said Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. “Our admiration for the enormous talent and determination of the theater community during the global COVID-19 pandemic makes us prouder than ever to celebrate their accomplishments with the oldest theatrical honors in America,” added Executive Director Bevin Ross.

The schedule of the four online productions, which were staged, filmed, and produced at A.R.T./New York Theatres this spring, is as follows:

Ameerah Briggs. Photo by DJ Potts.

June 7-14, the bull-jean stories. by Sharon Bridgforth, directed by Signe V. Harriday, and featuring Ameerah Briggs (M. Night Shyamalan’s Split) – Set in the 1920s rural South, the piece employs traditional storytelling and non-traditional verse to give cultural documentation and social commentary on African-American herstory, spirit, and survival  through the life of the eponymous woman-loving-woman.

June 9-16, The K of D by Laura Schellhardt, directed by Cait Robinson, and featuring Arielle L. Goldman (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) – A series of strange events over the course of a hot summer lead residents of small-town Ohio to fear the kiss of death following a car accident that kills young Charlotte McGraw’s twin brother, who bestowed on her an eerie power with his dying kiss.

June 14-21, Unfuckwithable by Eliana Pipes, directed by Cristina Angeles, and featuring Aleca Piper (Story Pirates) – When Black GIRL, desperate for American prosperity in a society with a wide chasm between rich and poor, takes a cross-country road trip by van, her actions force her to reckon with the cost of her ambition and the systems ingrained within her.

June 16-23, A Girl’s Bedroom by Enda Walsh, directed by Taylor Haven Holt, and featuring Tara Halpern (Story Pirates) – First performed at the 2015 Galway International Arts Festival, the short work by the Tony-winning Irish playwright (Once) tells the story of a girl who leaves her bedroom and family home at the age of six, and never stops walking.

The DirectorFest 2021 creative team includes Cate McCrea (scenic design), Christopher (costumes), Molly Tiede (lighting), DJ Potts (sound), and Caspin Jones (props), with Alberto Ruiz serving as Production Manager.

Streaming June 7-23, DirectorFest 2021 offers complimentary ticketing, but pay-it-forward donations are welcome. To RSVP, go online.


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