SAN DIEGO —The Old Globe today announced it will present the seventh annual Powers New Voices Festival, a weekend of readings of new American plays by some of the most exciting voices writing for the American theatre today, playing January 10–12, 2020. Playwrights include Chad BeckimJiréh Breon HolderTony Meneses, and Karen Zacarías; directors include Shelley ButlerEdward Torres, and James Vásquez.

The Festival kicks off on Friday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. with Celebrating Community Voices, an evening of short works created by San Diego residents through the Globe’s arts engagement programs Community Voices and coLAB. These readings include Codeswitchin’ Is Conscious by Andréa Agosto, Pussycats by Thelma Virata de Castro, Tune Up by Tim Cole, The Mojave by Jaime Estepa, Transit Stop by Jordan Jacobo, When the Sun Dies by Melanie Taing, and Courtesan Way by Zakiyyah Saleem. All of the readings will be directed by Gerardo Flores Tonella and Katherine Harroff. The Community Voices and coLAB initiatives are play-development workshops that provide professional theatre-making skills to select San Diego communities. This evening is a curated collection of some of the best short scripts developed in these programs.

The readings by professional playwrights commence on Saturday, January 11 at 4:00 p.m. with El Borracho by Tony Meneses (Guadalupe in the Guest RoomThe Women of Padillatwenty50, and The Hombres), directed by Edward Torres (the Globe’s FamiliarNative GardensWater by the Spoonful, 2017 PNVF What You Are; award-winning world premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity). Raul is sick. He drinks, because he always drinks, just like “el borracho” on the loteria card. In his final months, Raul is forced to move in with his ex-wife Alma, who now has to care for the man she thought she’d never have to see again, and his son David, who has secrets he’s longing to share. Tony Meneses’s compelling tragicomedy follows one family’s journey to come together so they can finally say goodbye.

It will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by Nothing Gold Can Stay by Chad Beckim (The Main(e) PlayThat Men DoMercy, and After), directed by Shelley Butler (the world premiere of A Doll’s House, Part 2 at South Coast Repertory, The Magician’s Daughter at Geva Theatre Center, Wrecked at Contemporary American Theater Festival). Clay and Jess have big dreams: college, refuge from the cold Maine winters, and a permanent escape from the paycheck-to-paycheck, rent-a-center-furniture lifestyle of their parents. When Jess finds herself temporarily stuck behind and at odds with her stepfather, she moves in with Clay’s mom and begrudgingly takes a job at the local chicken farm. Meanwhile Clay heads off to college, counting down the days to his return, desperate to avoid the destiny of his geography. Nothing Gold Can Stay is a love story for the opioid era.

The Festival continues on Sunday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m. with the Globe-commissioned Age of Innocence by one of the most-produced playwrights in the U.S, Karen Zacarías (the Globe’s Native GardensThe Copper Children premiering at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2020, Destiny of Desire premiered at South Coast Repertory and Goodman Theatre and continues to run regionally), directed by James Vásquez (the Globe’s American Mariachi, Tiny Beautiful Things, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, upcoming Hurricane Diane and Hair). In 1870s New York City, handsome lawyer Newland Archer satisfies everyone’s expectations when he becomes engaged to the sweet debutante May Welland. But when May’s older cousin arrives, her determination to live life on her own terms will make Newland question everything he believes to be true. Based on Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book, Karen Zacarías’s fresh new adaptation uses lush language and dynamic theatricality to examine the ways desire must negotiate the complex rules of society.

The Festival wraps up that evening at 7:30 p.m. with the Globe-commissioned Shutter Sisters by Jiréh Breon Holder (Too Heavy for Your Pocket in the 2018 PNVF, …what the end will be upcoming at Roundabout Theatre Company, “New Amsterdam”), directed by Shelley Butler (see above). Shutter Sisters tells the story of two women living parallel lives on the hardest days of their lives. A white woman named Michael attends her adopted mother’s funeral, while a black woman named Mykal kicks her adult daughter out of her home. A heartfelt and surprising journey through womanhood, identity, and what it means to belong.

“This year’s installment of the Powers New Voices Festival is very exciting,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “Each of the four plays we will present in readings is fascinating in its own right, and taken together they present a remarkable glimpse of the vitality of today’s American stage. Two of the plays are Globe commissions that we are delighted to hear aloud for the first time. The four works cover a range of styles, genres, and themes, but they have in common a bracing commitment to the idea that the theatre is a powerful place to examine big questions, from the deeply personal to the most public. It’s a thrill to have four major writing talents with us, and to see their work side by side with the best that’s emerging from the local playwrights who participate in the Globe’s community-based writing programs. This combination is what makes our Festival unique, and I’m looking forward to bringing it all to our audience and its adventuresome appetite for the new.”

The Powers New Voices Festival 2020 will take place in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets to all four readings are free but require reservations.  Reservations for the general public will be available Tuesday, January 7 at 12:00 noon. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Ticket Office at (619) 234-5623.

Many plays previously featured in the Powers New Voices Festival have gone on to future productions in San Diego and across the country, such as Faceless by Selina Fillinger in our 2019–2020 Season. Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap will be seen at Cygnet Theatre Company in January 2020. The Globe’s 2019 Season included the Globe-commissioned JC Lee‘s What You Are, Laurel Ollstein’s They Promised Her the Moon, and PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Tale of Despereaux. The 2017–2018 Season included Anna Ziegler’s Globe-commissioned The Wanderers (formerly Arranged) and Karen Zacarías’s Native Gardens. The 2016–2017 Season included Nick Gandiello’s The Blameless and Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew (also presented as part of a limited Globe for All Tour to several Community Partners). Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match had its world premiere here in 2016, then played Off Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company. Also in 2016, tokyo fish story by Kimber Lee, a playwright featured in a previous Festival with brownsville song (b-side for tray), and Jiehae Park’s peerless, had San Diego premieres at MOXIE Theatre.

In 2016, Paula and Brian Powers provided a sustaining gift to The Old Globe, and in recognition, the Powers New Voices Festival bears their name through 2021. Paula Powers currently is on the Board of Directors of The Old Globe and serves as the organization’s Secretary.

The Old Globe’s New Voices Play Development Program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Old Globe’s Community Voices and coLAB programs are supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.

LOCATION and PARKING INFORMATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. The Balboa Park valet is available during some weekend performances, located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit There is a 10-minute zone at The Old Globe, used only for daytime deliveries, ticket purchases, and handicapped access dropoff. Please note: GPS may guide you to this delivery address, which is different from the main entrance to our campus. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit–Parking/Detailed-Directions.

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