‘Tis a New Year and a New Festival Sprouts Forth (PWYC’s Start Tonight!)

Happy New Year, People! There’s a lot of good stuff going on!!! The press is welcoming a brand new festival with very generous interest and we’re thrilled for the light being shined on local playwrights in our brand new LOCALLY GROWN Festival!

So here’s the first of three wonderful features, and more’s a coming. But first, the important plug:

Pay-What-You-Can Previews Start Tonight for Renee Calarco’s wonderful world premiere, THE RELIGION THING. Read all about it everywhere!

Here’s the first piece, in today’s Backstage column of The Washington Post:

“The Religion Thing” is the inaugural play in Theater J’s “Locally Grown” festival, featuring work by D.C. area playwrights. The show, which opens Wednesday, focuses on two couples: one an interfaith husband and wife and the other their longtime friend, a recent born-again Christian, and her new honey, whom she met at a church mixer. The evangelicals are devout in their devotion to both God and each other.

Chris Stezin, plays “a non-observant Jewish guy married to a lapsed Catholic,” half of a couple who, as they age, “begin to miss the rituals of their childhoods and, I think, the substance that observing those rituals lends. . . . They try to navigate this minefield.”

Renee Calarco, the playwright, described herself as “Jewish and somewhat observant. . . . My mother is Jewish. My father was Catholic and he converted before marrying my mother. So half of my extended family is Catholic.
“Oddly enough it’s been a defining thing in my life. . . . How do you relate as a Jew in a Christian world? (read more here)”

Next great feature is in today’s Washington Jewish Week.

Participating in community-supported agriculture programs during the spring and summer growing season has become a popular way to eat healthy and subsidize local farms. At the Washington DC Jewish Community Center and synagogues throughout the region, weekly boxes of fresh vegetables and fruits arrive ready to savor during peak months from May through September. Why not, asked Ari Roth, artistic director of the center’s Theater J, and Shirley Serotsky, director of literary and public programs, support locally grown theater as well.

“There’s a precedent here at the DCJCC with the farm-share program,” Serotsky noted last week, “so it felt right to look at the JCC involvement with the locally grown movement and explore how it might work with theater artists.”

Locally Grown: Community-Supported Art From Our Own Garden is the result: a brand-new theater festival that shines a spotlight on Washington, D.C., metropolitan area playwrights, and includes a world-premiere mainstage production by the District’s Renee Calarco, along with a series of staged readings that run in repertory through Feb. 13. Altogether six playwrights will receive opportunities to share works in progress, develop new ideas or fine tune not-yet-produced works.

Read more here

And one last feature in Playbill.com.

Happy Preview!