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The Playwrights Realm Announces Four Workshops for Beyond the Realm Festival

New works by M.J. Kaufman, Nia Witherspoon, Michael Yates Crowley, and Asiimwe Deborah Kawe will be presented as part of the monthlong event.

Asiimwe Deborah Kawe's new play Appointment With gOD will be presented as part of the Playwrights Realm's Beyond the Realm festival.
(photo provided by Blake Zidell & Associates)

The Playwrights Realm has announced programming for Beyond the Realm, a monthlong festival showcasing new works-in-progress with four workshops of new plays by M.J. Kaufman, Nia Witherspoon, Michael Yates Crowley, and Asiimwe Deborah Kawe. The festival will be presented in lieu of a second full-length production this season. Tickets for the festival are free and reservations now open to the general public.

The productions are described as follows: "MJ Kaufman (who was a Scratchpad Series playwright in 2017) will explore the world of projection in their latest play Double Atlas, a queer thriller with a shapeshifting central character. Nia Witherspoon brings aspects of a religious ritual to Witness, which intertwines the stories of black women warriors with Yoruba sacred texts. Michael Yates Crowley (whose dark satire The Rape of the Sabine Women premiered at the Realm in Fall 2017) presents Block Association Project — an interactive piece whose narrative starts long before the performance itself, as audience members receive e-mails and texts from the characters in the world of the play once they've purchased their tickets. Asiimwe Deborah Kawe's Appointment With gOD takes audiences into an American embassy in a foreign country. Using movement and sound, the story of Visa seekers is elevated to a religious quest."

About the festival, founding artistic director Katherine Kovner says, "Playwrights are always thinking of what's ahead, pushing boundaries, telling new stories, and imaging new ways to use the stage. As a playwright-centric organization, we've always strived to embrace playwrights evolving needs. We are constantly evaluating whether our programming is doing as much as we can to nurture exciting new work from early-career playwrights. In programming this season we wanted to encourage, big, bold, and unconventional work, so we decided to create space for those projects that needed a bit more support—ideas that were aiming bigger and pushing further."