Old Globe’s new play festival celebrates Black, Latino voices

Featured artists at The Old Globe's 2021 Powers New Voices Festival
Featured artists at the Old Globe’s 2021 Powers New Voices Festival, clockwise from top left, Lamar Perry, Daniel Jaquez, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, Jose Cruz Gonzalez, James Vasquez and Freedome Bradley-Ballentine.
(Courtesy photos)

The eighth annual Powers New Voices Festival will feature a dozen works by both local and national playwrights


The Old Globe’s Powers New Voices Festival returns next week with a slate of new works from both local and nationally renowned Black and Latino playwrights.

The eighth annual festival will be streamed online from Jan 21 through 24 on the Hopin digital platform. All performances begin at 7 p.m. Free 30-minute preshow panel discussions will be presented on three nights. Festival admission is free but reservations are required at Registration is now open. Here’s a look at the lineup:

Thursday, Jan. 21: Celebrating Community Voices

An evening of short plays that were developed in the Old Globe’s Community Voices and CoLAB community play development workshops. The four San Diego playwrights featured are Queen Kandi Colke, KishaLynn “KL” Moore Elliott, Jonathan Hammond and Thelma Virata de Castro. The readings will be directed by Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Katherine Harroff, Gerardo Flores Tonella and artistic associate Lamar Perry.

Friday, Jan. 22: “Fuente Ovejuna”

This 17th century Spanish classic play by Lope de Vega will be presented in a new translation and adaptation by William S. Gregory and Daniel Jáquez. It’s the story of a town rising up against a tyrannical leader. The reading is being organized by the Globe, TuYo Theatre and the Mexican consulate. The 6:30 p.m. preshow will feature festival Latinx artists discussing their relationship with classic Spanish-language plays and the kickoff of a new Old Globe podcast, “Cocktails with Canon,” hosted by Old Globe literary manager Danielle Mages Amato and Perry.

Saturday, Jan. 23: An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective

Five new plays by local Black playwrights Tanika Baptiste, Dea Hurston, Joy Yvonne Jones, Tamara McMillian and Milena (Sellars) Phillips will be presented, along with an adaptation of Rich Soublett II’s “Black Presence” photo docuseries. The evening is being produced by Karen Ann Daniels and Perry and directed by Daniels, Perry and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg. This event is the Globe’s first collaboration with the San Diego Black Artists Collective. Bradley-Ballentine and Perry will host the pre-show panel discussion with members of the San Diego Black Artists Collective.

Sunday, Jan. 24: “Under a Baseball Sky”

This new play by José Cruz González, who wrote the Globe’s 2018 world premiere musical “American Mariachi,” is the story about baseball’s deep roots in the Mexican American community. It was inspired by González’s research into the history of San Diego’s Logan Heights community. James Vásquez directs the reading. The pre-show panel will be a discussion with festival playwrights discussing the state of new play development in the pandemic. It will be co-hosted by Harroff and Mages Amato.

— Pam Kragen is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune