Unleashed 2020 to Run 2nd Week of November
Pork Filled Productions has set directors and dates for its third Unleashed festival, a celebration of new plays by POC playwrights. These scripts push past the bounds of conventional theatre to tell exciting new BIPOC-led stories in genres like horror, science fiction, fantasy and beyond.
Unleashed: New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century will take place November 10 through 14 as an online festival. Directors include Anny Ly, Grecia Leal Pardo, Zenaida Rose Smith, Nabra Nelson, Kiefer Harrington and Valerie Curtis Newton. Shows are at 7 pm.
The lineup begins Tuesday, November 10, with I Thought I Was Safe, by Patrick Zhang, directed by Anna Ly, with dramaturgy by Daniel Rector. An amalgamation of the noir and horror genres, I Thought I Was Safe explores multigenerational immigrant trauma as it converges with decaying urban America.
Next, on Wednesday, November 11, will be a night of shorts. The Golden Disc, by Greg Lam, directed by Gecia Leal Pardo, dramaturgy by Lydia Diamond, is about two friends who have their day interrupted by the sudden arrival of an alien object. For the Living by Chie-Hoon Lee, directed by Zenaida Rose Smith, dramaturgy by Lydia Diamond, introduces us to a world of scientific reincarnation, and asks profound questions of where one life ends, and another begins. A third short will be announced at a future date
On Thursday, November 12, PFP presents 100 Hungry Ghosts, by Jesse Jou, directed by Nabra Nelson, dramaturgy by Gavin Reub. Graham lives on the most haunted road in America. After multiple tragedies upend his life, he begins to see spirits, as his neighbors’ own painful histories surface. Will he learn to let go of grief or will he meet a grisly end at the hands of one hundred hungry ghosts?
Friday, November 13 sees Miku and the Gods, by Julia Izumi, directed by Kiefer Harrington, dramaturgy by Stephanie Kim-Bryan. Miku wants to be a god. Ephraim wants to be an Olympian. Grandma wants to remember. And Shara wants people to just include him in the conversation, you know? miku, and the gods is an epic and small adventure that braids friendship, death, and power beyond what one could ever desire.
Finally, the festival caps off with a co-production with The Hansberry Project: Mustard Seeds, by Michelle Tyrene Johnson, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, with dramaturgy by Martine Kei Green-Rogers. On the banks of the Missouri River, a group of researchers gather at a former site of the Underground Railroad where slaves fought for their lives and swam for freedom. Under a full moon, old friends and colleagues are at each other’s throats as they struggle to reconcile their past. Nearby, spirits watch, as spirits do, trying to make sense of these mortals and find a way out.
A seventh show, CJ: An ASpanglish Play, by Mercy Floresislas, directed by Ana Maria Campoy and dramaturgy by Melanie Queponds, is being prepared for a special presentation in 2021.
Anna Ly is a Seattle-based director and a graduate of WWU. The current Directing Associate for Macha, she has also worked locally with PFP, REBATEnsemble, Mount Baker Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre KIDSTAGE, Evergreen Middle School and Foundry10. She is also a member of the 2018 Directors Lab at Lincoln Center Theater.
Grecia Leal Pardo graduated from the University of Washington in Drama and Classics in 2019. Previously, Grecia has directed Aesop’s Fables: a Devised Piece and The Penelopiad through UW’s Undergraduate Theatre Society. Grecias is also a stage manager, who’s gotten to work with Pratidhwani, eSe Teatro, and Off-Road Shakespeare.
Zenaida Rose Smith is Producing Director for MAP Theatre, Asst Production Manager & Casting Associate for Book-It Repertory, a freelance actor and a director. Directing credits: co-produced workshop of The Way Back; In the Grey City (Asst), Young Playwright’s Festival (Schmeater); selections of Spoon River Anthology (North Seattle College).
Nabra Nelson is a theater creator from Egypt, Nubia, and California. She is also the Director of Arts Engagement at Seattle Rep. Directing credits include: BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) (Renaissance Theaterworks), 26 Miles (UW-Milwaukee), Rep Lab (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Exile From The Land Of Gold (Tessellate Festival).
Kiefer Harrington (he/him) is excited to be back with PFP! Last time he was here, Kiefer got to direct the virtual reading of She Devil of the China Seas. Kiefer was also involved with UNLEASHED 2019, working with Kendall Uyeji on his play Old & New. Other credits include: Hitchhiker (By the Seat of Your Theatre Company), Snow White (Assistant Director, Seattle Children’s Theatre).
Currently the Head of Directing at the University of Washington School of Drama, Valerie Curtis Newton serves as the Founding Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, a professional African American theatre lab. She has worked with professional theatres across the country including: The Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle Rep, Playmakers Repertory Company, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Theatre Workshop, and Southern Repertory Theatre among others.
Since 2006, The Hansberry Project is a professional black theatre company dedicated to the artistic exploration of African American life, history and culture. From initial sketches to fully-realized productions, the Hansberry Project promotes and supports black theatre artists of diverse interests and disciples, speaking on a range of themes and working in a variety of styles.
The oldest Asian American theatre group in the Pacific Northwest, Pork Filled Productions centers Asian American and POC artists to imagine fantastical, inclusive and FUN universes. Through the genres of science fiction, noir, fantasy, steampunk, horror, and more, we envision a bright universe informed by diverse experiences and perspectives, populated by larger than life characters, where everyone’s story can be told. PFP’s season is supported by 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Unleashed receives support from the Hansberry Project.
Pork Filled Productions is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike, the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington with the services, resources and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success.