Brooklyn’s Brave New World Repertory Theatre has announced the fifth edition of its annual new play reading series, Brave New Works 2022: Ditmas Park. In this yearly series, Brave New World Rep (BNW) looks for new plays that address specific hot-button issues of social justice ranging from Race in America and Diversity to Climate Change and Police Reform. This year, the topic is: Stories from the Queer/LGBTQIA+ Community.
In celebration of Lunar New Year, Brave New World Rep will present a reading of Nina Ki’s new play, Gumiho starring Cleo Gray as Kam Greyson and Zo Tipp portraying multiple characters, helmed by Ashley Thaxton-Stevenson on Zoom on Sunday, January 30 at 7:00 P.M. Lia Chang will read stage directions and Tai Thompson will serve as Production Stage Manager.
Gumiho is a two-person drama about the Asian lesbian “scene.” Kam, queer Korean adoptee and former reality TV star, has just been broken up with by her longtime girlfriend. She quickly re-immerses herself in the alcohol- and lust-fueled world of the Los Angeles queer scene, where she uses and is used by women, and has sex without the burden of intimacy. Though a series of casual hookups, Kam moves from enjoying these casual hookups to questioning her value as a person – and finally reaches rock bottom in the form of a moment of intimacy with the one person who has always loved and believed in her: her best friend, Hyun-Joo.
FREE with a $15 suggested donation. Click here to RSVP. The Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of reservation.
January’s playwright Nina Ki says “Gumiho reflects intersectional aspects of queer Asian identity – and I’m thrilled to be back with BNW to present this play!”
Nina Ki is a Queerean (Queer + Korean) American playwright based out of Brooklyn. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2008 with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, and her plays have been read, recorded, and presented nationwide, including with MCC Theater, Queens Theatre, Brave New World Repertory, The Classical Theater of Harlem, Yale Summer Cabaret, the HBMG Foundation, and The Parsnip Ship. Her play “Moon Bear” was given special consideration for the Relentless Award, and her play “Taemong (Birth Dream)” was a finalist for the Van Lier Fellowship. Most recently, her play “Ravage” was a finalist for The Playwright’s Realm’s Writing Fellowship. She is an inaugural member of The Parsnip Ship’s Radio Roots Writer’s Group. To contact her or learn more about her work, please visit her website at www.ninaki.com.
Ashley Renee Thaxton-Stevenon (she/her/hers) is a director, dramaturg, and theater educator. Her work is focused on antiracist actor training, collaborative rehearsal practices, and contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare. Recent directing collaborations with Nina Ki includes Moon Bear (Stay True Festival), A Demon Inside (Fresh Fruit Festival), Origen Story (Stay True Theatre), and Sea Longing (Actors’ Theatre of Boston/Parsnip Ship). Ashley holds an MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College and is currently the Senior Manager of Education Programs at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, an Adjunct Faculty Member with NYU’s Program in Educational Theatre (recipient of a Spring 2021 USG Departmental Award), and a Core Ensemble Member of the Verbatim Performance Lab.
Cleo Gray (she/they) is a transnational Korean American adoptee actor and producer. They’re a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. Film: Late Night NY Theater: The Place We Built, JOB, a cautionary tail., These Seven Sicknesses, Soldier X. Cleo is also a frequent collaborator/creator with the film production company, Adventure We Can. Their hybrid documentary Keurida is in production now. www.keurida.com IG: @cleothegray
Zo Tipp (they/he) is a jewish-japanese-american actor/singer. TV: Dickinson. Film: Top and Bottom; Sideways Smile; Dissonance; Apocalyptic Artist’s Ensemble’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck). NY theater: INTAR: Bundle of Sticks; Red Bull: Gallathea; CSC/OSF: Play On! (Laertes, Mercutio/Prince/Paris…); Rattlestick: Pride Plays; Pan Asian Rep: Incident at Hidden Temple. Concert: Queering the Stage (Ring of Keys, Birdland); Songs for Our City (Times Square). www.zotipp.com IG @zotipp
Tai Thompson is a New York city based multidisciplinary artist specializing in immersive theater. Her work focuses on social consciousness, connecting communities, and inclusivity. Tai’s work is character-driven and socially conscious, spanning from hyper-realistic to satirical. Her work focuses on bridging cultural gaps and identity of self. Selected work: Moon Man Walk (FSU), Long Distance Affair (PopUp Theatrics, Juggerknot- Best Play 2021 Miami New Times), Miami Bus Stop Stories (winner Knight Foundation New Work 2020), Dark Star From Harlem (La Mama- 5 time AUDELCO Award winner including Best Direction of a Musical and Best Musical 2020), The Color Purple (Portland Center Stage- Asst. Dir 2018 SDCF winner), A.D. 16 (NAMT- 2018 Inaugural Asst. Dir. to Stephen Brackett), Romeo and Juliet (Old Globe- 2019 Drama League Fellow Asst Dir. Barry Edelstein), and multiple collaborations with Juggerknot Theatre’s Miami Motel Stories. She is a 2022 recipient of the Old Globe’s Classical Theatre Fellowship. Also a playwright, Tai wrote and directed Kleonostium (Old Globe), the one-woman show Not Quite Ripe, and is currently writing Lucky, a play focusing on what it really means to love and how one family’s inability to successfully share it affects their community.
Says BNW producing artistic director Claire Beckman: “These new plays celebrate queer lives from pre-Stonewall to the present with levity and heart.”
Sunday February 27: For Black History Month (Live)
Where Have All The Fairies Gone? by Aaron Coleman
Directed by Benjamin Viertel
AARON COLEMAN is a New York City-based playwright and lyricist originally from Los Angeles. He is currently the Playwright-in-Residence at Circle in the Square Theatre School. His play UNCLE REMUS, HIS LIFE AND TIMES, AS TOLD TO AARON COLEMAN was chosen by Primary Stages for their 2019 ESPA Drills reading series. He has recently been a Finalist for NYTW’s 2050 Fellowship, the DGF Fellowship, The Civilians’ R&D Group, and the 2019 Playwrights’ Week at The Lark. He has also been a Semi-Finalist for the Jerome Fellowship at The Playwrights’ Center and the Creative Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farms. He has developed work with The Workshop Theater and others. Select works include lyricist for the Off-Broadway musical IMELDA written with East West Players and New Musicals Inc. (Pan Asian Rep, David Henry Hwang Theatre), and co-book writer for STAY FOREVER: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (Renberg Theatre), produced at New World Stages as FOREVER DUSTY. As a lyricist with New Musicals, Inc. in Los Angeles, Aaron has developed musicals for McCoy Rigby Entertainment, the Celebration Theatre, and American Folklore Theatre. Aaron is also an accomplished director with shows presented with New Musicals, Inc., New York’s Prospect Theater Company and the Hudson Theatre Los Angeles. Aaron is an MFA graduate in Writing for Screen and Television from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and earned his B.A. in Drama from the University of California, Irvine. He is also a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.
Benjamin Viertel (Director) Recent: BETWEEN THE BARS (HERE Arts), BRIC TV’s Original Series 86’d, THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (New Ohio Theater), FIREFACE (The Brick), KRAGTAR: AN AMERICAN MONSTER MUSICAL (West End Theatre), and award-winning webseries BLANK MY LIFE. Benjamin was the 1st AD for Ricky D’Ambrose’s film THE CATHEDRAL premiering at 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Benjamin has developed work with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, BAM, Roundabout Theater, Huntington Theater, The New Group, and The Civilians. Member of The Orchard Project’s Greenhouse Lab (2021-2023), Kennedy Center Director’s Lab, MTC’s Directing Fellow, The Civilians’ R&D Group. Artistic Director of Third Space. Education: Carnegie Mellon. benjaminviertel.com
Sunday March 27: For Women’s Month (Live)
Daughters of the Sexual Revolution by Dana Leslie Goldstein
Directed by Katherine Wilkinson
Playwright and Lyricist Dana Leslie Goldstein has won the New England New Play Competition, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Playwriting Prize, Different Voices New Play Award, ACTF New Play Award, Henry Hoyns Poetry Fellowship, AWP Intro Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize and numerous development grants. Her work has been seen at Manhattan Theatre Club, Cherry Lane, Culture Project, Julia Miles Theater (Women’s Project), The York, Theatre80, Theater for the New City, New Dramatists, Center Stage, BMI, Vineyard Playhouse, Pulse, Theater Row Theatre, Gene Frankel Theatre, The Barrow Group, Acorn Theatre, The Lark, Beckett Theatre, Neighborhood Playhouse, The Workshop Theater, Torn Page, Nuyorican Poets Café, Estrogenius Festival, Brave New World Rep, Players Club of Swarthmore (PA), Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga (TN), Clamour Theatre (FL), Pacific Theatre (Vancouver), TischAsia (Singapore), NYMF, on Ellis and Liberty Islands, at the U.N. and on Equity TYA tours. Dana’s newest full-length play GO DOWN, MOSES was selected for both Brave New World Rep’s Brave New Works Festival (zoom reading, March, 2021) and the PCS New Play Festival in Pennsylvania (in-person reading, Summer, 2022). It was a finalist in the Jewish Plays Project’s National and Regional Contests (Spring, 2021) and was a semi-finalist for both the 2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ashland New Plays Festival. GO DOWN, MOSES Is also currently a semi-finalist for the 2022 Athena Plays in Progress Series (2022). Monologues from several of Dana’s plays are published by Applause Books in the 2021 anthology “She Persisted” and by Smith & Kraus in their “Best Men’s Stage Monologues of 2021”. A collection of Dana’s short plays was published by Next Stage Press in May, 2021, under the title “Birth, Death & Bourbon: 3 Short Plays by Dana Leslie Goldstein”. Her play “The God Part” will be published in “Best Short Plays of 2021” (Smith & Kraus). Dana is a librettist in the BMI/Lehmann Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and a playwright member of The Workshop Theater. She has been a member of the Playwrights Lab at Women’s Project, NewShoe & the Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation Emerging Playwrights Lab. Dana holds MFA degrees in both Playwriting and Poetry, each of which were funded by full writing fellowships. Dana is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. For more information, please visit http://www.danalesliegoldstein.com. Agent: Michael Moore, (212) 221-0400, Michael@MichaelMooreAgency.com
Katherine Wilkinson (she/her/they/them) is a queer director based in Brooklyn. Katherine has spent the last decade creating new ensemble-driven performance throughout the US and abroad. She has developed work in Australia, India, Japan, Greece, Mexico, and England. Katherine uses imagination, intuition, and chest-pounding-jump-squatting energy to build trusting communities and invigorating transformative experiences. Katherine’s theatrical work questions how we can transform our fears and silences into a mutual language of action. And how we can uplift each other with both radical tenderness and rigor. Katherine has developed work with The New Ohio (Ice Factory 2019), Classical Theatre of Harlem, Juilliard, Signature, Columbia Stages, The Atlantic, Magic Theatre, Corkscrew Festival, SITI Co., Zen Zen Zo, Medea Electronique, Fusebox Festival, The Watermill Center, The VORTEX, The Oklahoma Contemporary, among others. Katherine has Associate/Assistant Directed for Anne Bogart, Sam Gold, Whitney White, Christopher Renshaw, and Robert Wilson. MFA Columbia University.
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Click here to learn more about the plays in the series on Broadwayworld.
Brave New World Repertory Theatre, a Brooklyn-based company, reaches under-served audiences to promote a love of theatre, with re-imagined classics and brave new works that reflect our diverse community. BNW’s free-to-low-cost programs range from intimate readings to large outdoor productions, and cast unique and historic Brooklyn venues in a leading role. We seek to tell stories that celebrate life and promote social justice; stories that make us laugh, feel deeply, and find common ground.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.
As an actor, Lia made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, directed by Geraldine Fitzgerald, and was featured as Joy in Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Sam Shepard’s 1965 Obie award winning play, Chicago directed by Joseph Chaikin at the Public Theater. Off Broadway credits include: Once Upon A (korean) Time (EST), Jeff Weiss’ Obie Award winning Hot Keys (Naked Angels), Raunchy Asian Women (Ohio Theatre), The Confirmation (The Vineyard), Behind Closed Doors (MCC), Power Play (Billie Holiday Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona, Underground Soap, and Famine Plays (Cucaracha Theatre), Derek Walcott’s Marie Laveau at the Castillo Theatre (New Federal Theatre).
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