Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Window to the Soul: Getting Intimate with the Global in an Election Year

At Georgetown University in 2009, then-Secretary Hillary Clinton was asked by an undergraduate playwright how she viewed the role of artists in helping to promote human rights and amplify policy. Her answer?

"I think artists are one of our most effective tools in reaching beyond and through repressive regimes, in giving hope to people…I think that artists both individually and through their works can illustrate better than any speech I can give or any government policy we can promulgate that the spirit that lives within each of us, the right to think and dream and expand our boundaries, is not confined,no matter how hard they try, by any regime anywhere in the world. There is no way that you can deprive people from feeling those stirrings inside their soul.”

To us, it was no coincidence that the question was posed by a fierce and passionate young playwright. Live story-making – playwriting - is a powerful and immediate artistic tool that reaches inside the intimacy of the human psyche to evoke insight, perspective, emotional connection and, ultimately, change. And that is why, at Playwrights Foundation, we remain deeply dedicated to advancing and amplifying diverse emerging voices.

Each of the six plays of the #BAPF2016 festival reveal the many dangers that individuals and members of targeted groups face in their struggle to expand beyond boundaries imposed on them, and so doing tap our hearts and create a  “window into the soul.” From many dots across the globe – and from points inside our imagination – Korea, Peru, Japan, an urban future, and a suburban Middle America, to the fantastical world of gaming, and the hedonistic world of Las Vegas, these six writers “illustrate the spirit that lives within each of us,…to think and dream and expand our boundaries.”

At this #BAPF2016 – six vital plays will take shape.  Our audiences are in for a meaningful and delightful ride. This year’s crop topples convention, defies definition, and most importantly, will find their way to our theaters and to the lives of thousands of audiences. You are a critical part of their journey to completion.  So many of our past BAPF plays and play-wrights have landed full productions all over the U.S. and the globe, in no small part due to the work we are doing here together: rebuilding and revolutionizing our theater, telling our stories, and revealing our very lives to us.

Naturally, the festival would not be complete without some brainy fun. We invite you to all the festival has to offer: discussions on alternate theater forms, topical experts, parties, panels and catered lunches!

We are so thrilled to share these six visionary works with you.

Amy Mueller
Artistic Director

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