This June, InterAct Theatre Company will present a month of new work in collaboration with theatres from around Philadelphia for what they are calling JUNE-A-PALOOZA. It will be a celebratory festival of dynamic readings, celebrations, and workshops highlighting new work from InterAct and more than a dozen other area artists and companies.
At a town hall on the state of new plays in Philadelphia hosted by InterAct last December, an idea was introduced that larger theatres might consider selectively offering space to less well-established entities for new play development and public showings. The purpose would be to support and showcase the work of younger companies, helping them to develop new material without being limited by rental expenses.
When recently, due to personal reasons of the author/performer, a planned production of DRAW THE CIRCLE by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen was unable to continue, InterAct decided to turn this loss into an opportunity for the community. While the cancellation of a production was disappointing, InterAct is pleased to be able to fulfill the promise of helping raise the general profile of new work in Philadelphia. Invited companies have been given time in the rehearsal room at The Drake, as well as access to The Proscenium theatre for public showing.
“It is a natural fit for our vision of The Drake as a regional center for new plays in Philadelphia,” said Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin. “While we are disappointed not to be able to move forward with DRAW THE CIRCLE, we are excited to celebrate the great diversity of new work being made by artists around the region.” Rozin continued, “The no-limits feel of the festival might be the most dynamic part – for example, we are considering a half-day in the theatre when dog owners can bring their dogs to play on stage, for an event called ‘Dramatic Paws.’ That’s the kind of freedom and fun we are hoping to engender with June-A-Palooza.”
The non-canine line up for JUNE-A-PALOOZA includes the reading of a new play by longtime InterAct playwright-in-residence, Thomas Gibbons, a collaboration between InterAct Theatre Company’s Core Playwrights and Directors Gathering, play readings by resident partners at The Drake — Azuka Theatre, Inis Nua Theatre, Simpatico Theatre and PlayPenn – as well as readings, showings and performances by The Foundry, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA), Power Street Theatre Company, Theatre in the X and Tongue & Groove. Other events include InterAct Apprentices’ Annual Showcase, poetry reading by Warrior Writers, and a regional meeting of the Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL).
Because of the last minute nature of the celebratory festival the full schedule is not yet fully confirmed, but it will include a kick-off party on the evening of June 1st prior to a presentation by Theatre in the X, a June 14 block party to celebrate the dedication of a new mural on the Eastern façade of The Drake (in collaboration with Mural Arts), and very possibly a day of puppies playing on stage.
Celebrating its 31st season and new home at the Drake, InterAct is a theatre for today’s world, producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. Founded in 1988 by Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin, InterAct seeks to entertain audiences by producing world-class, thought-provoking productions, and to use theatre as a tool to foster positive social change and civic discourse. Through artistic and audience outreach programming, InterAct makes a significant contribution to the cultural life of Philadelphia and the American theatre.