In The News: Little Island Storytelling Festival Begins, Roundabout Announces New Cohorts of Director Groups, More


Read on for more theater info you might have missed in today’s headlines.

Inaugural Little Island Storytelling Festival begins July 21
As previously reported, a five-day storytelling festival, hosted by Artists-in-Residence PigPen Theater Co., begins July 21 in Little Island, New York’s new public park on the Hudson River. The multidisciplinary storytelling festival features singer-songwriters, musicians, poets and many more using a variety of art forms across the park to showcase the art of storytelling. Theater favorites attending the event include Amber Iman, Shaina Taub, Daniel J. Watts, Ato Blankson-Wood, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jose Llana, Kuhoo Verma, and more. The festival runs until July 25. For a full program of storytelling programs, visit Small island. organization.

Adriane lenox

The maternity concert Includes songs from moms, performed by parents
The maternity concert: the truth in music, featuring songs written by moms and performed by parents, will be available for free on International Mother Artist Day, August 2 at 7 p.m. ET, and will be available to stream through August 6. Presented by the Parent Artist Advocacy League for Performing Arts and Media, the evening will be led by Mary Hodges and will feature Tony winner Adriane Lenox, Pearl Sun, Darlesia Cearcy, Rodney Gardiner, Christina Acosta Robinson, Don Darryl Rivera and Joanne Javien with appearances from Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Charise Castro Smith, and more. Songwriters, selected by a diverse committee from over 136 song submissions, include Jessica Delfino, Miranda Ferris Jones, Becca McLarty, April Dae Okpwae, Ilene Reid, Katya Stanislavskaya and Rachel Woods, who is also co-musical director. The original songs highlight the universal and shared experience of caregiving and all the joys and struggles that come with it. The group will include Christie Chiles Twillie, Kristy Norter, Melissa Westgate, Shirazette Tinnin, Meg Toohey and Caitlin Gray with arrangements and orchestrations by Anna Ebbesen and Jennifer Green; the copyist / transcriptionist is Sheela Ramesh. Concert producers include Colleen McCormack, Rachel Spencer Hewitt and Adriana Gaviria. To book tickets or find out more, Click here.

Roundabout Theater announces new cohort for the group of directors
Roundabout Theater Company has selected the third cohort of the Leon Levy Roundabout Directors Group. Launched in 2019, the initiative provides professional assistance to emerging directors who have traditionally been denied fair opportunities in American theater. The participating directors for 2021-2022 are Jason Aguirre, Borna Barzin, Mack Brown, Daniella Caggiano, Kevaughn Harvey, Alex Keegan, Emilia Lirman, Andrés López-Alicea and Nicholas Polonio, under the direction of Roundabout Associate Artist Director Jill Rafson and Associate Artist Cristina Angeles. In addition to the new cohort of directors, the 2020-2021 cohort will continue with Roundabout for a second season, to provide them with a more complete experience after spending their entire year coming together digitally. To learn more about the program and the cohort, visit

Reinvent Rites of passage Spotlight on BIPOC artists
Rites of passage: Vision 20/20, a collaborative art and performance project focused on the lives and visionary future of black, native, immigrant (cis and trans) women of color in America, will be presented August 13-17 at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Massachusetts . Designed and developed by founder and artistic director Pooja Prema, Vision 20/20 was created in collaboration with 65 women of color from across the country and will see guests travel through 21 rooms, each experiencing a ‘rite of passage’ in the lives of women of color from birth to death. Featured rooms include “Migration / Diaspora”, “No Longer Silent”, “Sustenance”, “Trans-cendance”, “The Living Womb”, “Legacy” and “Adolescence”. The reinvention of Rites of passage, which debuted in 2013, focuses the work of BIPOC artists, providing platforms for their stories to be told and archived. “After a year of unprecedented challenges at all (un) imaginable levels, Rites of Passage: Vision 20/20 emerges as a space of healing, memory and reconnection in real time and space. It is an invitation for all of us to reflect on our common past, present and future through the prism of Women of Color. We call it Vision 20/20 because it is a collective experience to cultivate the clear vision. How did we get to this point and where do we go from here – as a nation, as a people? Prema said. For more information visit

J Nicole Brooks

J Nicole Brooks

American Theater Critics Association announces new theater awards
The ATCA awarded two New Play prizes to playwrights Douglas Williams and J. Nicole Brooks. Williams wins the 2021 Mr. Elizabeth Osborn Award for her play Boat. The Osborn Prize recognizes the work of a playwright who has yet to receive a major production. Boat premiered in February 2020 at the Azuka Theater in Philadelphia, where Williams is playwright in residence. Brooks received the Harold and Mimi Steinberg / American Theater Critics Association New Play Award 2021 for their play Her Honor, Jane Byrne. The Steinberg / ATCA Award recognizes an outstanding screenplay that was professionally created outside of New York City. Her Honor, Jane Byrne premiered at the Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago. Two Steinberg / ATCA 2021 citations were also awarded: Change of cemetery by khat knotahaiku, produced by the Goodman Theater in Chicago; and Verböten, with music and lyrics by Jason Narducy and a book by Brett Neveu, produced by House Theater of Chicago.

Listening alert: This is the last chance to catch CollaborAzian A gentleman’s guide to love and murder, an abridged version of the Tony-winning musical by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak starring an all-Asian-American production crew and actors including Ali Ewoldt and Thom Sesma. The stream is available until July 22. For more details, visit the Playbill live stream schedule.

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