After receiving hundreds of submissions from all over the country, Powerstories Theatre is proud to present the second annual Voices of Truth Theatre Festival, showcasing eight local and national playwrights to a global audience. The festival is a combination of live-in-theatre musical, and virtual productions, both full-length and shorts. The festival runs from Tuesday, March 15 through Sunday, March 20, 2022.
In celebration of our 22nd birthday, the festival is FREE for high school and college students who attend the 9 PM EST playwright interview each evening. Email email@example.com with your school name, grade/year for a comp code or click here to complete the registration form.
Guests have 48 hours prior to the live interview with the playwright and 2 hours after to enjoy the debut of their original production On-Demand. For the live-in-theatre productions, guests will have 48 hours after to enjoy the recorded performance in the theatre.
Our playwrights will be logging on to meet you from all over the world. Get your questions ready for a behind-the-scenes, in-depth conversation about the play you’ve watched, its author, and the process of bringing an idea from page to stage. Ask. Listen. Learn.
We look forward to seeing you directly after the live productions and online on Zoom at 9 PM EST for all On-Demand productions, beginning March 14 and running through March 20!
We can’t wait to see you!
Festival Schedule and Playwrights’ Bios.
Tuesday, March 15 – Runtime 60 min – On Demand
Live Playwright Interview 9 PM EST
“The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare (or at least our best approximation) by D.A. Mindell (Georgia)
PG-13 for depictions of the Holocaust, antisemitism, and death.
The Theresienstadt camp-ghetto was the primary production site of Nazi propaganda, fueled by the labor of Jewish film and theater-makers. Thirty years after its liberation, neurotic geometry professor Isadore Altshuler recounts his experience of imprisonment, during which he filled in for an old friend in an unlikely production of “The Merchant of Venice.” It is a play about love, about loss, and about the importance of laughter when there is nothing to laugh about.
Wednesday, March 16 – Runtime 60 min – On Demand
Live Playwright Interview 9 PM EST
With Out Love by Edgar Chisholm (New Jersey)
Confronting perversion and fate, a young girl travels to Hunt’s Point to find her long-lost brother whom she believes holds the key to her mother’s frigid heart. With the help of a street-wise, Texas-born neighbor, she manages to discover a key to a special kind of love… Love of self.
Thursday, March 17 – THURSDAY NIGHT SHORTS – Runtime Both Shows 80 min – On Demand
Live Playwright Interviews 9 PM EST
Watermelon in Wartime by Elaine DiFalco Daugherty (Michigan)
Rated PG for war.
The one-woman show is the true story of Mariam Saad and her experiences during the 33-days war in Lebanon in 2006 when she was 14.
Starpattern by Carolyn Gage (Maine)
Rated PG-13 for college school shooting
A play about two extraordinarily courageous young women who survived the 1966 mass shooting on the University of Texas at Austin. Claire Wilson, one of the first victims, lay wounded on the South Mall, unable to be rescued while the sniper was still active. Rita Starpattern ran out, at tremendous risk, lay down next to her, and engaged her in a conversation that kept her conscious and alive for over an hour. A play about the transformative power of witnessing and being witnessed.
History Lessons by Cynthia Dettelbach (Ohio)
Two moms whose sons attend the same private school chat about the boys’ yet-to-be-written term papers …which turns into a confrontation involving racism, white privilege, and the alleged desire to compensate for institutional prejudice.
Love’s Bright Wings by Lissa Brennan (Pennsylvania)
PG-13 for blatant sexuality and a situation (does not contain graphic language, nudity, or violence).
A patron approaches an online sex worker with an off-menu request that leads to fulfillment for both.
Saturday, March 19 – Runtime 60 min – On Demand
Live Playwright Interview 9 PM EST
Our Lady of Perpetual Donuts by Jordan Beswick (North Carolina)
Rated R for graphic descriptions abuse
Edna Howard, the donut lady of Hayward, California, is more than she seems. Addressing a group of incarcerated teenage female offenders, she shares her story of survival. How, through sheer stubborness, enormous creativity, a tremendous capacity for love, and God’s peculiar care, she escaped her would be destroyers, and found salvation in, of all things, donuts. Our lady of perpetual donuts devotes her life to defending, protecting and empowering the countless children in her care. One love filled donut at a time.
Sunday, March 20 – Runtime 90 min – Live in-theatre and Livestreamed from theatre
Live Playwright Interview DIRECTLY AFTER PLAY LIVE FROM THEATRE
Across the Divide Musical by Gabe Flores (Florida)
A new musical that tells the intersecting story of three couples at different stages of love in the middle of the Covid pandemic of 2020.
Want to support the Arts? Become a Voices of Truth Theatre Festival sponsor and enjoy three different levels of benefits and recognition.
“The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare (or at least our best approximation)
D.A. Mindell (Georgia)
D.A. Mindell is a playwright based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is in the process of receiving his BA from Emory University. Past recognition includes the David L. Shelton Award through the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, and the winning of the Georgia Theater Conference’s one-act play competition. He works as an educator and content creator for the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity.
With Out Love
Edgar Chisholm (New Jersey)
Edgar Chisholm is an award-winning playwright, director, and producer. In 2018 he directed the NYC production of Broadway’s “Having Our Say” for the Morningside Players Theatre. He is currently adapting Danish playwright Stig Dalager’s “Family Night” for the August Strindberg Rep. He is the winner of the Raymond J. Flores Playwriting Prize, The Eileen Heckart Drama award, The National Federation of Community Broadcasters Silver Reel Award, the New American Playwrights festival, and the Segora International Writing Competition in Orange, France. His Play “Bridge of Honor” was performed at the 2017 ClareMorris Drama Festival in Ireland. His last two plays, “Tom and Ted Go To the Races” and “The Savage Queen” were both chosen for reading at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina and The DC Black Arts Theatre Festival in Washington DC. His adaption of Strindberg’s “Miss Julie” with the August Strindberg Rep opened to glowing reviews. His plays have been presented at such diverse locations as The Association For Jewish Theatre Conference in Chicago, Lincoln Center Directors Lab in NYC, Met Theatre in Los Angeles, Juneteenth Festival Theatre of Louisville, Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC, etc. Edgar is a member of the Dramatist Guild, Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, The Fire This Time Festival Playwrights, August Strindberg Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Oracle Playwrights, a Founding member of Harlem Arts Alliance, a member of 29th Street Playwrights Collective, a Director and Board Member of Polaris North Theatre Inc. and a resident playwright at August Strindberg Rep. In film, through his company BulletProof Productions, he is the executive producer of the theatrically-released Movie “Deceptive”. He has spent 20+ years of his working life at Warnermedia’s HBO.
Watermelon in Wartime
Elaine DiFalco Daugherty (Michigan)
Elaine DiFalco Daugherty is an educator, director, writer, and intimacy choreographer who teaches in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Central Michigan University. She has presented workshops and/or spoken on panels for ATHE, KCACTF, and USITT, as well as several universities. Her academic writing has been published in Theatre Topics and the Journal for Applied Arts and Health. Elaine has an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from University of Idaho.
Carolyn Gage (Maine)
Carolyn Gage is the author of nine anthologies of lesbian and feminist-themed plays and eighty-six, musicals, and one-woman shows, she specializes in non-traditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. Her catalog is online at www.carolyngage.com
Cynthia Dettelbach (Ohio)
A lifelong theatregoer (she saw her first Broadway play at age 6) Cynthia Dettelbach began writing plays after retiring as longtime editor of The Cleveland Jewish News. She is a member of Stagewrights, a playwriting workshop under the auspices of Ensemble Theatre. Several of her plays have been produced by Ensemble as part of its annual New Plays Festival.
Love’s Bright Wings
Lissa Brennan (Pennsylvania)
Lissa Brennan is an actor, director, playwright, and storyteller. She is in love with the art of theater and wants to share it with the world. As an actor, favorite productions include DANCE NATION, KING LEAR, BUG, KILLER JOE, CYMBELINE, OTHELLO, DON JUAN COMES BACK FROM THE WAR, SALOME, and A DOLL’S HOUSE. As a playwright, subject matter has included the Homestead Strike, Francisco de Goya, PTSD in women, and a revision of ANTIGONE. She is an activist who fights for justice whenever possible. She hopes that her work entertains, educates, and enlightens.
Our Lady of Perpetual Donuts
Jordan Beswick (North Carolina)
Jordan Beswick’s plays have been produced, directed by him and others, all around the world – from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. to the Riverside Studios in London to the West Bank in New York City to the Celebration Theatre in Hollywood to the Manufacture des Abbesses and Lucernaire in Paris… Jordan has directed short films and plays that have been presented in California, New York, France, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Washington DC, Illinois, and North Carolina. He began coaching actors 28 years ago at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York, focusing on Audition, Acting for Film & TV, and Script Analysis. He then crossed the Atlantic to conduct intensive acting workshops at Studio VO/VF in Paris, France, the Institut für Schauspiel Film und Fernsehberufe in Berlin, Germany, the Manufacture des Abbesses in Paris, France, and the Actors Centre in London, England. In Casting, Jordan worked on an array of award winning films including Dead Man Walking, Little Odessa, The Yards, Signs, Urbania, Getting To Know You, Forty Shades of Blue, Factotum, Cabin Fever… As an actor, Jordan trained with Michael Moriarty, Mira Rostova, Stephen Strimpell, Sandy Dennis, Shelley Winters, Sally Kirkland, Frederick Combs, Susan Peretz, Amy Wright, Guy Stockwell, and was a finalist for membership at the Actors Studio. Vocally with Marni Nixon and William & Irene Chapman. Playwriting with Milan Stitt and Robert Patrick. Jordan is a proud member of the Casting Society of America (C.S.A.)
Across the Divide Musical
Gabe Flores (Florida)
Gabe Flores is a theatre professional based in the Tampa area. He is an accomplished writer, director, musical theatre composer, and occasional actor with numerous credits and awards to his name. Locally, he has worked with Carrollwood Players, Carrollwood Cultural Center, NYNE, Powerstories, and others. His original plays and musicals have been accepted to festivals and theaters in Florida, Kansas City, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He enjoys working with collaborators and multiple projects and hopes to continue that trend. When not working on theatre, he spends his days working for Hillsborough County School System and raises his daughter with his wife and their two pups.