April 14, 2023 – Live Arts Theater in downtown Charlottesville is thrilled to announce WATERWORKS, a celebration of new theatrical writing across four weekends. This inaugural WATERWORKS festival runs May 12 through June 3, 2023, and features four new works in the Spotlight Series, plus a dozen New Works staged readings, LOCALLY SOURCED one-act plays from the Playwrights’ Lab, community intensives, special events, and more.
The 2023 WATERWORKS Festival is presented by The Madwoman Project and sponsored by Pamela Friedman and Ronald Bailey, with support from the Bank of America Foundation and Virginia National Bank.
Charlottesville is a festival town, and Live Arts is excited to add WATERWORKS to the annual lineup! Director of New Works Adrienne Oliver received more than 535 new works submissions from all over the country, reviewed by readers’ committees resulting in 62 finalists. To date, 44 actors and 17 directors are signed up to participate in WATERWORKS shows, and the list of festival community volunteers grows daily.
Of the playwrights included in the festival, “over 70% of selected works come from writers who self-identify as historically marginalized artists,” Osxzliver says. “WATERWORKS is a kaleidoscope of offerings; It weaves a dynamic tapestry of theatrical experiences and opportunities for dialogue,” she adds.
The WATERWORKS Spotlight Series consists of four new works specially selected to anchor one weekend each of festival programming:
SILAS, THE UNINVITED by Derek J. Snow, directed by Clinton Johnston
SILAS, THE UNINVITED was inspired by the playwright’s powerful submission to The Breath Project, a national theatrical coalition formed in response to the murder of George Floyd. Its festival featured 24 world-premiere works from multidisciplinary theater artists of color from around the country.
LOOKING GLASS ELEGY by Robert Wray, directed by Kerry Moran
LOOKING GLASS ELEGY is a pas de deux of performances harmonizing grief and delight, determination and surrender. Featuring a powerhouse solo performance with accompaniment by John D’Earth, it’s a quest to make sense of existence and other matters.
UNSUNG STORIES: AN EVENING OF VOICES directed by Edward Warwick-White with musical direction by Kristin Baltes
UNSUNG STORIES features new-to-Live Arts performers, songs, and imaginations as actors explore the deeply human desire to see and be seen, to know and be known, to give and receive love.
#CHARLOTTESVILLE by Priyanka Shetty, directed by Ti Ames
#CHARLOTTESVILLE centers the ongoing pursuit of justice following the fatal attacks of A11/A12 by engaging direct interview and research-based practices to champion survivor voices.
The lineup of New Works readings and performances features:
HEARTBEAT OPHELIA by D.L. Siegel
SIMPLE FUTURE PAST PERFECT by Jack Karp
DON’T HYDROPLANE by Bryan Curtis
UNABASHEDLY by Mike Teverbaugh
MAGNOLIA AND THE PIG by Ally Karaca
BLOOD/SWEAT/TEARS by Ali Keller. A New Musical.
THE LAST DAYS OF THE FRANKLINTON HISTORICAL VILLAGE AND SHOPPE by Ron Burch
THE BURIALS OF ANDRÉ CAILLOUX by Alan Freeman
TALKING TENDERLOIN by Marsha Roberts
LIZZIE BORDEN: LIFE AFTER DEATH by William Meurer
WATERWORKS is also proud to feature three co-productions: LOCALLY SOURCED, an evening of short original plays developed by Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab; a reading of HITHER, GA by Byron Harris, a full-length play in development at the Charlottesville Playwrights Collective; and a reading of selected scenes from AH WING AND THE AUTOMATON EAGLE by Brandon Zang, co-produced with LingXi Chinese Theatre. LingXi Chinese Theatre is the first nonprofit, student-run Chinese theater group at the University of Virginia.
A complete list of WATERWORKS co-producers and partners includes Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab, Charlottesville Playwrights Collective, The Bridge Pai, Common House, Chaski Global, The Breath Project, LingXi Chinese Theatre, Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, and Bushman Dreyfus Architects.
“See as many WATERWORKS shows as you can,” says Artistic Director Susan E. Evans. “Theater is about making connections.”
About Live Arts
Live Arts is a volunteer-powered, nonprofit community theater in Downtown Charlottesville and a 501(c)(3) organization. Founded in 1990, Live Arts is celebrating 32 years of forging theater and community. The 2022/23 Transformations Season is made possible by season sponsors Elizabeth and Joe LeVaca, media sponsors C-VILLE Weekly and WTJU 91.1FM, pay-what-you-can sponsor Ting, education sponsor The Local, IT partner PJ Networks Computer Services, and Project Access sponsor Virginia National Bank, and philanthropic gifts by hundreds of theater lovers in our community.
Live Arts is supported by grants from Albemarle County, City of Charlottesville, the BamaWorks Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, the DN Batten Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, Dominion Energy Foundation, Perry Foundation, and Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.