This is Molly McMahon, Artistic Director, here writing you today and believe me, I’ve been getting that question a lot lately. “What’s going on with BoxFest this year?”
Since we put out our SOS call back in June we were inundated with emails/texts/communiqués from people. Some were from people wanting to participate in September’s Workshop. Some were from folks offering (mostly) good intentioned suggestions about moving forward. Our press release and blog posts were shared far and wide on social media… In short, we unintentionally created quite a stir by putting forward the thought that this festival may have a fast approaching expiration date.
That was June. This is August. The dust has settled and we are happy to announce that we are deep in preparations for our upcoming BoxFest Workshop fundraiser. The outpouring of support we received from directors new and returning, actors, playwrights, and other concerned members of the theatre community was incredible and from it, we have assembled a crack team of creative and talented theatre-makers to participate in our weekend of fully staged readings. This year’s workshop will be held at Matrix Theatre Company in Detroit over one weekend September 19 – 20.
While we still haven’t finalized the schedule, we CAN tell you that we have 12 fantastic directors who have volunteered to participate. Some of them you’ll remember as award winners from past festivals like Frannie Shepherd-Bates (2008), K Edmonds (2011), Sherrine Azab (2013), Carrie Morris (2012), Lauren Bickers (2007), Kennikki Jones-Jones (2013) and Megan Wright (2011). Some like Sarah Wilder and Michelle LeRoy are new to the festival as directors but have been involved in past festivals in different capacities. (I’m pretty sure I remember Michelle swinging from a ladder hanging lights for BFD at Planet Ant back in 2005? 2006? Time flies!) Our dynamic dozen is rounded out by returning directors Amanda Ewing (check her new theatre company RUMPUSROOM!), Ileah Maré, and Lori Reece.
More news to come as things develop but rest assured, this Workshop is going to be great for a number of reasons. 1) We’re going to do our damnedest to raise money to keep this festival on its feet and provide necessary opportunities for women directors. 2) Attendees will have the chance to see some of the most creative and innovative theatre practitioners working in Detroit today at play. (Seriously, google some of these ladies. They’re major.) 3) You as audience members will have the opportunity to give feedback about the readings in post-show discussions. What’s that saying again about opinions again… Everyone’s got one! So why not share it?
Keep checking back for more updates and a complete schedule. Until then, thanks for your continued support of BoxFest Detroit. We really appreciate it!