Ignition Festival of New Plays 2014
July 24 – 27, 2014

Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada
and Lack on Lack by April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams)

Thursday, July 24 | 7:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater

During a 3rd grade lesson on the Civil Rights movement and Rosa Parks, a Latino boy raises his hand to ask “Where did we sit on the bus?” and his teacher can’t answer the question. Told through rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping, Brian Quijada’s autobiographical Where Did We Sit On The Bus? looks at what it means to be Latino in America.

In their theatrical debut, brother/sister hip hop duo April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams) fuse music, spoken word, and humor in Lack on Lack, a journey through Chicago to plan a surprise birthday party for their mother April. Damon and Kristiana navigate the neighborhoods of Chicago, childhood memories, and the turns of their new grown-up relationship in this city of practical jokers.

Ignition Festival Opening Night Reception

Thursday, July 24 | 9:00 pm  | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | Catering by Pizanos Pizza and Pasta

Sender by Ike Holter

Fri July 25 | 7:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater

Over a year after faking his death in a sensational fashion, a young man returns to his former apartment: alive, well, and with a new found ambition to fix what went wrong. What starts as a miracle reunion turns into a catastrophic disaster as the past begins to catch up with the present and old debts return, expecting payment in full.

Artist Night: Meet & Greet

Friday, July 25 | 9:00 pm | Cocktail Hour at Fiesta Mexicana

Slingshot by Kia Corthron

Saturday, July 26 | 3:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater

After suffering a terrible work accident as a result of a negligent manufacturing defect, Malik must live with the inevitable consequences. In a nation where lawsuits have been equated with greed, how can Malik’s father Gid attain compensation and justice comparable to human life?

Panel Discussion | New Plays in Chicago {Process}

Saturday, July 26 | 6:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater
As one of the leading centers of new play development, Chicago is home to some of the richest and boldest new plays premiering across the country. In a city where audiences are hungry for new theatre work, what is the current state of new play development and its future? What should we be doing more to nurture the artists, audiences and the field?

Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath

Saturday July 26 | 7:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater

In 2008, a woman named Hillary is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America, but she’s not doing well in the polls and needs more money to keep the campaign going. She calls her husband for help and he offers her a deal, but it’s a deal that ends up costing a lot more than either of them had reckoned.

Ignition Festival Cocktail Hour

Saturday, July 26 | 9:00 pm | Victory Gardens Lobby

For Tomorrow, Please Prepare by Paul Downs Colaizzo

Sunday, July 27 | 2:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater

Racial tensions in the suburban south reach a boiling point when a white student at a public high school in Georgia makes an inflammatory comment during a lesson on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The school’s disciplinary process is threatened when hidden agendas are revealed, proving that when it comes to how we should teach our country’s racial history, the issue is anything but black and white.

Panel Discussion | ​From Script to the Stage ​{Practice}

Sunday, July 27 | Zacek-McVay Theater | 5:00 pm
From the first draft to opening night, new plays are changing and evolving as new elements are introduced. With IGNITION Festival as a catalyst for developing new work, how does a rehearsal room shift when a living playwright is in the room? What are the best practices and collaborations? How do we better support and produce new plays and playwrights?

Cocked by Sarah Gubbins

Sunday, July 27 | 6:00pm | Zacek-McVay Theater

Taylor and her girlfriend, Izzie have always been staunchly opposed to gun ownership. But when Taylor’s brother shows up unannounced one afternoon, that position slowly corrodes as new discoveries surface and the lines between safety and protection are blurred.

Ignition Festival Closing Night Celebration

Sunday, July 27 | 8:00 pm | Victory Gardens Lobby | Catering thanks to Fiesta Mexicana

 Brian Quijada Headshot

Brian Quijada is a New York based, Chicago born actor and musician. Some of Brian’s acting credits include: The Realness (The Kennedy Center), Victory Jones and The Incredible One Woman Band (The Denver Theatre Center), How We Got On (Actor’s Theater of Louisville), Beat Generation (Merrimack Rep), The Solid Sand Below, Hype Hero, and Orange Julius (The Eugene O’Neill’s National Playwright’s Conference). Other credits: (New York) Playwright’s Realm, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Repertorio Espanol, Page 73, Playwrights Horizons, TerraNova, LAByrinth (Chicago) Steppenwolf (TV) Blue Bloods.

Kristiana and Damon Headshot

April Fools is a brother/sister rap duo fusing poetry & hip-hop. Kristiana & Damon have rocked the mic at Grinnell College, Bottom Lounge, the Silver Room Block Party, the Chicago Westside Music Festival, the Englewood Music Festival & have been heard on Vocalo radio, WHPK, and WIIT. April Fools gets their name from their mother, April, whose birthday is April Fool’s Day. April Fools delight audiences with poetic, buoyant lyrics, vocal interplay, and storytelling.

 Ike Holter Headshot

Ike Holter’s work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage, LiveWire Chicago, Theater 7, The Greenhouse Theater, Theater on The Lake and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member and resident writer. He’s received fellowships and commissions from The Goodman Theater, The Kennedy Center and The Playwrights Center. His show Hit The Wall played at Steppenwolf Garage and Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theater in New York. This May, Jackalope Theater produced his new play Exit Strategy, which played to sold-out houses and moves to Michigan for the 3oaks Festival in July before another month-long run at the Broadway Armory. His monologues have been published in The New Yorker and several editions of Applause Books.

 Kia Corthron Headshot

Kia Corthron was awarded in 2014 a Windham Campbell Prize for Drama and GPTC’s Simon Great Plains Playwright Award as Honored Playwright. She is a contributing writer of SITI Company’s Steel Hammer developed through Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana 2014. Other plays have been produced in New York by Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NY Theatre Workshop, Atlantic, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Place; in London by the Royal Court and Donmar Warehouse; and regionally by Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Alabama Shakespeare, Yale Rep, Huntington, NY Stage & Film, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Goodman, Hartford Stage and elsewhere. Lee Reynolds Award, Bellagio Residency (Italy), Dora Maar Residency (France), MacDowell Colony, Siena Art Institute Visiting Artist (Italy), McKnight National Residency, Wachtmeister Award, Columbia/Goodman Fellowship, MacLean Foundation Award, Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, Fadiman, NEA, Kennedy Center Fund, New Professional Theatre Award, Callaway. Writers Guild and Edgar awards for The Wire. Dramatists Guild Council, New Dramatists alumnus.

 Lucas Hnath Headshot

Lucas Hnath’s plays include The Christians (2014 Humana Festival), Red Speedo (Studio Theatre, DC), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep), nightnight (2013 Humana Festival), Isaac’s Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Death Tax (2012 Humana Festival, Royal Court Theatre), and The Courtship of Anna Nicole Smith (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Lucas has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011 and is also a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. He won the 2012 Whitfield Cook Award for Isaac’s Eye and the 2013 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation for Death Tax. Lucas is also a recipient of commissions from the EST/Sloan Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, Royal Court Theatre, and New York University’s Graduate Acting Program. Lucas received both his BFA and MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service.

 Paul Downs Colaizzo Headshot

Paul Downs Colaizzo’s first play Really Really sold-out a twice extended run Off-Broadway at MCC Theater, starring Zosia Mamet and Matt Lauria, directed by David Cromer. The play was awarded the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best New Play. Paul’s most recent play, Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill premiered in 2013 at the Signature Theatre, VA starring Christine Lahti. He recently developed a one hour pilot for ABC, Executive Produced by Shonda Rhimes through ABC studios, along with writing a pilot for ABC Family, and is currently writing on the staff of Ryan Murphy’s new drama Open, in development at HBO. In 2013, Entertainment Weekly listed Colaizzo as one of their Next Wave, New Hollywood writers to watch.

 Sarah Gubbins Headshot

Sarah Gubbins’ plays include Fair Use, In Loco Parentis, The Drinking Problem, The Kid Thing (Jeff Award and Edgarton Foundation New American Play Award), fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life, I am Bradley Manning, A Sense of Things and Cocked. Her plays have been produced at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Actor’s Express, Next Theater, About Face Theater and Chicago Dramatists among others. Her plays have been developed at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater, The Plawrights’ Center, Center Theatre Group, O’Neill Theatre Center, and Berekely Rep’s Ground Floor among others. She’s has been a Carl J. Djerassi Fellow and Jerome Fellow. She is a member of the CTG 2013-14 Writers’ Workshop, the Playwrights’ Union, and is an Artistic Associate at About Face Theater. She holds a M.F.A. from Northwestern University.