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Fallow

By Kenneth Lin

Directed by Jackson Gay

January 11 - February 5, 2012

STEINBRIGHT STAGE

Award-winning playwright Kenneth Lin (Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango) explores what holds us to the families we are born into and how we seek new families of our own in this World Premiere production. Upon discovering a cache of unsent letters, Elizabeth Hayes rushes to rural California on a quest to meet the men who murdered her son, Aaron, a young man who abandoned his Ivy-League pedigree to work as a beekeeper and migrant farm worker. A haunting and surprising drama about the love between a mother and son, and their travels through some nearly invisible parts of our country. Best appreciated by ages 16 and up.

Fallow has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Elizabeth Hazzard Hayes: Mary Elizabeth Scallen*
Happy Lugo: Robert Montano*
Aaron Hayes: George Olesky*
Chloe: Laura Giknis*
Jimmy: Stephen Novelli*
Danny: Joe O'Brien*
Director: Jackson Gay
Production Manager: Charles T. Brastow*
Set Designer: Wilson Chin
Costume Designer: Jessica Ford
Lighting Designer: Josh Schulman
Production Stage Manager: Kelly O'Rourke*
Sound Designer: Toby Algya
Dramaturg: Elizabeth Pool


* Member, Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.

About Playwright Kenneth Lin


Kenneth Lin's plays Fallow, Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango, (TCG Edgerton New Play Prize), said Saïd (Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition Winner, L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award), Warrior Class, Life On Paper, Agency* and Genius in Love have been seen at theaters throughout the country, including the Alliance Theatre, Northlight Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, People's Light & Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Marin Theater Company and East West Players.

Commissions: Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, Wilma Theater and Arena Stage.

Residencies: Ojai Playwrights Conference, Ucross Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Lark Playwrights Workshop, Interstate 73, New York Stage and Film, McCarter Playwrights Retreat.

Education: Cornell University, Fulbright Scholarship, Yale School of Drama.

For more information about playwright Kenneth Lin, visit his website or follow him on Twitter here.

Interview with Playwright Kenneth Lin

1. What was the inspiration for Fallow?

I wrote Fallow in response to a terrible act of violence that happened in 2008 on Long Island (the place where my family ended up after a generation of continent hopping). This is a gross over-simplification, but a group of white teenagers would go around town and beat up Latino immigrants for kicks. One of these immigrants died. But our dreams for a better, more inclusive America have not died with him. The catch is, we need to keep fighting for it. Fallow is my dog in the fight. I also wrote Fallow because I think we are all journeying in relation to what we know as home. It's a treacherous journey and some of us never make it back. But the trip is universal and I wanted to explore it in step with you all.

2. Tell us about the history of the play? When did you write it and how was it developed?

Fallow was originally commissioned by Arena Stage under the title The Lynching of a White Man in Rural, CA and received a reading as part of Queens Theatre in the Park's Immigrant Voices Project. Arena Stage was unable to produce the play, but my dear friend and frequent collaborator Jackson Gay had fallen in love with People's Light. Before my agent could really show the play to anyone else, she brought the play to Abbey (Artistic Director of People's Light), and just like that, we had wind in our sails again. I'm thrilled to be here. This summer the play was developed at the amazing Ojai Playwright's Conference and People's Light flew Robert Montano (who was part of the Queens Theatre reading and already cast in our production) out to the conference where we could gel as an artistic team and do some hard work in the middle of what is now the true agricultural heartland of America: Rural, California.

3. Tell us about the title. Why is the title Fallow?

Fallow land is land that is left unsown. It is often said that soil needs to "lie fallow" so that it can be replenished of nutrients. The takeaway is that fertility is dynamic and complicated -- both fragile and resilient given time and reprieve. Of interest: "fallow" is one of the first words for color that was ever used in the English language. It means light brown, and it was used to describe the color of soil. Thank George Olesky, our fine Aaron Hayes, for the heads-up.

4. What are you hoping people take away from the play?

Don't take a beehive for granted. Call your mother.

Reviews
"FALLOW Mines Rich Field of Human Experience"

By Carrie Compton, Montgomery News

"FALLOW: An Eloquent Call for Compassion at People’s Light"

By Debra Miller, Stage

Articles
"People's Light & Theatre Presents: FALLOW"

By AroundMainLine.com Staff

"People’s Light Mounts Provocative Drama on Grief"

By Carrie Compton, Montgomery News

The Road Not Taken

Meet four seemingly ordinary members of our community who have taken extraordinary paths in their lives, including Carol, a writer who helps victims of sexual slavery, and Michaelanne, a visual artist who directs Community Arts at the Ayuda Community Center in Philadelphia. These inspiring leaders will discuss how they switched from a more traditional life journey to something radically different and deeply meaningful. Producer for Arts Discovery Wendy Bable will moderate.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

Michaelanne Harriman graduated from Messiah College in 1999 with a B.A. in Technical Theatre and began a career as a scenic artist painting at a variety of theaters around the country, including Utah Shakespeare Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, Syracuse Stage, and Harrisburg Opera. In 2003 she chose to settle down in Philadelphia as the Scenic Charge Artist at People's Light & Theatre and began attending Spirit & Truth Fellowship Church in the neighborhood of Hunting Park in North Philadelphia. She became inspired by the people she met there who were working for the betterment of their community. In 2006 she moved into Hunting Park and began working at the community center doing art projects with her neighbors. These projects developed into Orange Korner Arts, an art center in Hunting Park which teaches youth art courses to teenagers, hosts monthly art enrichment workshops, and coordinates the creation and installation of art projects in the neighborhood. Michaelanne is currently the Community Arts Director for Orange Korner Arts at the Ayuda Community Center.

Aldo E. Magazzeni was born in Abruzzo, Italy in 1949 and immigrated to Philadelphia with his parents when he was five-years-old. He received a B. S. in Business and Humanities from Penn State University. Upon graduating, he began working for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, but left by 1980 to begin purchasing and developing real estate projects and small businesses. In 1990 Aldo, with partners, founded Champion Fasteners, Inc., a company that has grown into a successful operation with fifty employees and recently celebrated its 22nd anniversary. Aldo also began performing volunteer service in the US and abroad, working with communities in Italy, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, South America, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Kenya, Ethiopia and others. In 2007 Aldo founded and became Director of Traveling Mercies, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping others, while creating a vehicle to remove barriers between cultures so that individuals can share their strengths, assets and blessings with each other.

Carol Metzker is a writer, frequent speaker and coauthor of the book, Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn. Writing assignments about large companies and information technology led her to India, where in 2003 she met an 11-year-old girl rescued from slavery. The encounter led to her journey into the dark world of human trafficking, forced sex trade and child slavery locally and overseas. It sparked her quest and subsequent projects to aid survivors of modern-slavery.

Tricia Neale is from Baltimore, Maryland and received an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1993, then a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington/Southwestern Medical Center in 1995. Her first employment was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota as a project engineer, manager, then supervisor in the Orthopedic Biomechanics laboratory. After seven years, she left Mayo in 2003 and moved to Philadelphia to seek a Master's in Divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. During her time in seminary, she was drawn to work in social services. Since 2007, she has been dually employed as the Associate Pastor at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Philadelphia and as the Executive Director of Feast of Justice, a non-profit social service agency.

Click here to reserve tickets for this FREE event!

Date: 
Sat, 02/04/2012 - 4:15pm
Location: 
Steinbright Stage

The Buzz: Talk Up, Talk With, Talk Back

Join us after every Thursday evening performance (excluding Thursday, August 23rd) for The Buzz: Talk Up, Talk With, Talk Back, a lively discussion with cast members and other artists from the production!

The Scoop, Fallow

New at People's Light...and it's FREE!
Join us for The Scoop, a lively discussion before every performance of Fallow. Assistant Properties Master Sarah Pierce will discuss the world of the play, how and why it was chosen, as well as how it was cast, designed, and rehearsed. The program will start one hour before the curtain of every performance, in the Steinbright Stage. No reservations needed.

Date: 
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 7:30pm - Sun, 02/05/2012 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Steinbright Stage