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Cycle of Poverty Reading Festival

February 4 & 5
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Cycle of Poverty

Presented by Lower Depth Theatre

February 4 & 5 at 1:30 pm

Lower Depth Theatre proudly presents their Cycle of Poverty Reading Festival. Presented over two days, this festival is the culmination of their new Commission Fellowship Program and gives their 2022 cohort the opportunity to showcase the four new full-length plays they have developed under the program. Each of the plays explore the social and racial issues within the cycle of poverty through BIPOC perspectives. Playwright fellows include: Vasanti Saxena, Sage Martin, DeLane McDuffie, and Marlow Wyatt.

The Commission Fellowship Program supports the development of new plays by BIPOC and/or women-identifying playwrights by providing development and financial support to emerging playwrights.

February 4 at 1:30 pm February 5 at 1:30 pm 
FOOTSTEPS and BREAD AND CIRCUS FOLLOW THE LADY and MINE

Pricing: Tickets for this Reading Festival are Pay What You Choose with price options at $10, $15, $25, and $50. Higher-priced ticket options help support Lower Depth Theatre and A Noise Within’s Noise Now program.

FOOTSTEPS BY VASANTI SAXENA

Set in South LA from 1999 to the not-so-distant future, two little girls grow up in poverty and find joy and solace in their friendship. They lift each other up and dream together as they navigate childhood, but the turbulence of young adulthood tests their friendship when each girl’s deeply held beliefs are challenged. Infused with fairy tales and fantasy, Footsteps illuminates the pivotal moments in the lives of two very different girls in very similar circumstances as they forge their way into adulthood. Will these girls follow in their mothers’ footsteps or will they overcome the echoes of emotional wounds and break the cycle?

BREAD AND CIRCUS BY MARLOW WYATT

After aging out of foster care on her 21st birthday Charity finds herself sleeping in her run-down car. With no money or resources, she has landed at a homeless encampment near downtown Los Angeles where she meets Hope, a wise and mysterious 70-something-year-old former civil rights activist who takes Charity under her wing. Set in the world of the circus led by a charming yet magnanimous Carnival Barker an audience of salacious NIMBY’s looking for entertainment peer into the lives of Hope and Charity as they fight against bureaucracy, indecency, capitalism, and an unjust justice system that often plagues those experiencing homelessness in America.  Unbeknownst to them, Charity and Hope are the show, they are the entertainment.

FOLLOW THE LADY BY DELANE MCDUFFIE

In 1940s America, a seasoned grifter and her young partner-in-crime devise a get-rich con — creating an imaginary paradise for the poor and disenfranchised to escape society’s ills and hardships. While taking their scam on the road, she meets an enigmatic man who introduces her to his shrouded world, Enaake, a real utopia, offering her a chance to change her life. Now, she must choose whether to keep milking communities of their money and hope, or help guide her people to a better tomorrow. America or Enaake?

MINE BY SAGE MARTIN

MINE is an Appalachian ghost story about grief, greed, and getting even. Miners attempt to unionize and soon find themselves trapped below ground, “un-rescuable” due to a workplace accident. Their deaths mean nothing to the mining company but one wife, Namelie, refuses to go quietly into widowhood and continues her husband’s fight. Safi, her daughter, suffers nightmares and sleepwalking following the loss of her father. But is that all it is? An old woman named Moss befriends the pair, hiding the truth of her timely arrival in their lives.
Revenge is brewing in the mountains… And no one withstands the will of the land.