KNOW Theatre to present Playwrights & Artists Festival online

The last live performance at KNOW Theatre in Binghamton was March 1, the final night for a successful run of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe.”

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic means that KNOW’s stage will remain dark until 2021, but there’s some good news: The Playwrights & Artists Festival will be produced online for the 17th year, from Nov. 20-22 and Nov. 27-29.

“It’s been a tough year trying to keep this balloon in the air,” says KNOW Artistic Director Tim Gleason, “but we knew we just have to present these plays, even if we do it in a brand-new way for us.”

The call went out earlier this year for original one-act plays based on three artworks that Gleason chose. Nearly 70 plays – which were submitted from all over the U.S. – were then read (without names attached) and scored by a panel of judges, with two plays per artwork chosen for production. Composers also wrote short musical pieces inspired by the artworks.

Here is the schedule for the Playwrights & Artists Festival.

Nov. 20 & Nov. 27

· Artwork: “U Drop Inn” by Greg Chianis

· Plays: “Dead End Kids” by Brian Leahy Doyle (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and “Jeopardy, WY” by Chris Karmiol (Studio City, Calif.)

· Composer: Tom Rasely

Nov. 21 & Nov. 28

· Artwork: “Vietnam Women’s Memorial” by Frank Bocek

· Plays: “The War that Ignored Its Women” by John Zimmerman (Carol Stream, Ill.) and “The What If of War” by Mary Oneill-Butler (Miami Beach, Fla.)

· Composer: Adam Schultz

Nov. 22 & Nov. 29

· Artwork: “Untitled” by Jasmine Khamphanthirath

· Plays: “Have You Ever Heard a Goldfinch Sing?” by Sarah Lyn Eaton (Binghamton, N.Y.) and “The Abbey of the Holy Lonesome” by Andra Laine Hunter (Dallas, Texas)

· Composer: Santino DeAngelo

The plays will be presented on the Zoom platform, with a talkback after each performance featuring the actors, directors, playwrights, artists and composers (schedules permitting).

To get the Zoom links to watch the plays as well as instructions, email knowtheatrebinghamton@gmail.com. Attendance is free, but donations are encouraged.

“Doing theatre again feels so great,” Gleason says. “We hope that folks from all over join us for these amazing never-before-seen plays. And stay tuned for what we have planned in 2021!”