Tonya Duncan reads Laura Domingo Short’s “The Start”

How many fresh starts, false starts, or new beginnings can we embrace in our lives? Today we’re delighted to share Tonya Duncan’s animated performance of “The Start” by Laura Domingo Short, read live at our February 24 show at the San Jose Museum of Art:

Wouldn’t it be great if Tonya could narrate all our major life transitions? Thanks, as always, to our amazing cast and writers! Props to Ryan Alpers for filming and Branden Frederick for taking photos.

Nita Lambert reads “When the Bearded Lady Found Love” by Allison Landa

What does love look like, act like, feel like? Sometimes it is possible to be overtaken by a feeling, a person, a moment in time. We were so moved by Nita Duarte Lambert’s poignant performance of “When the Bearded Lady Found Love” by Allison Landa. Watch her February 24 reading at our New Terrains show at the San Jose Museum of Art:

Big thanks, of course, to Allison and Nita, and to Ryan Alpers for filming and Branden Frederick for taking photos of this wonderful afternoon.

Ronald Feichtmeir reads “Shrine of Sain Sakhianwala” by Anniqua Rana

Ronald Feichtmeir has an undeniable stage presence, one that he communicates in a careful, hushed voice, and elevates with unique characters and gestures. We knew while reading Anniqua Rana’s “Shrine of Sain Sakhianwala” that he was the right man for the part. And he didn’t disappoint–check out his wonderful performance from our February 24 New Terrains show at the San Jose Museum of Art:

This piece is an excerpt of Rana’s forthcoming novel, Wild Boar in the Cane Field. She will be reading from it on May 19 at the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino.

Thanks to Ryan Alpers for filming this and to Branden Frederick for taking photos.

“Pedacitos” and “Hija de Tejas” by Anjela Villarreal Ratliff

How can you find pieces of yourself? We were moved by #powsj actor Ivette Deltoro’s performance of “Pedacitos” by San Jose State graduate and Texas poet Anjela Villarreal Ratliff. Check out her reading from our February 24 at the San Jose Museum of Art:

Following our intermission, #powsj casting director and actor Melinda Marks performed “Hija de Tejas,” another beautiful poem by Anjela:

Big thanks to Ryan Alpers for filming this and Branden Frederick for taking photos.

Want more #powsj magic? So do we! Contact us if you’d like to be a partner for our next show,

 

 

Christina Shon reads “Bright Hope”

At Play On Words, part of our calling card is finding the right actor to perform someone else’s work. This allows the writer to hear an interpretation of his or her work and gain insight into how the audience reacts. With Christina Shon’s beautiful and personal essay, “Bright Hope,” however, we knew there was only one person to do the piece justice: herself.

Not only did she slay the performance, she arrived in a gorgeous Korean dress called a hanbok, adding depth and meaning to every word. Thanks to Ryan Alpers for capturing this on film and to Branden Frederick for taking photos.

Thank you, Christina, for this heartfelt and moving performance. We’ve enjoyed working with you over the years (we first read her story “Closure” in 2015–and you can watch Laurel Brittan’s performance of her 2018 piece, “Bleeding Heart”), and are sorry to see you move to Colorado! We hope to follow along in your literary career as you continue sharing stories with the world.

P.S. We are currently seeking a venue for our next show. If you’re interested in partnering with us, please contact us to learn more!

Melinda Marks reads “Chimes” by Keenan Flagg

Last month we were thrilled to fill San Jose Museum of Art’s Wendel Gallery with stories, friends, and conversation. Many thanks to all of the writers, performers, artists and volunteers who made this show possible. We are excited to share footage from each of the pieces performed, starting with Keenan Flagg’s poem “Chimes,” performed by POW casting director and co-founder Melinda Marks:

Want more Keenan in your life? Check out City Lights Theatre’s production of “Eurydice,” adapted by Sarah Ruhl and interpreted in American Sign Language. The show runs through April 14.

Big thanks to Ryan Alpers for capturing our show on film.

 

Watch #NewTerrains with Witty Bantr

Well, we did it, friends: We filled the San Jose Museum of Art’s Wendel Gallery with beautiful stories, wonderful performances and even better people. Thank you to all the artists, writers, performers, friends, family and community members who joined us Sunday for an amazing show.

Over the next few weeks and months we’ll be rolling out photos and videos of each individual performance, but until then, #powsj contributor Anniqua Rana of the Witty Bantr podcast has graciously shared her recording of the entire show, which opens with Ronald Feichtmeir’s reading of her piece, “The Shrine of Sain Makhianwala.” In case you missed it, watch the whole show here:

Many thanks to Anniqua and her team for sharing this, and stay tuned for more show recaps in the coming months. Thank you all for exploring new terrains with us.

New Terrains Show is Sold Out

Talk about new terrains, friends: We have just received word that our New Terrains show at the San Jose Museum of Art this Sunday, February 24 is sold out! What does this mean for you?

  • If you already reserved a ticket online, congrats! We’ll see you there.
  • If you haven’t yet, you are still welcome to come to the museum both to visit the exhibits and to see if you can take the place of any potential no-shows. Either way, you should be prepared to pay museum admission (adults: $10, seniors: $8, college students with ID: $6, youth 7-17: $5).
  • If you can’t join us, please check back on our website over the next weeks and months to see footage and photographs from our event. Please also be sure to check out the San Jose Museum of Art when you have time, because not only are they a fantastic partner for us, they offer lots of amazing and diverse programming all year long.
  • If you are an actor or writer participating in the show, please check your email for instructions on how to obtain a POWSJ ticket.

We’re thrilled beyond measure to see our audience growing and look forward to an exciting event on Sunday. Thanks to everyone who made this event happen–most notably Robin Treen of the San Jose Museum of Art, who has been a tireless and resourceful advocate every step of the way.