This summer, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (PCTF), the brainchild of arts professional Glory Kadigan, turns 10 years old. In that decade, PCTF has successfully changed the landscape of the theatre festival and all of New York independent theatre. The multi-award-winning theatre festival will celebrate in a big way by premiering more than 50 timely and topical plays and musicals written by the next generation of playwrights. Each play contains a powerful message serving as a parable of various world themes. The Tenth Planet: Planet Connections Theatre Festivity will run fromJuly 9 through August 5, 2018 at The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC.www.planetconnections.org. Artists presenting works from all across America, including Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Providence and New York City; and from all over the planet, including Japan, Yugoslavia, Russia, Peru, France, Belarus, & Haiti are part of this years festivity.
A defining facet of PCTF is its truly tangible connection to the world. Each artist within each season uses their work to shed light on causes that matter and inspire audiences to get involved. PCTF’s artists raise awareness – and funds – for a charity of their own selection. Furthering its message, PCTF is the country’s first eco-friendly arts festivity, providing green marketing and promotional materials and supporting sustainable design production practices.
The Island of No Time (A Timeless Tale) by Kristen Lowman, directed by Sara Ravid
Part of the 10th anniversary season of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity at the Theaters of the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, New York City will have a Special Presentation: Thursday 7/19 @3pm-5:15pm.
A little Lewis Carroll, a lotta David Lynch, and just a hint of George Lucas … Mother Time has stormed off leaving Father Time to his technology. Time has stopped on the Island. Hour, Minute & Second are unemployed. With time to control them, Deliadeath and Adamort – two Macbeth-style witches – can now wreak havoc for all eternity. But just in case, they are now trying to inhabit the souls of two shipwrecked children in case Mom & pop Time patch things up. With help from Badass, Natterjack, Nutty Tree, and the Queen of Stink, the race is on. Will the children be saved, along with mankind and the planet? Will Father Time and Mother Time be reunited? Only Time will tell.
You have an amazing back story, Kristen, tell us a little something about yourself as an artist.
I trained at the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and then went to NYC, where I became a touring member of John Houseman’s The Acting Company. I u/s and performed on Broadway, did a National Tour, worked at The Barter, Geva, Cleveland Play House, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory Theatre (9 plays), Pasadena Playhouse, The Cast, The Odyssey… And the John Drew theatre at The Guild Hall in East Hampton, EST NYC. And I performed on TV, mostly sitcoms – Frasier (2 episodes), Murphy Brown, 227, Hearts Afire, Designing Women, Picket Fences (5 episodes), Angel, Nancy and Tonya (MOW). A few films – Problem Child , Don’t Mess with the Zohan, iMurders, and recently in Wanderland, written and directed by Josh Klausner.
But, it’s been writing that has preoccupied me for some years. My short story Sadiki was published last year in the thirtieth anniversary issue of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. I have finished a novel, Arabian Eve. My play Where We Are was one of ten semi-finalists at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Florida. My play Time Will Tell had a concert reading at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton with Cynthia Nixon, Elizabeth Wilson, Judith Ivey, Anna Reeder. And its companion piece, Time on His Hands, has had two reading, one with Arliss Howard, Harris Yulin and Stephen Lang (playing two roles each) and another with Harris Yulin, Arliss Howard,David Rasche, Stacy Keach, Gordon Weiss and David Bischems.
I have also taught playwriting in middle and high schools through the East Los Angeles Classic Theatre and Stony Brook’s YAWP (Young American Writers Program).
Share with us a little something about the you or the play that we won’t be in the releases.
Hmm, well, it started when I was teaching drama to kids in Maui. It came to the final presentation and I thought I’d go nuts if I had to do The Three Little Pigs… So I wrote a scene with two witches. And I had the kids do Shakespeare. I had no idea I would drag scene out and turn it into a play. Also, I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and have always felt a bit ,well, out of it in the States. But that has served me with the play; I think, I hope, I have an aerial view of our glorious planet and the many cultures inhabiting Mother Earth.
How does this fractured fairy tale resonate today?
Well, hmm, I feel I deliver, through character, the politics of the United States and around the globe. I address the destruction of the planet – and the destruction of people . And the many ills of our western culture. But – that is almost secondary – because there is fantasy and humor and a mix of the familiar within an unfamiliar world – a cast of characters with their relationships. It’s very funny (if I do say so myself). So even if you don’t get some of the references, eh, the situations and characters are hilarious – and there is the balance of darkness.
Today’s politics huh? Do you feel Planet Connections is the right venue for it?
I had, as an actress, performed last summer in a fundraiser for the Neo-Political Cowgirls and I met Glory. I then invited her to a reading of this play in February that had Kathy Chalfont, Harris Yulin. She was unable to attend but kindly read the play and suggested I submit it – and I did!
What’s the wish for the future of the play?
I know what I would like. But where it goes…?? I’d love to see a production – it is very visual. That said, it could be an animated film. But who knows anything. I’ll just keep on keepin’ on – as Bob Dylan sings.
Final Thought …
Jeez, I hope I’m not kicking the bucket. But final thoughts – I welcome this experience and dig that whatever proceeds made will go to a charity, the Retreat. I’m really pleased, grateful. And I hope people have a good time.