Boise, ID – July 8, 2021 – Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT), the only professional theater in the state of
Idaho that focuses entirely on new and contemporary plays, is thrilled to announce the selections for its
inaugural BIPOC Playwrights Festival, made possible by the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation and the
Morrison Center Endowment Foundation. The festival will take place August 2-14 th at the Velma V. Morrison
Center for the Performing Arts.
Lily Yasuda, Festival Director says, “BCT’s mission is to inspire our community to examine our perspectives
and better understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us by creating thought-provoking stories of
the human experience. This festival allows us to bring new stories, penned by artists from all over the country,
to Boise. BCT is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the human experience are explored on its stages. We
are thrilled to have such a stellar line up of talent for the first iteration of this festival. Our very accomplished
selection committee – made of up theater artists from all over the country – reviewed all submissions and
committed themselves to a detailed selection process. The interest in the festival was overwhelming, and I am
so excited to watch this festival grow in future years so that we can feature more of the writers we heard from
this year, and from new writers entering the field.”
Benjamin Burdick, Producing Artistic Director of BCT, explains the festival offerings as, “time for playwrights
to develop their work in partnership with some of the best directors and performers in the American Theater.
Week one will give the writers, actors and directors time and space to work on the new scripts. That work will
culminate in several readings on the Morrison Center Stage on August 6th and 7th. The festival will include a
playwright’s panel on Tuesday, August 10th , moderated by Lily Yasuda and featuring all of our playwrights.”
BCT is proud to announce the participation of the following playwrights and directors in the festival. Casting is
underway and will be announced soon.
Jaime Castañeda, Director of Middle of the World, has directed several world premiere productions for La
Jolla Playhouse, and was the Associate Artistic Director there for many years. Select directing credits also
include The Canadians by Adam Bock (South Coast Repertory), Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (American
Conservatory Theater), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz (Dallas Theater Center), The
Royale by Marco Ramirez (American Theater Company, Jeff Award directing nomination), Chimichangas and
Zoloft by Fernanda Coppel (Atlantic Theater Company), Jaime has received a Princess Grace Award, a Drama
Juan Alfonso, playwright of Middle of the World, spent 20 years as a media executive before writing his first
play, An Educated Guess, based on his own experience as an immigrant to the United States. The play was
developed at New York Theatre Workshop and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Juan is writing his next two
plays in residency at the Geffen Playhouse’s Writers’ Room program. In his day job, Juan is a television
producer who has worked on over 25 shows, including the Emmy-winning American Crime from Academy
Award winner John Ridley and Marvel’s Agent Carter; as well as documentaries like The Clemente Effect and
L’Arbitre, winner of the United Nations prize at the New York Festivals in 2010.
Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters, playwright of Half of Chopsticks, is a Barrymore nominated actor, playwright,
and teaching artist in Philadelphia. She is an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright and the Lead Artist on the Philly
Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project. She earned a spot on the 2020 Kilroy’s List and Table Work
Press Recommended list.
Jeff Liu, Director of Half of Chopsticks, is a writer and director for theater, film and web, was the former
Literary Manager for East West Players, and is a member of the O’Neill National Directing Fellowship cohort
of 2016. He is currently a Resident Dramaturge for the Ojai Playwrights Conference.
The following are the selections for the 2021 BCT BIPOC Playwright’s Festival:
MIDDLE OF THE WORLD
By Juan Alfonso
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
A New York investment banker, at the top of his game, steps into an Uber car service. He is on the verge of
closing the biggest deal of his career. As he starts chatting with the driver, he finds her smarter and more
interesting than the usual person who takes you from point A to point B. He learns that she used to be someone
in “management”, someone with power, a person at the top— she was the president of Ecuador. Middle of The
World centers around the unlikely friendship between Glenn and Victoria. He grew up in the projects and now
has everything he ever wanted. Yet somehow, he feels deeply unfulfilled. Conversely, Victoria was the leader
of a nation, democratically elected as the one who would turn the country around. She now lives exiled in
disgrace, with her assets frozen and her family estranged, but with an unwavering determination to clear her
name and return home.
HALF OF CHOPSTICKS
By Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters
Directed by Jeff Liu
Emmy Young’s dad was the King of Koreatown until the day he was swallowed by a hole. It’s not just the ghost
of her dad that cracks the plaster off the walls of Young’s Chopsticks – Traditional Korean Take Out and
Delivery. Emmy’s half-secret, half-white, half-brother shows up with half the deed to her dead dad’s restaurant,
and everything Emmy thought she knew about her home, family, and father begins to crumble.
About Boise Contemporary Theater
Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) is a professional theater company located in Boise, Idaho. BCT is the only
company in the Boise area committed to performing exclusively contemporary work. BCT’s home is in the
heart of Downtown Boise in the BODO district. Our Mission is to inspire our community to examine our
perspectives and better understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us by creating thought-
provoking stories of the human experience.
For more information about BCT, please visit https://bctheater.org/
PR Contact: Benjamin Burdick