#TenthPlanet: Surfacing

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.

SURFACING

Part of the 10th anniversary season of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
at the Theaters at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, New York City running Friday 7/13 @5:30pm-6:45pm, Sunday 7/15 @6:15pm-7:30pm, Wednesday 7/18 @9:30pm-10:45pm, Wednesday 7/25 @5:30pm-6:45pm, Sunday 7/29 @5:15pm-6:30pm, and Friday 8/3 @7:45pm-9pm

Chelsea has no idea how to take care of her older sister, Marissa, after her failed suicide attempt … until they each discover the “horrors” of Tinder.
Mike Poblete serves up an unapologetic tome about family, sex, life & death, sex, starting over in 2018 … and did we mention sex? Writer/Producer Mike Poblete has six full length plays and numerous one acts performed in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and South Korea. Here in New York, his work has been seen at the Lucille Lortel Theater, Cherry Lane, Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, The Brick, The Robert Moss Theater, The Gene Frankel Theater, The Krane, TBG Theater and many more. His plays have been published by Carysfort Press and Smith & Kraus.

poster-attempt-3.jpg

[Talking with playwright, Mike Poblete]
“On a first date, don’t open with your botched suicide attempt” gave me a huge laugh. Not sure if i was supposed to. Let’s start with you. Tell us about yourself as an artist

I think like most artists, all I try to do is take that feeling, that one you get in your gut sometimes and don’t know what to do about, and try to rationalize it in a context to spark a discussion. And sometimes I do a pretty good job, often I fail miserably, but one way or another I’ll be banging on my keyboard at 3am on a Friday hopped up on junk food trying to justify my existence in this world through offering something bordering on insightful.

Suicide and Tinder … well, share with us a little something about your play that we WON’T see in the press release.

A lot of this play is about the struggle of artistry, about the immense pressure we put on ourselves as artists to make an impact. What we do if we feel like we never quite get there, and how that self imposed struggle affects those who love us?

What the modern message of your play? How does your play resonate today? Feel free to be blunt. 

The characters of SURFACING are lost in this world, and could help each other a lot if they only ask for help. But we’re not very good at asking for help, especially in an age where the perceived image of happiness and success is paramount. As we shift from a localized personal community to a globalized digital community, I think we need to acknowledge that we have no idea what we’re doing, and need to be open to learning from our mistakes, and from one another.

Why did you choose Planet Connections for your work? Was it their philanthropic bent?   

I really love Planet Connections’ commitment to working with charities. We’re partnered with the Jed Foundation, that seeks to give those touched by the specter of suicide the tools to have badly needed conversations. We’re planning on having representatives at every performance ready to provide information, as well as a talk back after one of the performances to connect audience members moved by the play to channel that energy in positive directions, for themselves and their communities.

Where do you see it going in the future? What’s the next step?  

I always focus on one project at a time. We’re working hard to make SURFACING a honest, funny, entertaining and affecting experience, with applicable ties to the real world with our charity partnership right here at Planet Connections. And if we pull it off? Well, ask me then. 

Final thoughts?

You know, there’s all kinds of reasons to make art. This one isn’t overly cerebral, it’s really personal, I’m leaving it out there on the stage. I’m asking a lot of my actors, and the result is you’re going to get a real experience coming to this show. 

 

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