NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Crossroads Theatre Company’s Genesis Festival of Plays is back for a three-day run of three new works that stand true to the theatre’s history of telling stories that highlight issues and start conversations across ethnic, racial and cultural spectrums.

The Genesis Festival, which will run Feb. 21-23, is a playwright laboratory experience that consists of three separate shows of stage readings for the audience to enjoy and critique that will be held in the performance studio of The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC).

The shows will spotlight the works of Pia Wilson ("Iseult et Tristan"); Crossroads Co-Founder Ricardo Khan ("Letters From Freedom Summer") and Lisa B. Thompson ("Dinner"). The readings will be hosted by Marshall Jones, Artistic Director of Crossroads Genesis Festival of New Plays.

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”We are excited about the return of Genesis Festival and the intimate audience participation and engagement that it offers,” said Anthony P. Carter, President of Crossroads Board of Trustees.

“Crossroads is the people’s theater and as a testament to that we invite our members and non-members to join us to be part of the playwriting development process and the types of performances we consider to be a part of our upcoming seasons,” he added.

Since it began 41 years ago, Crossroads has been dedicated to creating and producing professional theater at the highest standards of artistic excellence that brings the voices of the African Diaspora to life and to light.

The Genesis Festival of Plays is free to Crossroads Theatre Company Members. Tickets for non-members are $18 and can be purchased via www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org or at the NBPAC Box Office located at 11 Livingston Ave.

Feb. 21 - "Dinner," by Lisa B. Thompson.

It is an insightful and comedic look at the inter-cultural dynamics between African-Americans and Africans when two families meet to celebrate their children’s unexpected engagement. This play asks not “who’s coming to dinner” but what’s on the political and cultural menu when the African Diaspora gathers to dine.

Feb.22 - "Letters From Freedom Summer," by Ricardo Khan, actress Denise Nicholas and Sibusiso Mamba, is the sequel to Crossroads' upcoming production of "Freedom Rider" (April 9-19). 

"Letters," while taking place during the civil rights era, is pertinent to concerns present today around the right to vote and the need for people to work together, not apart in polarizing times. Live music from the era shades the color of the times with the sounds of Motown, gospel, blues, and 60s folk tunes.  Like "Freedom Rider," "Letters" is about mobilization, and how black and white students courageously journeyed through the American south to address unequal and inequitable
treatment due simply to the color of one’s skin.

Feb. 23 - "Iseult et Tristan" by Pia Wilson.

It's an adaptation of the 12th-century tragic romance centered on the adulterous love affair between Cornish knight Tristan and Irish princess/healer Iseult, who is set to marry King Mark of Cornwall. In this 21st century retelling of the story, a young, African-American boxer, Iseult, struggles with addiction and her love for her sister Margo's fiancé, Tristan — all while she pursues her dream of being a gold medalist at the Olympics.