BINGHAMTON, NY – The KNOW Theatre is once again using one art form to inspre another with its 18th Playwrights and Artists Festival.
The series begins with 3 paintings.
This year, they were all selected from local artists: “stairway to Heaven” by Mary Rose, “Family Picnic” by Judy Irwin-Salton and “Eat More Chikin” by Hannah Goldberg.
Then playwrights from across the country are asked to submit short plays based on those paintings.
In the end, 2 short plays based on each painting are selected and then staged at the KNOW.
They’re done in black box form, with just a few actors, no set and minimal costumes or props.
Artistic Director Tim Gleason says one of his favorite moments is hearing what the painters think of the interpretation of their works.
“The artist has no idea what they’re going to see which is one of the most thrilling for us when we get here. First question I ask in the talkback is I go right to the artist and I go, ‘What does that feel like that you heard music and 2 plays, that are usually very divergent, that come from us just starting with peeking at your painting?’ The look on their faces is worth the work,” says Gleason.
Original music is also written inspired by the paintings.
16 local actors in total perform.
The festival takes place over this weekend and next.
The plays inspired by “Stairway to Heaven” are performed on the Fridays at 8.
“Family Picnic” Saturdays at 8 and “Eat More Chikin” on the 2 Sundays at 8.
Tickets are 15 dollars or 30 for the entire weekend and can be purchased at KNOWTheatre.org or at the door.
Masks are required plus proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within the past 72 hours.