Local playwright and poet, Debra Kaufman, will premiere her new, one-act play ,“Free Hugs,” as part of the Greensboro Playwrights Forum "An Evening of Short Plays #39 Virtual,” Friday evenings March 5 and Saturday March 6. Kaufman’s play is about two sisters at a farmers' market a year after the COVID vaccines have been, mostly, effective.
For her play’s soundscape, Kaufman chose music by regional musical ensemble Mebanesville. Mebanesville’s version of the song “Ebla” will run behind portions of the play. A song by Stefano Saletti and Raffaello Simeoni, the “Ebla” recording is taken from Mebanesville’s August 2020 neighborhood music video project, produced under the direction of Artauro Production’s Michael and Cindy Haddow Salerno of Durham, and Mike Gasperino of Mebane.
Admission to the 8:00 p.m. live-stream performances is free with a suggested donation of $10. Advanced registration for a stream pass is required. Registration details can be found at www.creativegreensboro.com.
Kaufman and Mebanesvile previously collaborated on “Meet Paul Green,” a unique, readers theater collaboration with Playmakers Repertory of Chapel Hill, honoring the renowned North Carolina author and playwright, Paul Green. The tribute was part of the rededication of Paul Green’s writer’s studio, now located in the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.
Members of Mebanesville participating in the August 2020 “Ebla” recording were: Don Porter, Fernando Suárez, Jacob Morris, Larry Vellani, and Peggy Boswell, all of Mebane; Iryna Tkachenko, Chapel Hill; and Jane Davis, Hillsborough.
Kaufman’s work will also be featured in upcoming editions of the OdysseyStage podcast, The Suffragist Project, beginning March 1. Debra brings to life the story of the anti-lynching crusader, Ida B. Wells, who attends the suffragist parade of 1913 as a Chicago delegate of the Alpha Suffrage Club, which she founded. OdysseyStage reimagined the original stage theater project as a podcast when the pandemic hit, and features audio work by Bruce Rosenbloom. For more information visit http://www.odysseystage.org/shows/the-suffragist-project/.