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2019 Matchbox Reading Series

Nov 6–Nov 9 · Z Below · Directions


An idea, the artists, the words, and you! Presenting free readings of new plays by Victoria Chong Der, Roxie Perkins, Sedef Ecer, and Star Finch. Reservations are encouraged.

39 by Victoria Chong Der
directed by Jeffrey Lo
One presentation only – Wed, Nov. 6, 7:30 pm

Social justice warrior, or Vigilante Superhero? Echo herself isn’t quite sure. Thirteen months (a year would be too on the nose) after her mother’s death, Echo finds her dating life complicated by a glitter-dropping, light-changing ghost of a mother, who won’t stop writing online profiles, setting her daughter up, and drugging the snacks at the anti-rape advocacy group that she’s stocked with eligible men. While the traumas and injustices pile up, somehow along the way Echo finds her own power, independent of mothers, dead boyfriends, or awkward dates, and inspires a worldwide social justice superhero moment.

Victoria Chong Der has written for several Bay Area companies. In addition to being a member of the Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwright Initiative, Victoria is a PlayGround Resident Playwright and 2014 Fellow. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Oberlin College. Recent full-length plays include Love and Justice, a play that explores the love between best friends trying to have a baby in today’s modern world, Silly Ways to Mourn, a magical realism play that still hasn’t quite come together but will speak fantastically about the godliness in humans once complete, and Like Me, a play about child sex trafficking in Oakland. Her work also includes having written and produced for several game companies. She’s super thankful to Mina and Crowded Fire for giving her this opportunity.

directed by Nailah Harper-Malveaux
One presentation only – Thu, Nov. 7, 7:30 pm

In order to make sense of the violence that seems to follow them wherever they go, a young, single mom teaches her daughter a murder ballad that was passed down to her from her own mother about a monster that can climb inside of anyone and make them “bad.” Told in a non-linear structure with interwoven songs, Ballad of Haint Blue explores the weight of generational trauma and how far people will go to protect their families from the monsters of the world– including themselves.


Roxie Perkins is an artist who writes and directs for theatre, opera, TV, and film. She is the librettist of the Pulitzer Prize winning opera “p r i s m” which also won the Music Critics Association of North America’s “Best New Opera” Award and was recently named one of the “Top 12 Newly Released Albums” by NPR.  She has been awarded a Sundance Playwright Fellowship, and her work has been nominated to The Kilroy’s “THE LIST” and We For She’s “WriteHer List,” annual rankings of the best unproduced plays and original TV pilots by women. Her work has appeared at REDCAT, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, PROTOTYPE Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA Opera, The Tank NYC, The LARK’s Roundtable Reading Series, and internationally at Theatro Municipal in Brazil. Her upcoming projects include a production of “p r i s m” at the Kennedy Center and the premiere of her new play, “boom”, at Cutting Ball Theater.

translated to English by Evren Odcikin, directed by Erin Gilley
One presentation only – Fri, Nov. 8, 7:30 pm

Set in Istanbul and Paris, At the Periphery is a new play that focuses on the rarely-told stories of migrants in Istanbul’s urban slums. Farmers Dilcha and Bilo leave their home in the countryside to make a life in the big city. Young lovers Azad and Tamar appeal to superstar Sultane’s reality TV show to realize their dream of a life in France. Gyspy woman Kybelee finds home in a shack she has made with her own hands. Ecer’s new play takes a lyrical, funny, and deeply human look at hope and home against all odds.

Sedef Ecer was born in Istanbul, where she grew up in the world of movie-making, theatre and television. She has written numerous articles or opinion pieces for national newspapers or magazines, novels, screenplays, explored new genres with transmedia stories and translated Charlotte Delbo, and Saint-Exupery’s works into Turkish. But her major work is in the field of theater, in French. Now living in Paris and writing in French, her plays are published by Les Éditions de l’Amandier, Les Éditions l’Espace d’un Instant, Lansman and l’Avant-Scène in France, and translated into Polish, Turkish, Armenian, German, Greek, and English. Ms. Ecer’s plays have been seen across Europe at venues including Metz Opera House, National Theatre Le Liberté, Théâtre du Peuple, Aalen Stadt Theater, and Théâtre National de Strasbourg. She is one of the three women writers who founded the Parlement des Écrivaines Francophones, and is entered in the 2014 Dictionnaire Universel des Créatrices (The Universal Dictionary of Women Creators Worldwide, supported by Unesco). She is represented by Zelig in France, Merlin Verlag in Germany, and Habitus in Turkey.

directed by Mina Morita
One presentation only – Sat, Nov. 9, 7:30pm

Inspired by a charged post-show talkback of a play examining Black bodies in media, Shipping and Handling is a taut experience that unpacks the unpacking process. Unfolding backwards in time, we uncover a parallel between actors and Artificial Intelligence, both players embodying another’s words and responding to an audience’s needs. The question is: how does the “who” who’s on the other side — the playwright, the audience, the programmer — shift the entire experience? How will YOU shift the experience?

Star Finch is a native San Franciscan trying her best to hold ground amidst the erasure of gentrification. She’s a member of Campo Santo Theater Company and a resident playwright at Playwrights Foundation. Her plays include H.O.M.E. [Hookers on Mars Eventually] and BONDAGE (Princess Grace Award semifinalist, Relentless Award honorable mention). She was also the lead writer on the collaborative performance piece Babylon is Burning, a loose adaptation of Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop; and on Death Become Life: Banish Darkness, a collaboration with AXIS Dance, Ensemble Mik Nawooj, and Crowded Fire Theater. Finch has also contributed to various collaborative projects including TheaterFirst’s PARTICIPANTS and Campo Santo’s ETHOS DE MASQUERADE. She’s held residencies in Crowded Fire’s R&D LAB and AlterTheater’s Alter Lab. In 2020 Campo Santo will produce her play Side Effects. She is a recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission in Theater.