ID America Fesitval at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center



Quo Vadimus Arts presents the ID America Fesitval, showcasing 30 plays about American Identity, from 15 different states, Written by playwrights from around the Nation, at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural from 10 - 20 Nov 2007.

Plays will be divided into three evenings, American Psyche, American Culture and American Dreams. Each evening contains eight plays and will perform several times throughout the festival. The last two days of the festival will present five of the favorite shows in a combined 'Best of Festival'.

The festival will also present three play readings, Assimilation in America, Attitudes Towards Race and Pharmapsychology In America


American Psyche: A look into the minds of various Americans reveals a young woman's fear of attack, a couple's voyeuristic tendencies and a teenage girl's medicated struggle with sanity. Some journeys inward reveal inner superheroes while others reveal helplessness and paranoia. Our playwrights reach into their own psyches and present us with uniquely American frames of mind.

The eight short plays, directed by Deena Selenow, are:

  • Followed
    Playwright: Edith Weiss
    Synopsis: A young woman on her way home late at night gets the inexplicable feeling that she is not alone.
  • Here To Serve You
    Playwright: Barbara Lindsay
    Synopsis: An airline passenger becomes alarmed when he finds an abandoned shoe in the terminal. Can we feel secure without losing our freedom...or our minds?
  • Moment
    Playwright: Matt Haldeman
    Synopsis: Hannah and Matt stumble upon an argument between a couple in a public park. A lot can happen in a moment.
  • Run of the River
    Playwright: William C. Kovacsik
    Synopsis: A father has one more chance to go fishing with his son.
  • Simultaneity
    Playwright: Melanie Wallner
    Synopsis: Natalie is being torn apart by her mother and her best friend, and the medication isn't helping. Everything happens too fast when everything happens all at once.
  • Soapbox
    Playwright: Carl Brandt Long
    Synopsis: Two orators compete and try to explain society's ills to an innocent bystander.
  • Superhero
    Playwright: Mark Harvey Levine
    Synopsis: Leonard and Rachel find their superpowers in a demanding and discouraging world of evil cat ladies and landlords.
  • To Darfur
    Playwright: Erik Christian Hansen
    Synopsis: Ryan is depressed about Darfur. With so much apathy surrounding him, how can he put his money where his mouth is?


American Culture: American culture is the blending of many different peoples from around the world into something new. It is cell phones, cowboys, American Idol and bar fights. It is something reshaped and altered in the forges of September 11th and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Playwrights from coast to coast examine our cultural differences and search for commonality.

The eight short plays, directed by Kerry Whingham, are:

  • Asparagus
    Playwright: Schatzie Schaefers
    Synopsis: A teenager in a panic stumbles across a homeless man living in an empty lot. But as their pasts begin to catch up with them, they find that their only hope for survival lies with each other.
  • Bobby Hebert
    Playwright: Samuel Brett Williams
    Synopsis: Two men struggle to cope with boredom and anxiety in the wake of a disaster much greater than themselves.
  • Close Encounter
    Playwright: Amy Tofte
    Synopsis: A chance meeting at a mall food court between two powerful-seeming people shows the darker side of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Human Resources
    Playwright: Mike Folie
    Synopsis: A cowboy and a bureaucrat explore the meaning of manifest destiny in this unusual job interview.
  • Interpreting A Dream
    Playwright: Judy Klass
    Synopsis: Ivania is having trouble adjusting to her new country. Her well-meaning principal and her assigned bilingual �friend� try to get through to her. When those who speak the same language fail to communicate, how can you interpret a dream?
  • The New Sign
    Playwright: K. Biadaszkiewicz
    Synopsis: It is one month after the September 11th attacks. At a roadside restaurant in the Southern United States, two restaurant workers struggle to create the sign of their times.
  • Please Pass The Salt
    Playwright: Debbie Wiess
    Synopsis: Knife, Fork, Spoon, Cell Phone. The classic American family dinner gets upgraded to the 21st century when the entire family brings technology to the table.
  • Shift: A Political Allegory
    Playwright: Jordan Smedberg
    Synopsis: Patriotism, lies and barfights. Three rowdy servicemen encounter a jaded bartender on their last night before they ship out.


American Dreams: The American dream means something different for everyone. From the nightmare of the notorious Sacco & Vanzetti to the aspirations of an Upper East Side cocker spaniel with eating issues, the dreams we explore in this evening are singularly American. In the course of an evening Irish immigrants, fallen soldiers and heiresses will chase their American dreams.

The eight short plays, directed by Josh Gelb, are:

  • Alarm
    Playwright: Paul N Moulton
    Synopsis: Michelle wakes up delighted to find her usually exhausted husband Kevin more amorous than usual. It is only when she discovers why the change has occurred that she begins to feel afraid...
  • Appetite
    Playwright: Caren Skibell
    Synopsis: Snickers has a problem. She and her friends have all developed eating issues. They feel they have no control over their lives, that they are not listened to, and that their enthusiasm is discouraged by those they love most. Also, they're dogs.
  • Night Before Last
    Playwright: Doug Reed
    Synopsis: Sacco and Vanzetti have been in prison together for seven years. It is the night before their execution. Surely they know each other inside out. Or do they?
  • Normal Is A Country
    Playwright: Steven Schutzman
    Synopsis: After experiencing physical and emotional trauma overseas, a young soldier comes home to his mother and tries to mend.
  • Onus on Us
    Playwright: Cheryl Games
    Synopsis: Millie and Peg's small town is full of dreams for a better future. They dream of unlimited toilet paper and a new Hummer, but for Skylar the dream is about cleaner air. Do you have to have something before you can save something?
  • Peace Talk
    Playwright: James McLindon
    Synopsis: "People need to fight as much as they need to talk, or what's the point of talk?� Two very different �Irish� men on violence, ownership and belonging.
  • Prospect Park
    Playwright: Brendan O'Brien
    Synopsis: A little girl takes interest in a young man who shares her neighborhood. On this beautiful day in the park, they both discover things that they took for granted are not as they seem.
  • Upgrade
    Playwright: Albert Pergande
    Synopsis: Kurt Heller is a coach kind of guy. So when he is upgraded to first class and seated next to the fabulous Jeanne Marie D'Argent, he sticks out like a sore thumb. A one-act, with leg room.


Reading Series - Assimilation in America: 2 short plays on assimilation followed by a panel discussion.

The two plays are:

  • An American Christmas
    Playwright: Jennie Berman Eng
    Synopsis: Abe and Hassan are both new to the neighborhood. They are outsiders scrambling to fit in. They are working to live the American Dream, impress the ladies of the garden club and rule their new suburban social scene. But at what cost?
  • Apologies to Vietnam
    Playwright: C.S. Hanson
    Synopsis: A graduate student in search of 'real Vietnamese culture' stumbles across a sarcastic Miss Kai in her 'authentic' Vietnamese restaurant. Who owns what culture, and when we search for the genuine article, what are we really looking for?


Reading Series - Attitudes Towards Race: 2 short plays on race followed by a panel discussion.

The two plays are:

  • Cultural Diversity Ate My Lunch
    Playwright: Alonzo LaMont, Jr.
    Synopsis: How do you participate in a flawed system and still retain your identity? An angry college professor has a lot to say about 'diversity' in the intellectual world.
  • One Night at Fern's
    Playwright: Darren Canady
    Synopsis: Everyone gets along at Fern's diner, a sleepy greasy spoon on the Kansas-Misourri border. All that changes when a young man holds three waitresses hostage and each finds out what the others are really like...


Reading Series - Pharmapsychology In America: 2 short plays on pharmaspychology followed by a panel discussion.

The two plays are:

  • Orientation Day
    Playwright: Chris Shaw Swanson
    Synopsis: What if you could transform your troubled, unruly adolescent into a contented achiever overnight? This science fiction tale examines one troubled family struggling between happiness and sometimes painful reality.
  • The 7-Second Itch
    Playwright: Stephen Miller
    Synopsis: A first date-on ritalin. Two blind daters go round in circles and engage in what for many would be several weeks worth of conversation during their 7 Second Itch...