Kat Agudo.

Kat Agudo.

Key City given $10,000 grant for REDD production

PORT TOWNSEND — Key City Public Theatre has received a $10,000 grant to support the production of REDD by Kat Agudo.

REDD will have its world premiere at Key City Public Theatre in April.

“REDD is a unique opportunity for KCPT’s regional BIPOC Ensemble Actors to explore roles that resonate with their cultural backgrounds; characters that are tailor-made for them in a collaboration with an up-and-coming playwright,” said Denise Winter, executive artistic director for KCPT.

“We are so proud to have this platform to show young people from underserved communities that they can reinvent their story with hope and action necessary in today’s world.”

Winter commissioned REDD in June 2022.

The aim was to re-invent the folktale about Little Red Riding Hood’s Euro-centric lens to invite a diverse Asian cast and audience, she said.

Before the famous Brothers Grimm iteration, the spiritual intricacies of Little Red were embedded in the mystical lore of the Asian tradition, featuring a hungry wolf longing to feast upon young prey, she explained.

“This play is intended to be mature, terrifying and a startling examination of feminine livelihood through the eyes of a young person,” according to a press release.

Agudo, who has served a residency at Centrum for screenwriting, holds a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology with a certificate in Italian Studies from Rome, Italy and The University of Texas at Austin.

Agudo graduated with a master’s degree in playwriting from The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University.

Awards include Semi-Finalist status for Theatre Mu Tang Clan, The Women’s Playwright Center at Speranza and Emerson Stage NewFest. Recent publications include Pile Press, Lucky Jefferson and Poet’s Choice. They seek to translate poetic narratives about mental health, Asian-American experiences, LGBTQ representation and social media culture to the stage by confronting horrific trauma with comedy.

The play was workshopped on Governor’s Island in New York City by Visual Muze, a storytelling residency and retreat in partnership with The West Harlem Arts Fund. The residency included a rehearsal space, collaboration with other residents and inspiration for the playwright to create Redd’s dilapidated Manila in the Philippines.

Key City Public Theatre announced earlier this week that it had been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive the Challenge America award.

The grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson.

“Projects such as this one with Key City Public Theatre strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, see www.arts.gov/news.

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