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31st Season Around the Table Reading Series

31st Season Around the Table Reading Series

Upcoming in this series will be ATC’s 30th season Artist-in-Residence Reynaldo Piniella’s Son of an Unknown Father and current Artist-in-Residence Cris Eli Blak’s Anonymous Skin.

Piniella said, “Abingdon Theatre Company has been an artistic home for me, first as an actor, then as an artist-in-residence, and now as a playwright in their Around the Table series and I couldn't be more excited to develop my play Son of an Unknown Father under the artistic leadership of Chad Austin and his team. My play digs into some tough issues affecting our world today and having a safe space at Abingdon to play, explore, and develop as an artist is invaluable to me and integral to the growth of my play.” Blak added in, “When you finish writing a new show, the future is always unknown. It may become something, it may stay on your laptop until the end of time. You never know. And that is why it's such an honor to have Anonymous Skin receive this opportunity. To be part of the Abingdon family in the first place as an artist-in-residence was an honor but to have work actively developed with the company as part of their 31st season feels like the next level. I'm continually grateful for the support of Chad and the whole team. The trust, belief and support of the work is unmatchable and I don't take it for granted. This show is so important to me and maybe the project I am most proud of as a writer. I am so glad it won't just be on my laptop until the end of time and that the beginning stages of this story being brought to the world are being executed.”

Reynaldo Piniella is an actor, writer, activist and educator from East New York, Brooklyn. In 2021, he was in the acting company of two Broadway shows at the same time – Thoughts of a Colored Man and Trouble in Mind. As a playwright, his work includes Black Doves (Thomas Barbour award for Playwriting), Real Life RPG (commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage, produced by San Diego Rep, Shakesqueer Theater Company and Pioneer Theater Guild), No Shade (produced by the Lee Strasberg Institute at NYU Tisch), I’m Old School (produced by Single Carrot Theater) and Black and Blue (Ars Nova’s ANT Fest.) He received the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship from Theatre Communications Group to develop a bilingual English-Spanish Hamlet with the Classical Theatre of Harlem. He is an alum of New Victory Theater's LabWorks, All for One Theater’s Solo Collective, the Civilians’ R&D Group and a former artist-in-residence at Abingdon Theatre Company and Culture Lab LIC. He is the inaugural recipient of the All Stars Project’s Fellowship for Young Artists of Color, a FREEdom Fellow at the Weeksville Heritage Center and has received residencies from the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Initiative and HB Studio. His Off-Broadway acting credits include The Death of the Last Black Man..., Venus (Signature), The Skin of Our Teeth (TFANA), Lockdown (Rattlestick), The Space Between the Letters (The Public/UTR), Lockdown (Rattlestick) and The Best of Theatreworks (Working Theater). Regional acting credits include work at Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, O’Neill, Sundance Theatre Lab and Cleveland Play House.

Cris Eli Blak is an emerging proud Black playwright. His work has been produced Off-Broadway and around the country; on university stages (Columbia University, Northwestern University, New York University); as well as in London, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. He is the winner of the inaugural Black Broadway Men Playwriting Initiative and the Atlanta Shakespeare Company's inaugural winner of the Muse of Fire BIPOC Playwriting Festival. He has been the artist in residence at the State University of New York - Oswego, and the recipient of the inaugural Emerging Playwrights Fellowship from The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre. He was a resident playwright with Fosters Theatrical Artists Residency, Paterson Performing Arts Development Council and La Lengua Teatro en Español/AlterTheater Ensemble; the recipient of the Michael Bradford Residency from Quick Silver Theatre Company; and was in the inaugural class of fellows for the Black Theatre Coalition. His work has been published by Smith & Kraus, Inc., YOUTHPlays, Applause Books, New World Theatre, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, and in the Black Theatre Review.

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