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Patchwork Theatre’s Almeda Fest

Patchwork Theatre kicks off 2021 with Almeda Fest this February 26th and 27th! The festival showcases new works created, directed, and starring Black artists. All proceeds of the festival support the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition, and tickets are “pay what you can” so everyone has the ability to enjoy this festival. Kian Kline-Chilton, Founder of Patchwork Theatre talks about the festival, why this was the right start to this new year and a new piece that he wrote that debuts in this festival.

Photo Credit: Patchwork Theatre

Almeda Fest is following up with the theatre company’s production of “WE WILL NOT DESCRIBE THE CONVERSATION, and Kian says that this festival was a great way to start the year living and working for what they want to achieve as artists.

We really wanted to start this year with a project that not only encompassed our mission but also pushed us a little in our ability and stamina as a company. Being able to create a festival that allows us to begin to foster new work, pay people for their art, and also give back was a project that really excited us for a number of reasons. It began to feel like we were accomplishing what we had always hoped to do in college where we first started. With this, we have begun to function less as college graduates but as artists who want to share our passion with the community. To us, to start the year with passion would be a great catalyst for what is hopefully a very venturous and fortunate year.

The festival is not just to celebrate Black creatives, but to also celebrate the creativity and durability of theatre in this unique and trying time.

I really am excited for audiences to be able to see such a collective space celebrating art. I think despite all of us getting tired of Zoom, there is something to be said about the live aspect. I think even tucked away in our homes, I hope that it still feels like an event. I also am really excited for audiences to see the work of these incredible artists. We are so lucky to have two, phenomenal Black women at the helm of both pieces and add the incredible casts, I think we are all in for a treat. A nice reminder of why we love what we do.

Kline-Chilton’s piece, THE FINAL FRAME debuts on Saturday, February 27th and is something that inspired by the past year tackles, love, creativity, friendship, and also the power of dancing to some good music.

It really was birthed out of loneliness, out of spending so many birthdays and holidays behind a screen unable to be in proximity of people you love, but still being present as ever on my little screen. It’s about the yearning of why we sometimes will just sit in silence with someone because we just want to know they want to be with us. The leaning on of friendships, just asking to not be alone. I always am giving love back to those who have uplifted me. It’s a love letter to my community who have been so supportive in the virtual space. Oh, and expect good dancing and music, and a little interactive at the end!

Patchwork Theatre Company is donating the proceeds of the festival to support the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition, which Kian says is a perfect way to blend representation and accessibility to the arts with the good work the coalition does to support the community.

When we were planning the time frame and landed on February, in realizing that it would be Black History Month, we thought what a wonderful way to take initiative and begin to uplift Black voices during this time. Of course, this isn’t the only time to do it, but a fitting one. As a Black, Queer individual, to know that an organization like the Coalition exists is so comforting because I never had places like that to be a kid. For us, this partnership was a chance to open the door to make the arts not only more accessible but also a place where representation can be seen and portrayed beautifully.

Almeda Fest, A festival showcasing new works created, directed by and starring Black artists is playing on February 26th and 27th at 7pm PST.

Go to https://www.patchworktheatreco.com/ for more details and to purchase tickets now!

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