The Last Census

Home base for all projects created and planned in conjunction with this initiative.

Overview

This initiative is being tackled through 6 different programs.

#1 is AUDITION/SHOWTIME. A national call for short scripts by BIPOC writers elicited more than 70 submissions. Multiple readers evaluated these and a top 10 were identified. Each of these 10 writers is being awarded $100 honorarium. In coordination with this process, a city-wide open audition was conducted on Saturday May 4 at the Southeast Live Well Center, focusing on opportunities and roles for BIPOC characters. Our trio of partner companies (AST, TMM and SDBET) were joined by representatives from 8 other theaters to review materials gathered, and simple video recordings made of each performer participating. From this (long) day of auditions, a number of the actors were invited back that same evening to read the top 10 scripts. These selected actors were each paid a $50 honorarium for the same-day readings.

#2 is CENSUS & CENSIBILITY. API writers in San Diego met over a month, working with AST’s Director Gingerlily Lowe to generate new Census-related scripts. The best of these were pulled out into a 90-minute program of public, free, lightly staged readings. Presented at 3 different venues (2 in Promise Zone), June 4-11. See the full event PROGRAM, and a short summary wrap-up.

#3 is expected to be KNOCK KNOCK, WHO’S THERE? a short, all-new original musical about census issues in Latino and Native American communities, produced and directed by TMM’s Artistic Director, Bill Virchis. Currently finalizing venue, to determine date, casting, rehearsal, etc., aiming for summer 2024.

#4 has a working title of THAT DON’T MAKE NO CENSUS. Produced and directed by SDBET (possibly renaming as UMOJA) Artistic Director Rhys Greene, a medley of short AND one longer-format script. Also coming in 2024.

#5 will be a larger, longer stage production titled THE LAST CENSUS. These may include material developed in projects 2, 3, or 4, as well as with writers contacted through the initial open call for writers. This is targeted for first half of 2025, no later than June.

#6 is yet to be finally defined. Currently evaluating different delivery options, but the general objective is ongoing census-related programs with a mass-media component, online or through some other platform. All talent and material involved in THE LAST CENSUS projects 1-5 will be considered for participating in project #6.

First key art for THE LAST CENSUS, created by Anthony Washington.