Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Crossroads Partners with NYC Hi-ARTS to Bring Provocative New Works to Its Audiences

 Crossroads Theatre Company’s Genesis Festival of New Plays

WHEN: 7:00 p.m. (EDT) April 14 – 17. Each event runs for about one hour.
 streaming over several virtual platforms
TICKETS: free of charge

The events are part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s The Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival, which provides free and discounted theatre events for all ages throughout the months of March, April, and May. 

“The Alliance is grateful that Crossroads Theatre Company is participating in the 2021 Stages Festival,” said John McEwen, Executive Director of the Alliance. “For more than 20 years, The Stages Festival has provided theatrical experiences for thousands of residents across New Jersey. While we may be gathering a bit differently this year, we are thrilled that theatre can remain a source of connection and joy in the Garden State. These efforts would not be possible without the wonderful help of partners such as Crossroads Theatre Company,” McEwen added.

In the spirit of bringing folks together to enjoy an evening of creativity and great theatre, Crossroads teaming up with Hi-Arts will offer Genesis to the widest audience ever!  Events can be accessed from the Crossroads and Hi-ARTS websites ( and and YouTube channels and Facebook Live platforms.

The 2021 Genesis Festival of New Plays is a playwright’s laboratory experience that consists of three pre-recorded readings that also include a live Q&A with each playwright. 

A crucial pillar in Crossroads’ mission is to support the work of new and emerging Black and Brown voices as they create and develop new work for the American theatre,” said Khan. “Partnering with Hi-ARTS on this year’s festival is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight other early-career artists as well,” Khan added.

The new plays featured stand true to the Crossroads’ legacy of storytelling that highlights issues and starts conversations across ethnic, racial, and cultural spectrums. "Hi-ARTS is proud to partner with Crossroads. We are aligned in our mission to support emerging and early-career artists of the Global Majority in the development of new theater and performance work," said Hi-ARTS’ McKinney. "Our artists are addressing key issues of equity and social justice that impact the community-at-large, communities of color, and communities like East Harlem, NY and New Brunswick, NJ. This is important now more than ever."

About The Genesis Festival of New Plays

All events begin 7:00 p.m. (EDT) are pre-recorded and run for approximately one hour. A LIVE Q&A using questions submitted by the audience closes each event. Genesis Festival events will be accessible online only through April 24. 

Wednesday, April 14:  Festival Kickoff: A LIVE conversation with all playwrights, moderated by Crossroads Co-Founder Ricardo Khan and Aaron L. McKinney, Acting Executive Director of Hi-ARTS.

Thursday, April 15: Sun Songs and Taking Space by Katie Madison. Performance excerpts from Sun Songs and Taking Space. Katie is currently a Hi-ARTS Critical Breaks artist in residence where she is working on the development of Sun Songs, a new musical work where suns, stars characters, and bodies explore their relationship to the natural world to investigate where they are in hopes of understanding where they’re going. Taking Space is a musical theatre piece about Black Queer Humans exploring the anxiety, depression, and trauma for being Black Queer Humans learning to “take” space, to make space, to break through and reshape space for Me and You.

Friday, April 16: The Hole: A New American Play by Zhailon Levingston explores the relationship and personal struggles of two inmates in solitary confinement. The play explores the illusions, memories, nightmares, dreams, and delusions of two inmates locked in ‘the hole.’

Saturday, April 17: Smoke by Ernie De Silva is Madison is a solo-driven story about an artist who finds himself in the middle of a battle for control of his creative voice. One voice is of the spirit of one of his ancestors (Smoke) who is haunting him. The other is of a modern-day pharmaceutical the artist is purposely taking to forcefully lock up his creative voice.    

About Hi-ARTS

Hi-ARTS (formerly known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) is a leading organization within the urban arts movement. For 20 years, Hi-ARTS has consistently broken new ground, advancing urban art by empowering artists to develop bold new works, while creating a lasting and positive impact on urban communities. Hi-ARTS is adding to the legacy of the HHTF at an exciting stage of growth that engages Hip-Hop while creating the new urban arts. With the move to our permanent home at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, Hi-ARTS is poised to grow into new realms of artistry, advocacy, and service to the communities in which we live and create.

About Crossroads Theatre 

The 1999 Tony® Award-winning Crossroads Theatre Company (CTC), now a resident member of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), is dedicated to creating and producing work that tells the stories that examine the African American experience so that it may be understood and appreciated by all people.  In its 42nd year being a preeminent gateway for black theatre, it has been the stage for many actors, directors, designers, writers, and other theatre professionals. 

About the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) 

NBPAC has propelled New Brunswick’s Downtown Cultural Arts District into the spotlight as the region’s most exciting and dynamic performing arts center. NBPAC features two state-of-the-art theatrical venues in the Elizabeth Ross Johnson and Arthur Laurents Theaters, dedicated rehearsal studios, and collaborative workspaces      for arts organizations across the region.

This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind.