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Victory Gardens announces 2012 Ignition lineup

Updated: June 29, 2012 4:40PM

Victory Gardens Theatre’s third biennial Ignition Festival, whose mission is to develop the new work of emerging and established playwrights of color, has announced the plays selected for showcasing in its 2012 edition.

They include:

— “Seven Spots on the Sun” by Martin Zimmerman, about a village whose only doctor has refused to work for 18 months — ever since the army took away his wife during the country’s civil war — but then discovers he has the power to cure a mysterious plague.

— “The Shotgun Message” by A. Rey Pamatmat, about a journalist whose life is turned upside down when the 17-year-old who was the primary source of his article on teenage (online) camwhores winds up missing after turning in his pedophile clients to the FBI.

— “Samsara” by Lauren Yee, a look at reproduction in the 21st century that focuses on an American couple who head to India, where a thriving commercial surrogacy industry offers them one final chance at parenthood.

— “Appropriate” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, about the three adult children of a patriarch (and compulsive hoarder) who is long dead, and the gruesome discovery they make when they finally deal with the family’s deserted, heavily mortgaged Arkansas homestead.

— “The Curious Walk of the Salamander” by Kirsten Greenidge, the tale of Henry, who is forced into therapy after a breakdown at college, and who eventually relives the circumstances of her once affluent family’s demise.

In addition, Victory Gardens’ Playwrights Ensemble member Marcus Gardley will join the group as a Playwright-in-Residence, spending his time researching and drafting his upcoming play, “Chicago is Burning.”

The five selected plays will be presented in a festival of readings scheduled between July 29 and Aug.12, and will be directed by leading artists from Chicago. Following the readings, the plays may be considered for further development and possible production at Victory Gardens Theater.

Ignition tickets are $5 per reading. A special $25 festival pass offers access to all public readings. Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. Call (773) 871-3000 or visit Additional Ignition events will be announced online.

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