New playwrights announced for Art House INKubator project

Art House Productions has officially announced the 2020-2021 cohort of its INKubator Program, a year-long process for a select group of six playwrights in residence at Art House Productions. This year’s playwrights are Andrea Coleman, Izzi D’Esposito, Madeline Dennis-Yates, Nathaniel Foster, Aja Nisenson, and SMJ. This will be the 3rd Annual INKubator New Play Festival, a six-day marathon festival scheduled to take place in May 2021.

Playwrights will meet virtually over the next several months with program director Alex Tobey to share new work, receive feedback, and develop a first draft of a new play. Meetings are expected to be in-person when it’s safer to do so. Each writer will team up with a director and actors to present a public reading in May as a part of INKubator.

In addition to monthly meetings, playwrights will receive free admission to performances, mixers, and other events at Art House Productions. Audiences will also have the opportunity to participate in conversations with the writers, directors, and actors following each performance.

Andrea Coleman is a Brooklyn based writer, performer and lawyer originally from Virginia. She writes sketch comedy, standup comedy, screenplays, stageplays, and her Medium articles have been viewed online over half a million times. The law comedy show she created and stars in, Woke Laws, has been featured in The New York Times, TimeOut NY, NPR, and aired on PBS. She has toured her standup at SF Sketchfest and written and executive produced five short films which have been selections at 16 film festivals.

Izzi D’Esposito (she/her) is a New York based playwright and songwriter. Her work has been produced or developed at The Playwrights Realm, Workshop Theater, Homegrown Theater, the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Ars Nova, Arts Tristate, Carnegie Mellon University, Horizon Theater, Boise Contemporary Theater and more. She has a podcast called lowercase sober about being sober in your 20′s and she releases new music under the name Bizzi.

Madeline Dennis-Yates (she/her) is a playwright and screenwriter whose most recent project, this is not the reunion, was a commissioned play for Stagefemmes at Kenyon College. She’s worked in the literary office at the O’Neill, as well as at Abingdon Theatre Company. Her work has received readings at the New Short Play Festival, the Source Festival, New York Winterfest, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, and the D.C. Shorts Film Festival. She attended George Washington University in D.C., where she was an art history major and captain of the equestrian team.

Nathaniel Foster is a New York City-based playwright, performer, and dramaturg. He is a 2017 Kennedy Center New Play Dramaturgy Fellow, 2018 ASTEP Artist as Citizens Fellow, a 2018 Cape Cod Theatre Project New Play Development Fellow and a 2019 New Play Development Apprentice at The Public Theater, served as an associate producer for Loading Dock Theatre’s 2020 Forklift season, and is currently an associate producer for Black Lives, Black Words.

Aja Nisenson is a playwright and performer from New Jersey. Her plays include Slap, Park Slope Under Water, The Wait, Funk, Piccola

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White House doctor announced Trump is being treated with dexamethasone. Here’s what we know about the drug.

President Donald Trump’s condition has continued to improve since being taken to the hospital Friday due to symptoms from a COVID-19 infection, White House physician Sean Conley told reporters on Sunday. 

Trump arrives at Walter Reed after COVID diagnosis



Conley had previously said he was using a “multi-prong” approach to treat Trump. He said Sunday that included the steroid dexamethasone in response to Trump’s blood oxygen level dropping twice.

An affordable, widely available steroid, dexamethasone has shown promise in improving survival outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

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Although the British government has authorized its use among some patients, it remains unclear how beneficial the treatment may be for less severe COVID-19 cases. Further, it has not been peer-reviewed or replicated in other studies.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.

© Jacquelyn Martin, AP
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.

“This is a significant improvement in the available therapeutic options that we have,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert.

What we know about the potentially lifesaving treatment:

What is dexamethasone?

Usually prescribed as an oral or intravenous steroid, dexamethasone is a general purpose anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling drug used for a variety of conditions, said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious disease doctor and associate professor of medicine at Yale, in June.

Like other steroids, however, “it is a non-specific treatment not necessarily targeting a single, specific pathway of inflammation or swelling,” Ogbuagu says. That has its drawbacks.

How is it used to treat COVID-19 patients?

Generally, COVID-19 comes in two phases, explained Ogbuagu. 

“People get the virus, it replicates, and that’s the first phase of the illness,” he said. “Afterward, around 10 days into the infection, people start to produce antibodies and inflammatory reactions to the virus.”

Video: Trump required oxygen treatments but could be discharged as early as Monday (POLITICO)

Trump required oxygen treatments but could be discharged as early as Monday



These inflammatory chemicals can sometimes create severe COVID-19 complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, which makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the bloodstream and reach organs.

Patients with severe COVID-19 complications saw significant benefits with dexamethasone in the United Kingdom study. These patients took it for 10 days, either orally or via IV.

As of June, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those needing supplemental oxygen. It did not appear to help less ill patients.

Trump is receiving lots of medical care. Some doctors wonder if it’s too much.

Are there complications?

Ogbuagu notes that timing and selectiveness among patients is critical to ensure dexamethasone is properly used as a treatment for COVID-19. 

Early findings suggest COVID-19 patients who do not have severe symptoms, such as requiring a respirator, should not take dexamethasone. 


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BC Election: Merrifield, Veintimilla announced as BC Liberal candidates in Southern Interior

The BC Liberals announced a long list of candidates on Tuesday for the Oct. 24 provincial election, including two for the Southern Interior.

Appointed to represent the party were Renee Merrifield for Kelowna-Mission and Petra Veintimilla for Boundary-Similkameen.

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First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has accused the BC NDP of calling an “unnecessary” election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“He is leaving British Columbians without a functioning government at a time when people needed leadership most,” Wilkinson said in a news release.

“Let’s be clear: John Horgan and the NDP’s decision to call this election, in the middle of a global pandemic, is nothing more than an irresponsible and cynical attempt to increase his own power.”

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BC Liberals slam decision to call election

BC Liberals slam decision to call election

In announcing the snap election on Monday for Oct. 24, Horgan said “this pandemic will be with us for a year or more, and that’s why I believe we need to have an election now.

“We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the next 12 months … or we can do what I believe is always the right thing and ask British Columbians what they think.”

The BC Liberals described Merrifield as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community leader.

Veintimilla is town councillor in Oliver, B.C., and is a past president of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.

In the 2017 provincial election, when the BC NDP and BC Green Party combined to create a minority government, the BC Liberals swept all seven ridings in the Southern Interior.

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The winners were:

  • Boundary-Similkameen: Linda Larson, with 42.8 per cent of the vote.
  • Kelowna-Lake Country: Norm Letnick, with 59.76 per cent of the vote.
  • Kelowna-Mission: Steve Thomson, with 57.18 per cent of the vote.
  • Kelowna West: Christy Clark, with 58.96 per cent of the vote. Note: Clark later resigned her seat, with Ben Stewart winning the by-election in 2018. over.
  • Penticton: Dan Ashton, with 52.8 per cent of the vote.
  • Shuswap: Greg Kyllo, with 55.8 per cent of the vote.
  • Vernon-Monashee: Eric Foster, with 47.87 per cent of the vote.

Finishing second were:

  • Boundary-Similkameen: Colleen Ross, NDP, with 32.73 per cent of the vote.
  • Kelowna-Lake Country: Erik Olesen, NDP, with 20.89 per cent of the vote.
  • Kelowna-Mission: Harwinder Kaur Sandhu, NDP, with 21.24 per cent of the vote.
  • Kelowna West: Shelley Cook, NDP, with 25.25 per cent of the vote.
  • Penticton: Tarik Sayeed, NDP, with 28.73 per cent of the vote.
  • Shuswap: Sylvia Jean Lindgren, NDP, with 26.95 per cent of the vote.
  • Vernon-Monashee: Barry Charles Dorval, with 29.36 per cent of the vote.

Strategizing for an election during a pandemic

Strategizing for
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Opening Dates Announced for Hash Kitchen, The Sicilian Baker, and The Sicilian Butcher in Peoria

Hash Kitchen, The Sicilian Butcher, and The Sicilian Baker are set to debut in the Park West retail and restaurant complex near 99th and Northern avenues in Peoria. Hash Kitchen (breakfast, brunch, morning cocktails) will open on Wednesday, September 30, while The Sicilian Butcher (Italian fare) and The Sicilian Baker (Italian treats) will start seating guests on Thursday, October 7. These are the first west Valley locations for each eatery.

Created under The Maggiore Group, this will be the fifth Hash Kitchen in the Valley, which will be at 9780 West Northern Avenue, #1110, in Peoria. It’s the third location of Butcher and Baker. Always neighbors, the pairs have additional spots in north Phoenix and Chandler. The Park West sites will be at 9780 West Northern Avenue, #1100, in Peoria.

Opening three restaurants at the same time required patience and perseverance — especially during the pandemic.

“This has been a long haul. It took us almost nine months since construction to build 12,000 square feet for all three concepts,” says Joey Maggiore, executive chef and co-founder of The Maggiore Group. “We wanted to open about a month ago, but weren’t able to to do so because of lack of employment. We couldn’t find people.”

Those concerns resolved with time. Now, equipped with full, trained crews, Maggiore says he’s excited all restaurants at Park West will open within three weeks.

“We could have delayed our start date to November or December, but pushed to open during the pandemic because people kept emailing us, asking when the restaurants would welcome guests.” Maggiore says.

When asked about measures to keep the restaurant spaces safe, Maggiore says the eateries will operate at 50 percent occupancy, with social distancing at six feet. Staff members are tested during training and will be re-tested when the restaurants open.

The restaurants plan to do takeout and also have designated parking for those who opt for pick up. Delivery will be handled through UberEats.

And don’t worry. At Hash Kitchen, guests can still dart for the famous build-your-own bloody mary bar.

Hash Kitchen Park West will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The Sicilian Baker will be serving customers from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., while The Sicilian Butcher will welcome guests for in-person dining and takeout daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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Creative Team Announced For Experimental Bitch’s Culinary Audio Play + Food Box: IN THE KITCHEN

Reservations will go on sale September 23rd.

Creative Team Announced For Experimental Bitch's Culinary Audio Play + Food Box: IN THE KITCHEN

The complete creative team has been announced for interactive audio play In the Kitchen. Reservations for In the Kitchen’s original recipe box and accompanying audio play will go on sale to the public on September 23rd. Experimental Bitch Presents (EBP) will host a live launch event featuring musical performance by Anat Halevy Hochberg and cooking demonstration by Annabel Rabiyah of The Awafi Kitchen on October 8th.

In the Kitchen is created and performed by Hannah Aliza Goldman. Goldman is joined by director Coral Cohen (Between the Threads: Jewish Women Project), who returns to the team after directing the 2019 workshop production at Access Theater. The devising duo adapt In the Kitchen for an interactive at-home experience.

Musician Anat Halevy Hochberg will serve as composer, adapting traditional Mizrahi Jewish songs with sound design by Carsen Joenk. Israeli music producer, Enat Ventura, returns to the project as audio engineer.

As previously reported, The Awafi Kitchen helmed by culinary artist, Annabel Rabiyah, will curate the recipe and ingredients of the In the Kitchen box. Rabiyah will also serve as art director.

Tatiana Baccari and Wednesday Derrico of Experimental Bitch produce, with stage management by EBP Resident Stage Manager, Rachel April.

Listeners will be led by Ms. Goldman through a tapestry of stories examining the intersections of Judaism and Arab culture, feminism, and culinary heritage, while they prepare Ba’aba Beh Tamur, a delicious Iraqi cookie, in the comfort of their homes. Reservations will include the recipe, food box and original audio play, which are integrated to guide the listener through the cooking process in their home. To learn more, visit EBP’s’ website at For tickets, visit

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