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Play of Delights

Book of Delights cover_edited.jpg

A community-based theater project that celebrates the joys of everyday life

Do you love writing, acting, improv, or movement? Are you aged 15–115? Join us this spring for a new community-based theater project called Play of Delights! Together we’ll create original work inspired by The Book of Delights by award-winning author Ross Gay. We’ll read some of the essays from the book and then write or improvise original work inspired by them. 

That could mean creating monologues, scenes, poems, songs, movement pieces, or whatever else you get excited about. The facilitators will provide prompts to get you inspired. At the end of the workshops we’ll celebrate and share what we’ve made for family and friends!

Locations and Timing

Greater Ithaca Activities Center in Ithaca

Ages 15–22


Rehearsals begin February 25 and continue most Sundays 3:00–5:30PM through early May. You do not need to be affiliated with GIAC to take part.

Ulysses Philomathic Library in Trumansburg

Ages 18+

Rehearsals begin April 9 and continue Tuesdays 5:30–8:00PM and Saturdays 1:00–3:30PM through early May. You do not need to be affiliated with the library to take part. 

What is The Book of Delights about?


The Book of Delights is about becoming aware of and celebrating unexpected delight in our lives. But it also talks about the trauma and oppression that lots of people experience in America, especially Black folks. It allows the reader to celebrate daily delights while calling out injustice. It’s also about the beauty of nature and the joy of community and friendship. 

Who can take part?

Anyone who wants to! No previous theater or performance experience is needed to participate, though trained artists are welcome. We also welcome folks who are interested in creating work but not performing. The first 15 people who sign up will be accepted, and participation is free.

Who’s leading this project?

​Play of Delights is produced by Story House Ithaca, Civic Ensemble, and Jason B. Simms. At GIAC the facilitators are Sarah Plotkin and Willow Brown. At the Ulysses Philomathic Library, the project is facilitated by Sarah and G-Quan Booker.  

Sarah Plotkin headshot_edited.jpg
Willow Brown Headshot_edited.jpg

SARAH PLOTKIN (first photo) is a director, theater educator, and cultural worker with a master’s degree in applied theater who has worked locally with the Kitchen Theatre, the Cherry Arts, and Civic Ensemble, as well as in NYC and Boston.

WILLOW BROWN (second photo) is a drag performer, teacher, and healer with a regular act at a popular weekly drag show. Willow regularly teaches with Southside Community Center.


G-QUAN BOOKER (third photo) is a dancer, poet, rapper, and actor who has taught at Wells College, the Community Unity Music Education Program (CUMEP), The Finger Lakes Residential Center, and the Auburn Public Theater, among others. 


Will there be childcare or transportation?

If there are barriers to your participation, please contact the project facilitators at the email address below. We will do our best to support with transportation, childcare, and other needs.

Is Ross Gay involved in any way?


Yes! Ross will be joining us for a rehearsal via Zoom. He’ll watch the work we’ve created and give feedback before our community sharing.


Contact Sarah Plotkin at

Thank you to our supporters!

Play of Delights is supported by a Humanities New York Action Grant, the Cornell Rural Humanities initiative from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Triad Foundation, Inc.

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