Essential Theatre's 11th annual POWER PLAYS FESTIVAL begins Sun., JULY 5, with Adam Szymkowicz's Food for Fish, a comedy about three sisters in New York who long to return to New Jersey. Directed by Essential Theatre artistic director Peter Hardy, the head-spinning script features intimations of Anton Chekhov and specifies that some roles be played by actors of the opposite gender. The other shows in the lineup include the romantic drama Ice Glen by Joan Ackermann, about a reclusive poet and her editor; and the winning play of Essential's $600 Georgia Playwriting Award, Jim Crow and the Rhythm Darlings by Vynnie Meli. Meli's play depicts an all-female jazz band (one Jewish, the rest African-American) touring the Deep South during World War II. Through Aug. 2. $15-$20. Sun., 7 p.m.; in revolving repertory, see website for dates and times. Actor's Express, 887 W. Marietta St. 404-607-7469. www.essentialtheatre.com.