Thursday, May 31, 2007

Black Women Playwrights' Performances June 18 and 19th

June 18th and 19th event at The Studio Theatre at 1501- 14thStreet, NW in Washington, DC, will feature scenes from Stanice Anderson's one-woman show, Walkin' On Water When The Ground Ain't Enuf, along with scenes from five other selected plays by BWPG members: Betty Buttram, e.christi cunningham, Louise V. Gray, Debbie Minter Jackson, and MerrillJones. Our celebrity host is Actor and Playwright Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha's TV mom and Deena in Dream Girls on Broadway). For more details about BWPG's June event go to

Ohio Theatre Needs African American Actors

Emerald Entertainment Seeks 4 African-American Actors for Play Reading

Emerald Entertainment in association with the African American Playwrights Exchange (AAPEX) is seeking actors for the upcoming staged reading of The Family Line to be performed on June 23rd at the Fairfield Community Arts Center in Fairfield, Ohio. This dramatic play written by Playwright Peter Lawson Jones, a Cleveland native and County Commissioner in Cuyahoga County. The play deals with a the difficulties a happily married young couple encounter when informed by the the wife's physician that she will not be able to have children. Casting requirements are as follows:
Two (2) African Amaerican male between the ages of 25-40
Two (2) African American females Between the ages of 25-40
If interested please email for more details and audition times.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Up from chaos: Talent, theater transform a troubled life

The Miami Herald ran a story today about a young African-American playwright and actor who grew up in Miami's Liberty City and graduated from Yale. Today. With a Masters in playwriting. You can read the great story about Tarell McCraney in its entirety here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

African American Children's Plays?

The Artistic Director of a children's theatre is looking for them. If you have any, get in touch with:
Michael J. Bobbitt
30 Wellesley Circle Glen Echo, MD 20812
Cell (202)251-4209
Home (301)229-7939

Thursday, May 24, 2007

AAPEX Archive Established!

Greg Fusco and Beverly Brewton read from a script written during a playwrights' retreat at the Lawrence and Lee Institute, August, 2006.

An archive for AAPEX members is now available at the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute of The Ohio State University. Members can deposit scripts, programs, correspondence, photos of productions, and so forth in the AAPEX Archive.

Ohio State students Cornelius Hubbard and Doreen Salkiewicz in a staged reading of Shirley Barrie's Audience at Gallery 202 in Westerville, Ohio

The AAPEX Archive exists, most importantly, to make sure the work survives and is protected. The Lawrence and Lee Institute also actively works, through classes, staged readings, and other means, to publicize the material in its collections. In so doing, it honors the lifework of its founders, the playwriting team of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, who not only wrote such classic American plays as Inherit the Wind, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, and Auntie Mame, but who also encouraged young writers through their teaching, workshops, creation of the American Playwrights Theatre, and establishing the Margo Jones Award to honor others who encouraged the art and craft of playwriting.

There’s more about the Institute at

The Lawrence and Lee Institute houses many collections and archives of playwrights and other theatre artists; a representative listing is at

Mevelyn Estes
at a reading for seniors by Howling at the Moon, a women's ensemble based at the Ohio State University

See also for examples of staged readings

And for classroom uses of texts

For further information, contact the Institute's director, Alan Woods, at the following address/email:

Alan Woods

The African-American Playwrights' Exchange Archives

The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute

The Ohio State University

1400 Lincoln Tower
1800 Cannon Drive

Columbus, OH 43210-1230

614/292-6614 vox
614/688-8817 FAX
614/329-5689 cell

Reflections on the role of Theatre by Karamu's Artistic Director

The following is reprinted from
The Cleveland Free Times
, Ohio's Premier News, Arts and Entertainment Weekly (Volume 15, Issue 3 Published May 23, 2007)

Spivey-man Director Scales Tall Obstacles
By James Damico

Karamu's Spivey - New blood, new/old mission.

Terrence Spivey, whose last name rhymes with Spidey, makes no claims of being a superhero. Actually, for a head administrator in a traditionally self-congratulatory field, he's positively humble. But, as he winds down his fourth season as Karamu Theatre's artistic director, he'd be entirely justified in immodestly boasting of several significant achievements in reinvigorating that venerable institution.

Over a near-century of continuous existence, the historic theater has enjoyed many periods of artistic and cultural glory. However, it's also sporadically undergone stretches of aesthetic doldrums. Spivey's appointment in 2003 succeeded one such lull and faced the newcomer with numerous problems in affecting a revitalization.

"The main obstacle," recalls Spivey, "was building trust in the community, the audience. Some had been following Karamu for 50 years, and its fluctuations caused many to step back from something they felt had lost its true identity." Regaining that identity was "like turning around the Titanic." A daunting task, the director confides, that "only doubled my passion for this historical institution."

During his first days on the job, he says, "I would stay past midnight in the building by myself, just to hear the quietness. It's such a spiritual place." That experience led to an epiphany of sorts. "I realized my first specific goal was not an artistic one, but was as the poet Sekou Dundiata puts it 'to leave room for the ghost.' To allow the past to embrace the theater as a positive thread." In practical terms, this meant that "Karamu had to think big, bad, bold and beyond. Blow the dust off and recapture the image the wonderful Jelliffes [Karamu's founders] created multiracial and thought-provoking plays."

It's a dual pledge Spivey has made good on, and prime areas where the theater has restored a marked measure of lost luster. Recently, this column noted that Karamu's last two productions alternated a black-directed, white-authored play with one reversing those roles, and praised the increasing interracial mix of artists. The admirable trend is likely to continue.

"Whenever I read a good script not composed of an all-black cast," states Spivey, "I will put it on stage if the time is right. I'm aware of what Karamu stood for from the start and strategically looked at ways to ease from the then-existing image into a more diversified one ... to gradually caress the Jelliffes' true mission, a multicultural theater with emhpasis on the African-American experience."

Nor has there been any shying away from the promise of provocative presentations. This season, for example, blended a fantasy examining African-American female stereotypes with a drama of racial conflict in the art-museum world, a satire of black funeral customs and a premiere musical revue of gospel history. The year ends potently with King Hedley II, a late work by the late August Wilson, America's most celebrated black playwright, which begins previews tonight and runs through June 17.

Perhaps the most visible improvement Spivey has wrought is the upgrading of Karamu's acting quality. An essential part of his original strategy was "getting actors to believe in themselves and placing them in challenging works that allow them to grow. Good acting heads the complete package that causes audiences to feel they're getting their money's worth." And, at least recently, few patrons are storming the box office demanding refunds.

Important among further signs of reawakened life is an ongoing, healthy communication and cooperation with other area theaters, especially the Cleveland Play House, which Spivey expects will expand. Asked about his vision of Karamu's future, he replies, "My hope beyond building a solid educational base for the younger generation to learn from and follow †is to maintain quality work that not only showcases local artists but attracts national ones."

Seems even non-superheroes dream about climbing skyscrapers, and, who knows? maybe even bringing it off.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Real Men Talking" looking for Understudies (Philly)

RMT, Inc. is Looking 4 Understudies for the Hit Show"Real Men Talking"

OPEN CALL AUDITIONSWednesday, May 30, 2007 @CEC (Community Education Center) 3500 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia in the theatre
1:00PM until 5:00PM

Please, bring headshot and resume.
Character breakdown...

Fleetwood - mid 40s - great sense of humor - raised his nephews, helped sister - old sckool - must be funny (not a coon) - central character

Price - old friend of Fleetwood - early to mid 30s - light skinned and fine/curly hair type - Buppie, Black Republican - suburban professional, all about the money, self, but does have a sense of being black, just not the most positive perspective

Leviticus - Fleetwood's oldest nephew - early 20s - just finished college - cocky and arrogant - athletic type - high school football star - waiting to hear from NFL

Amir - Letivicus' younger brother - rapper - 16 yr old - everything materialistic is romantic to him - all he wants to do in life is to rap - must be able to dance

Kalil - Also friend of Fleetwood - early 30s - attorney that did time in prison, learned the law and rehabilitated himself - very conscious - Black empowerment - little militant

Learn more about "Real Men Talking" at Questions and comments regarding auditions: Contact Roderick Solcum at

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Finally Sayin' What I Really Mean" Screening and Q&A with Director Monique Woods

Landmark Theatres,
Filmmaker Monique Woods,
Urban Film Series and Insider Entertainment
invite you to
An Exclusive Screening and Q&A

Finally Sayin' What I Really Mean

Winner of the "Audience Choice Award" at the 2006 Atlanta Hip Hop film Festival and Black Filmmaker Magazine's August 2006 Film of the Month

For Tickets and Info click here.

Black Women Playwrights' Group Presents Playwriting Workshop 5/19

Have you been carrying around a zippy, fresh idea that you know would make a great play? Are questions about play structure holding you back? Is it a ten-minute play? Is it a one act? Is my idea big enough for a full-length? How far can you let your imagination explore? Can you really have a talking parrot on stage!? Do you know your idea is great but you're not sure if it fits within the "rules" of playwriting? Not sure what the "rules" of playwriting are? Come and work with veteran playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings and learn how to create a sound foundation for an exciting idea that will grab your audience by the lapels and make them think, laugh, cry!

Black Women Playwrights' Group is proud to present Fun Fundamentals and Flights of Fantasy, a playwriting workshop taught by Professor Caleen Sinnette Jennings. Ms. Jennings is a Helen Hayes Award nominee for best new play and is currently a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Performing Arts at American University. She was named American University Scholar and Teacher of the Year in 2003. She holds an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and has written over twenty plays, most recently, Playing Juliet/Casting Othello and Inns and Outs. She has received the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Meritorious Achievement Award in Directing productions of The Dining Room and Rashomon.

Time: 2-5 pm.
Place: American University
Cost: $100 Registration Fee

Class Size is Limited. To register, visit our website and click workshops! For more information email or call us at 202-315-1321

Source: Black Theatre Yahoo! Groups


Material: New Plays (min. 70min’s)
The HotCity Theatre GREENHOUSE SERIES is looking for new plays to include in our 2007 NEW PLAY FESTIVAL. We will mount staged readings of six never-before published or produced plays. The two jury prize winners of the festival will receive full, professional, world premiere productions with The GreenHouse during the ’08 season! We are looking for plays no shorter than 70 minutes (so long one-acts are perfectly acceptable), no longer than two-and-a-half hours, and especially plays that “push the envelope” in terms of content, structure, or theme. Please send a hard copy of your script to our office at:

HotCity Theatre
3547 Olive Street
Suite #203
St. Louis MO, 63103

Include a cover letter, resume, your contact info, approximate running time, and cast breakdown. Scripts will not be returned. We will contact you to let you know the script arrived, and then forward it to our reading committee. For more information, please click here.

Source: The Loop newsletter. To be included in the free newsletter, email a request to


Material: Full Length Plays inspired by works of classic literature or historic events. We prefer plays that require six actors or less, and have a particular interest in one-person shows. However, even in the case of one person shows, we are not looking for history lectures, or museum piece adaptations that are faithful to a fault, but rather dynamic new theatrical versions of classic stories that speak to the contemporary mindset.

In order to qualify for PlayFest a play must:
1. not have received more than two professional AEA productions
2. not have received a Broadway of Off-Broadway production
3. not have received Orlando production in current form
4. not be published for general distribution.

We are also seeking musical adaptations. We will be a little less strict about the cast size, but are only interested in musicals based on or inspired by works of classic literature or historic events.

Each year we select around ten new plays to be presented as readings. Two or three of those plays will go on to be developed in workshops during the Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays. Playwrights will receive a stipend and travel and housing expenses. Some plays go on to be fully produced as part of a subsequent Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival season.

Submissions should include a bio/resume, a one-page synopsis, five pages of sample dialogue, a character breakdown, and an email address. Please do not send full scripts. Mail submissions to:

Patrick Flick
Director of New Play Development
The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays -PlayFest
Orlando Shakespeare Theater
812 East Rollins St. Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803

Initial submission deadline for the 2008 PlayFest is June 30, 2007. Playwrights will be notified via email no later than October 31, 2007 as to whether or not they are to send the full script. For more information, please click here.

Source: The Loop newsletter. To be included in the free newsletter, email a request to


Deadline: 6-23-07 (extended; Postmarked by)
Material: Scripts for Stage and Screen
Fee (WAIVED!!)

The OxDocs Annual Festival of New Work is an international competition intended to showcase promising and/or persistent talent in nonfiction writing for stage and screen. In particular, the contest seeks to provide a platform for screenwriters and playwrights whose work focuses on improving cultural understanding and insight across and within divided communities, such as those suffering from intractable conflict around cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, or gender-related issues. The format or genre for which we are currently soliciting submissions is non-fiction drama (testimonial, real-life narrative or ethnographic) for stage plays and long-form documentary (30-90 minutes) for film and television scripts.

Submissions are made online. For full guidelines, rules and REQUIRED application form, please click here. If you have problems or questions only (no routine inquiries, please), contact Elizabeth at

Source: The Loop newsletter. To be included in the free newsletter, email a request to

New Professional Theatre Writers Festival Contest Deadline 6/01

Material: Full Length Plays by minority playwrights.

The Writers Festival begins with a nation-wide call for new scripts by minority playwrights. Since its inception in 1991, the Writers Festival has received more than 2000 submissions. A panel of industry professionals reviews the scripts, looking for superior use of language and noteworthy narrative. Three winners are selected and awarded a cash prize to help sustain their work. Following their selection the winners embark on a two-week residency where they work closely with a dramaturge to develop their new works for a staged showcase reading performed by professional actors before an audience of industry professionals and mainstream theatre-goers. Must be a full length play, no one acts, teleplays or screenplays. Musicals are accepted please include an audio tape with all music. Material must be bound and copywritten. Please include your bio and production history. Please send to:

c/o Mr. Mark D. Wood
New Professional Theatre
229 W. 42nd St. #501 NY, NY 10036

Source: The Loop newsletter. Email to request to be added to the free mailing list.

ID AMERICA FESTIVAL One-Act Playwriting Contest Deadline 5/28

Material: One-Act plays (30min or less). Submissions are being accepted for Quo Vadimus Arts’ ID America Festival. America is made up of many communities and our diversity is what makes dialogue both difficult and vital. QVA is looking for plays and playwrights to help us create a festival that questions, explores, challenges and celebrates what it means to be living in America today.

The ID America Festival was inspired by QVA’s growing concern over the polarization of media in America. News organizations are increasingly biased towards the left or right, and it is rare to find an open forum where differing points of view are given equal weight. We are becoming divided by the papers we read, or the news stations we watch; a nation whose people are pigeonholed based on their political or religious affiliations, by their lifestyle choices. We are demographics before we are Americans. We at Quo Vadimus Arts want to create a festival where everyone, audiences and artists alike, emerges having seen the world from a different point of view; having walked in someone else’s shoes.

QVA is looking for playwrights of all ages, of all levels of experience, from all over the country. If you are native-born or foreignborn, whatever your political or religious affiliation, if you consider yourself an writer or just have something to say, we want you to send us a piece that reflects your view of America.

10-16 short plays will be chosen to be performed several times at the Clemente Solo Velez Center in New York City, from November 16-21, 2007. At the end of the festival, 4-5 plays will be selected as part of an evening of winning plays. In addition, QVA intends to take the winning plays on a national tour of Universities and regional theaters in 2008.

Quo Vadimus Arts is an international community of artists working to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between cultures. Quo Vadimus means ‘where are we going?’. This is a question that our company seeks to continually explore by broadening the scope of dialogue at a community level. It is the constant confrontation of this question that gives us direction. Our projects are chosen to bring new stories and voices to audiences who may have not had an opportunity to hear them otherwise.


How does this work? After you’ve finished reading all of the information on this festival, you can go to our website From there, you can register for your show ID number. This number needs to be written on ALL materials that are submitted to the festival. Please note that the author’s name cannot appear on the submitted playscript or synopsis. Should the author’s name appear on either of these materials, it could be cause for a disqualification.

What are the restrictions on the plays? They should be one act plays of 30 minutes or less and submitted in .doc, .rtf, .pdf, or. fdr format. Please submit no more than three separate works.

What will it cost to be involved in the ID America Festival? Not a thing. Should your one-act be chosen for the ID America Festival, we will assume the full cost of mounting a production of your show. Should you choose to, you will have only to pay the transportation amount required to get yourself to the ID America Festival to see your play produced.

Where and when will my show be performed? The festival will be held from November 6-21, 2007 at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. Should your show be selected for the festival, it will be scheduled into a time slot to be performed at separate times throughout the festival. Those days and times will be available through this website in late September 2007. We anticipate that your show will have approximately five (5) performances. It will appear back-to-back with other one acts of our choosing. In selecting which shows will appear back-to-back, we will be looking for different shows whose themes create a dialogue about the identity of America.

Is there anything more to the festival other than my show being performed with other shows? Yes. The ID America Festival staff will select the top five (5) favorite shows from the festival based on audience response. These shows will then be combined into a “best of festival” presentation, which will perform at least two (2) times on the final weekend of the festival. In addition, the producers of the ID America Festival are considering touring the “best of festival” plays to major cities around the United States and Europe.

What is QVA’s policy regarding rights? The ID America Festival will be acting as the Producer in all ways with regards to your show. Should you have an option with any other producer regarding performance of your play, then your show is not eligible. If your play is accepted into the ID America Festival, you will be asked to sign an option agreement with the ID America Festival’s parent company Quo Vadimus Arts for the right to produce your accepted play through the end of the November 2007. This agreement will also include an “option renewal” clause stating that should Quo Vadimus Arts be interested in mounting any further productions of your play, you
and Quo Vadimus Arts agree to negotiate an extended option in good faith. This is because Quo Vadimus is considering touring the “best of festival” plays to major cities around the United States and Europe. Source: The Loop newsletter. To be included in the newsletter, email a request to

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LTA's FREE Performances This Friday and Saturday!

Little Theatre of Alexandria presents three one act plays this Friday and Saturday, May 18-19 at LTA. Performance times are Friday May 18th at 8pm and Saturday May 19th at 3pm and 8pm. These performances are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. "The Pheasant" by Isaiah Dufort and directed by Natalie Safley, is the First Place Winner of the the LTA 06-07 One Act playwriting competition and LTA's entry to the NVTA One Act Festival in June. "Party Time" by Michael E. Wolfson and directed by Cody Jones is the Second Place Winner of the LTA 06-07 One Act playwriting competition. "Send in the Clowns" by Nancy Ryan and directed by Liz Owens is the First Place Winner of the 04-05 One Act playwriting competition. Please feel free to pass this info on to your theatre friends! And remember it's...FREE !!

Last Chance: "THIS FAR BY FAITH" at Flint's New McCree Theatre

This Far by Faith, the musical by Marylene Whitehead and Rufus Hill, continues its run at Flint's New McCree Theatre, 322 E. Hamilton. According to audience reviews, the play is excellent and contains something for everyone. It is humorous, it is deep, it is thought-provoking, and the music is awesome.

"This group fills the stage with powerful vocal talent." (The Flint Journal, May 6, 2007)

If you didn't catch the show this past weekend, final performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 17, 18, 19 at 8:00 p.m.with a matinee at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday as well. Admission is $12.00 for adults and $7.00 for students and seniors. Every Thursday is two for one night at the theatre where two will be admitted for the price of one. Group rates are available. Call (810) 232-9243 or email: mccreetheatre@ sbcglobal. net for further information

The Black Women Playwrights' Group's 18th Annual Staged Reading "TEXTURES"

The Black Women Playwrights' Group's 18th Annual Staged Reading "TEXTURES" will be held at The Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street, NW, Wash, DC, June 18 & 19, 2007. Our celebrity host is Actor and Playwright, Sheryl Lee Ralph, who portrayed Moesha's mom on the TV sitcom and one of the Dreamgirls in the original Broadway production. She will also perform a scene from her one-woman show, And Still I Cry, about women with AIDS. Also featured will be scenes from Stanice Anderson's one-woman experience, Walkin' On Water When The Ground Ain't Enuf (newly evolved material not seen in the January 2007 DC premier) along with five other plays including e. christi cunningham's Waiting for Rainbows; Betty Miller Buttram's Ask Me No Questions, I'll Tell You No Lies; Louise V.Gray's Where Did Jennifer Lopez Get Her Butt?; Debbie Minter Jackson's Marbles; and Merrill D. Jones' Ms. Streeter.Tickets now available online through the BWPG website. Or call 202-315-1321 for group sales, ads, sponsorship opportunities and info.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Noted producer and director is looking for black screenwriting collaborator to turn well known African American play about women into a movie. Well known celebrities already expressing interest in film. Has produced and directed such stars as Iyanla Vanzant, Mo'Nique, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Bebe Moore Campbell, Sommore, Taraji Henson, Pyllis Yvonne Stickney, Terri J. Vaughn, Vanessa Williams. If you are African American (men must be able to touch core of female emotions), can write drama and are looking for a wonderfully unique opportunity, please contact: YettaYoung Productions at for more information on play and possible collaboration. Source: TRU


A new Bronx-based multicultural theatre ensemble, and new play development lab, Actors Without Spaces, is seeking original submissions primarily from playwrights of color from all of the five boroughs. All contemporary, experimental, and provocative styles and subjects, one-acts and full-length stage plays only, small casts preferred. No musicals, no children's plays. AWS seeks to counteract the pervasive discrimination and isolation that minority playwrights continue to face in the theatre by providing developmental/dramaturgical support such as a bi-monthly play reading series, workshop productions of original works, theatre festivals, and panel discussions with professional theatre artists. Send bio, synopsis, ten-page sample of most current work to Actors Without Spaces c/o Desi Moreno-Penson, Artistic Director, 9 Metropolitan Oval, #7A, Bronx, New York 10462. Submissions will also be considered for Uptown Local/Singular Scenes Staged Readings events at Kingsbridge Library sponsored by the Bronx Writers Center, a program sponsored by the Bronx Council on the Arts. Source: TRU


Let this be your Steppingstone to a production. Non-profit NYC theater company's first playwriting contest for new plays, especially those reflecting issues related to multiculturalism, African-American Diaspora, women, socio-political topics. Manuscripts read by a panel of established theater professionals. Deadline 8/1 (postmark). Must be original, full-length, never professionally produced. No musicals, no adaptations. Submit bound script with application form from website, one-page bio or resume. Must be from greater NY area. $10 fee payable to SteppingStone Theatre Company, Inc. Winner gets $500, staged reading, full professional production in Off-Broadway venue. Runner-up gets $200 and staged reading. Send to SteppingStone Theatre, 678 E. 24 St. Brooklyn, NY 11210 ATTN: Playwriting Contest. More info at or e-mail Dana ( Source: TRU


8 scripts wanted for workshops and readings. The Classical Theatre of Harlem, in collaboration with the Fredrick Douglass Creative Arts Center and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture accepting scripts for consideration in 2007/2008 Future Classic Program. E-mail to Deadline: 8/3. Source: TRU


Curtain Call, Inc., Fairfield County, Connecticut’s premiere community-based theatre, announces the establishment of what the organization hopes will become an annual award to celebrate diversity in the musical theater: The American Harmony Prize. The goal of the American Harmony Prize is to showcase new works of musical theater that explore our country’s many ethnic, religious and gender identifications. To do so, the prize will be awarded each year to the writers of a new musical that delves into a different specific segment of American society. The inaugural American Harmony Prize will showcase a new musical that dramatizes an aspect of the experience of Black Americans. In addition to a cash award of $250.00, a condensed version of the winning musical (approximately one hour in length) will be performed as a part of Curtain Call’s series of new musicals in concert at the Ethel and Sidney Kweskin Theater in Stamford, Connecticut, in February of 2008. Musical theater writers interested in having their work considered for the American Harmony Prize should submit a plot synopsis of no more than 800 words (or roughly two pages), the first 10 pages of the libretto (with all dialogue, lyrics and stage directions included), a cd that demonstrates as much of the musical’s score as has been recorded to date (it needn’t be of studio quality) and one sample of the sheet music for a song from the show’s piano / vocal score. A “short list” of applicants will be contacted after the first round of judging and asked to submit a full libretto and additional samples of the piano / vocal score for the final consideration. There is no submission / reading fee. Applicants that wish to have their materials returned should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. In order to qualify for consideration, a musical cannot have been professionally produced (Equity Dinner, LORT, Production, Special Production, SPT, Stock, etc…) or published, but it may have been performed in readings, concerts, workshops and non-professional productions. Submissions will be accepted via mail from Monday, August 6, 2007 until Saturday, September 22, 2007. Submissions should be mailed to: Curtain Call, Inc., 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06905, Att. American Harmony Prize. Source: TRU

ACT celebrates D.C. Black Pride with original dramas and world-premiere films

Sunday, May 27th at 6:30 p.m., African-American Collective Theater (ACT) presents "Stage & Screen," an evening of short plays-in-progress and underground digital video dramas chronicling contemporary Black gay life in the nation's capital. This performance marks ACT's 9th annual observance of "D.C. Black Pride" which, for 17 consecutive years, has drawn thousands of visitors to Washington over the busy Memorial Day Weekend. "Stage & Screen" showcases home-grown talent, featuring a cast of 24 gifted local actors performing a collection of tales written and directed by ACT artistic director, Alan Sharpe.

The evening opens with a reading of "Storm Signals," a one-act play detailing romantic entanglements among three young lesbians facing their senior year at a Black college. The ten-minute comedy that follows, "Best Man for the Job," illustrates how secrets can still exist between even the best of friends. After intermission, the program continues with the world-premieres of four short, digital video dramas: "All in the Timing," "Moment of Truth," "Check-Out Time," and "Kickin'It," plus the trailer from "Chump ChangeS," ACT's on-line serial drama about a group of Southeast D.C. teens in crisis.

"Stage & Screen" is scheduled to follow the annual D.C. Black Pride Fest earlier that afternoon. The performance begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Warehouse Theater - Main Stage, 1021 Seventh Street, N.W., directly across the street from the D.C. Convention Center festival site. General admission is $15 and seating is limited, with tickets on sale beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of the performance in the lobby of the theater, which is conveniently located near METRO's Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center and Gallery Place/Chinatown stations on the red, green and yellow lines. Ticket and additional info are also available at 202-745-3662, or by e-mail to This production is suggested for mature audiences only.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Karamu House Examines Sex Trafficking in the United States with Ohio Premiere of "Body and Sold"

Karamu House Examines Child Sexual Exploitation Within The United States With Cleveland, Ohio Premiere of Body and Sold debuting at 4PM Saturday, May 12, 2007 in the Arena Theater. Written by Deborah Lake Fortson, Body and Sold brings awareness to the teen sex traffic trade in the United States with a production based on true accounts of victims who survived to tell their tale. Heidi Bedrossian directs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported the average age of a prostitute is 14 years with some being as young as nine. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported more than 400,000 prostitutes in America although other agencies list the total at more than 800,000.

Deborah Lake Fortson created and staged Body and Sold in Boston. The play is based on interviews with former victims in Boston, Hartford and Minneapolis. Young Americans--six girls and two boys-- tell how they left home and were seduced, lured, kidnapped into a life of prostitution; about the trouble in their families which forced them from home; how they became prostituted; the daily violence in "the life;" how they escaped and their struggle to survive. It is designed to serve as a vehicle to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation in the United States.

"It gives kids a heads-up about what an abusive relationships looks like," Lake Fortson explained to the Boston Globe. "They (victims) are psychologically terrorized."

Deborah Lake Fortson will attend the May 12 and 13 shows and will be available for discussion with audience members and media afterwards.

Body and Sold runs May 12 - June 3, 2007 at Karamu House in the Arena Theater at 4 PM. Tickets are $6 for youth and $8 for adults. Karamu is located at 2355 E. 89th. Street. For more information call 216.795.7077 or visit To learn more about Body and Sold and how you can stage a reading to raise funds to fight against child sexual exploitation in your community, please click here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

3rd Annual Plays in Progress Deadline is June 8th

Stellar Network is now accepting submissions for its 3rd Annual Plays in Progress - an opportunity for emerging writers to gain exposure among top industry professionals. Last year over 200 playwrights submitted their works. The winner Bernard Weintraub's ACCOMPLICES went on to be produced by the New Group, and was nominated for the Drama Desk awards. This year's judging panel includes Tony Award Winning Producer Pun Bandhu (Spring Awakening); Artistic Director Jonathan Bank (Mint Theater); Literary Manager Andrea Ciannavei (LABryinth Theater Co.); Literary Associate Liz Frankel (The Public Theater); Director of New Play Development Adrien-Alice Hansel (Actors Theatre of Louisville) andAssociate Artistic Director Linda Chapman (New York Theatre Workshop). All submissions must be received by JUNE 8, 2007. Please forward this information to playwrights. For more information please contact me at Looking forward to a huge success of this 3rd edition of Plays In Progress!LisaMarie MellerCreative Director, Stellar Network

CBS Wants You!

CBS Diversity Institute's Writers Mentoring Program

As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity, CBS Entertainment is wrapping up its fourth session of the CBS Diversity Institute's Writers Mentoring Program and is now accepting applications for year five, 2008. We are very proud of the success of the Program and its participants. Of the three graduating classes, 13 careers were launched out of a total of 19 participants. That's a terrific track record. The CBS Writers Mentoring Program is a unique program for new and emerging diverse writers -- with a focus on writers of color. The Program is not a traditional "writers training" program, but a combination of meaningful opportunities for talented new writers to experience the network television business from the inside and to form relationships with decision makers. The deadline for 2008 submissions is June 1, 2007. Additional information and application materials can be accessed at:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

AAPEX Member Presents CROWNS at Atlanta's 14th Street Playhouse this Week!

CROWNS, which broke box office records at the Arena Stage in DC, opens this week at Atlanta's 14th Street Playhouse. CROWNS is being presented by IKAM Theater whose artistic director, Carletta Hunt, is a member of the African American Playwrights Exchange. Also, Atlanta's amazingly successful hit comedy PEACHTREE BATTLE will hit the 1,000 performance mark on May 20th. This May be a great month to come to Atlanta and go to the Theater!

Two AAPEX Writers Have NYC Readings This Weekend

Two writers from The African American Playwrights Exchange will enjoy readings of their work this weekend in New York City.

  • Henry Meyerson
    Saturday, May 12, 12 Noon
    Booker T. Washington Heights JHS
    103 W. 108th St.
    Between Amsterdam and Columbus
    Strollers Players Readers Theater Workshop
  • Dr. Henry Miller
    Marjorie Eliot's Parlor Entertainment
    555 Edgecombe Ave @ 160th Street
    Sunday May 13th at & pm
    Jazz from 4 pm

Saturday, May 5, 2007

African-American theater: Keeping the stage lights on

Reprinted with permission by the Washingtion University in St. Louis Record

By Liam Otten

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, African-American actors, writers and directors inspired by the Black Arts Movements formed dozens of regional theaters in cities around the country.

Yet in recent years, several leading African-American companies — such as the Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, the Jomandi Theatre in Atlanta and the Crossroads Theater Company in New Brunswick, N.J. — have been forced to cut staff, cancel seasons or close their doors entirely.

"We've lost a half-dozen of the larger companies," said Ron Himes, founder and producing director of The St. Louis Black Repertory Company, known as The Black Rep, and the Henry E. Hampton Jr. Artist-in-Residence in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences. "Nobody seems to quite understand why."

The subject is the topic of a series of lectures and panel discussions sponsored by The Black Rep and WUSTL March 24-April 12. Collectively titled "Beyond August: The State of African-American Theater," the series coincides with a new production of playwright August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean," which debuts at The Black Rep March 28.

Himes said some companies have been unable to build corporate support and do major fund raising and that reduced federal, state and local funding have hurt. Other companies have been unable to find or maintain permanent performance facilities, making it difficult to build an audience base.

"There's certainly no lack of creativity," Himes said. "We have a great canon of African-American literature for the theater. Our biggest challenge is finding the resources to preserve that canon while continuing to develop new work."

Wilson's career is particularly instructive for African-American artists and companies, Himes said.

"Most playwrights are afforded a relationship with just one theater," he said. "But August had the luxury of working with a consortium of several theaters, which allowed his plays to go through an extended research and development period."

What's more, "because his plays were developed nationally, they had a tremendous impact on companies and artists all over the country," Himes said. "August stimulated an entire generation of young writers, actors and directors."

Himes himself is no stranger to Wilson's influence. With "Gem of the Ocean," The Black Rep will have produced nine plays from Wilson's "Pittsburgh Cycle," excluding only "Radio Golf," which was written shortly before Wilson's death in 2005.

Himes launched The Black Rep in 1976 while earning a bachelor's degree in business administration at the University. After graduating, he took his young company on the road, barnstorming local colleges and raising visibility.

In 1981, he converted a former church into the 23rd Street Theatre, giving The Black Rep a permanent home. In the early 1990s, he moved the company into the Grandel Theatre in the heart the Grand Center arts and education district.

Over the years Himes has produced and directed more than 100 plays and received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and WUSTL in 1993 and 1997, respectively.

And The Black Rep — now celebrating its 30th anniversary season — has emerged as one of the nation's largest and most respected African-American companies, reaching an annual audience of more than 150,000.

Yet despite The Black Rep's success, Himes feels that many of his contemporaries have come to be taken for granted within their own communities.

"Things have grown harder for African-American companies in recent years," Himes said. "I think we're seeing a national lack of attention to the arts. It's an endemic problem, and unless we address it, more great African-American institutions may go under.

"We need a renewed commitment from the African-American community, from the philanthropic community and from the community at large," he added.

For more information, call 534-3807 or visit The Black Rep.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Minority Playwrights Contest

Deadline: 5-31-07
Material: One-Acts or Full length Plays by minority playwrights

The NBTF has various performance components of the Festival. One of the integral components of the Festival is The Readers’ Theatre of New Works. The series is designed to showcase the work of minority playwrights. Garland Lee Thompson, Executive and Artistic Director of the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, is the curator of the series. The series is made up of two components. The first is New Plays At High Noon and the original component, Theatre Conversations At Midnight. Seating is limited at the Midnight readings.


In order for NBTF to notify you promptly, each submission package must include the following:
  • A formal letter of introduction clearly stating the following information: Writer’s Name, address, city,state, zip, phone numbers (home, office, cell), email
  • Play synopsis
  • Typed script, Double spaced
  • Font: Times Roman or Arial - 12 pt.
  • Three-hole punched.
  • Please do not staple script
  • Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard so we may acknowledge receipt of your script.

    Mail one (1) script, to this address:
    The Readers’ Theatre Series
    c/o Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop
    P. O. Box 1791
    Manhattanville Station, NY 10027

    Mail one (1) script, to this address:
    National Black Theatre Festival
    Reader’s Theatre Series
    610 Coliseum Drive
    Winston-Salem, NC 27106

    For further information, please contact Garland Lee Thompson at (212) 281-8832 or e-mail:
  • Nation-wide Call for New Scripts by Minority Playwrights

    Deadline: 6-01-07
    Material: Full Length Plays by minority playwrights.

    The Writers Festival begins with a nation-wide call for new scripts by minority playwrights. Since its inception in 1991, the Writers Festival has received more than 2000 submissions. A panel of industry professionals reviews the scripts, looking for superior use of language and noteworthy narrative. Three winners are selected and awarded a cash prize to help sustain their work. Following their selection the winners embark on a two-week residency where they work closely with a dramaturge to develop their new works for a staged showcase reading performed by professional actors before an audience of industry professionals and mainstream theatregoers. Must be a full length play, no one acts, teleplays or screenplays. Musicals are accepted please include an audio tape with all music. Material must be bound and copywritten. Please include your bio and production history.

    Please send to:
    c/o Mr. Mark D. Wood
    New Professional Theatre
    229 W. 42nd St. #501 NY, NY 10036

    Where Are The Plays?

    The following editorial by Gary Garrison for The Loop has resonance for all playwrights struggling to get their works seen on stage and we thank him for allowing us to post it here. The Loop is a net based newsletter aimed at playwrights. One of its unique features is that it regularly posts info about theater companies looking for new plays and refuses to hype any fee based playwrighting contest. AAPEX highly recommends requesting a free subscription at

    Look how many people (new Loopers) joined this month. Staggering. AND, if you saw their private data, you’d know they’re from Texas, Great Britain, Georgia, Hawaii, California, Maine, Missouri . . . in other words, many other places BEYOND New York.

    I love New York. I’ve lived here for twenty years. But it’s not the center of the friggin’ universe, okay?! Can we all agree to that? I mean, don’t get me wrong: it’s a fun place to live and practice your art. But great theatre, really great theatre, is being written and produced all over the country – all over the world. And it’s just plain ill-informed for everyone to collectively bob their heads toward New York to see what’s happening in the theatre. And it’s even more wrong-minded to think you can’t have a career as a playwright if you don’t get produced here.

    Over the last several months, I’ve been really fortunate to travel around the country meeting folks and talking to writers, actors, artistic directors, designers and literary managers. There is some BRILLIANT theatre being done in Atlanta. Pittsburgh is bursting with creative energy and playwrights who love play-making. Washington, D.C. is a literal open invitation to anyone who wants to commune with like-minded artists that want to share a dramatic story while earning the artistic respect we all want. Don’t like those cities? How about Chicago, Boston, Portland, Minneapolis, Ft. Wayne, Dallas or Los Angeles?

    What New York is learning to do – sadly – is produce amazing commercial theatre; theatre intended for your mother, father and Aunt Sweezie who’s never stopped talking about Cats – The Musical. People who point to Disney are fooling themselves; it ain’t Disney, baby. It’s every sane producer looking to make a profit in a market that is shrinking by the day. Sad cases in point: Legally Blonde – The Musical, Beauty and The Beast, Tarzan, Grease, Hairspray, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Spamalot – need I go on? And before anyone tries to bust my chops about musicals, I like musicals, okay? But is there a dearth of original ideas, or are producers banking on a horse that’s already successfully crossed a finish line?

    “That’s Broadway,” you say. Have you seen Off-Broadway lately? Of the thirty-four productions listed on Playbill On-Line, fourteen are musicals – almost half. So where are the plays? Off-Off Broadway, yes. But, poor baby. OOB’s gotten such a bad rap for being inconsistent that few people (beyond friends of the cast, director, designers, t.d.) make the effort. So where are the plays?

    Baltimore, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, Provincetown, Bangor, Philadelphia. You follow me? The real work of playwrights all across this country is happening, more times than not, where you live – or close by. So embrace it. Love your geography; keep your heart there while looking around. And if you just gotta get out, get away, there are a lot of places to live in this great country, and even more to practice your art.

    Free "My Brother's Keeper" Reading (NYC)

    Marjorie Eliot's Parlor Entertainment
    Presents a Reading
    of the Two-act Play
    Henry Miller
    (Member: African American Playwrights Exchange & Dramatist Guild of America)

    555 Edgecombe Avenue @ 160th Street, NYC, Apt #3F - 212-781-6595 (1 Block East of St Nicholas Avenue) . The nearest train station is the IND line @ 163rd St. CC local.

    Date & Time:
    Sun. May 13, 2007 @ 7pm

    ARTHUR FRENCH (Obie Award-winner, founding member: NEC) reading Mr. Newborne

    LAWRENCE WINSLOW reading Lucas Newborne

    CANDICE MYERS reading Dana Askew

    BRIGITTE BARNET reading Margaret "Zulima" Newborne

    ED SHELDON reading Mayor Jacob A. Lyman


    ERIC COLEMAN reading Marcus Newborne

    This reading will be hosted by Marjorie Eliot who starred in Charles Gordone' seminal, Pulitzer Prize-winning African American drama, No Place to be Somebody. Also a jazz pianist, Ms. Eliot is the founder of Parlor Entertainment, Harlem's internationally recognized "Straight-Ahead" Sunday Afternoon contemporary Jazz venue.

    So eat a big late lunch and come early at 4pm and make it an afternoon of Jazz and an evening (7pm) of African-American Drama.

    Thursday, May 3, 2007

    M Ensemble (Miami) Opens "Steal Away"

    A group of churchgoing women have to raise money for a scholarship fund in Steal Away, opening tonight at the M Ensemble Theatre, 12320 W. Dixie Hwy. in North Miami.
    Selling pies and rolls doesn't raise the money needed for a college tuition, so the women have to try out a new plan in Ramona King's comedy-drama, set in Chicago in the 1920s. Marshel Adams, Carey Hart-Alverez and Latrice Bruno star in the play, directed by Jerry Maple Jr.
    Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, through May 27. Tickets are $25, and $20 for seniors and students. Call 305-895-0335 or