Michael Dinwiddie on the Black Theatre Network — Black Theatre Network , Michael Dinwiddie — AAPEX

Friday, May 4, 2012

Michael Dinwiddie on the Black Theatre Network

Michael Dinwiddie

Last year I was elected vice president of the Black Theatre Network (BTN) and this July I will be sworn in as president at our conference this year (see flyer below).

This year's BTN conference will be quite wonderful. (I am biased, of course, for as the BTN vice president I am also the conference planner!) Our theme is BLACK THEATRE BY DESIGN, and we'll be examining the elements that go into play production: playwriting, scenic, costume and lighting design, and CAREER design.

Of special interest to your playwrights will be the staged reading of Steve Broadnax's play SMASH/HIT!, which deals with a returning soldier from the war zone -- to the war zone of his neighborhood. Afterwards our dramaturg respondents Artisia Dallas-Green, President of BTN, and Bill Doan, President of ATHE, will discuss the challenges of developing new plays about contemporary topics. Both Artisia and Bill are members of dramaturgs and members of LMDA--which is a happy coincidence! BTN is hosting the first reading of SMASH/HIT in Atlanta and ATHE will also host a staged reading at its conference later this summer in August.

For my contribution to this year's conference, I'll be interviewing Dr. Ron Davis, a retired professor from FAMU who did his undergraduate work at Tennessee State. While there he worked as an actor with the legendary Dr. Thomas Poag in Tennessee State University's Touring Theatre in the 1940s and '50s. Drury Cox, Moses Gunn, Bill and Joan Pryor, and other luminaries were trained under Dr. Poag (including more recently Oprah Winfrey).

Another special guest panel will feature Dr. Dwight Andrews, the composer who wrote (designed!) all the music for August Wilson's plays. We lucked out: he teaches at Emory University in Atlanta! There are a lot more events -- and they'll be going up on our website in a couple of days.

So help me spread the word!

To learn more about BTN, please click the post's title.
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