Sunday, June 30, 2019

Jaz Dorsey Has Left The Room

Jaz Dorsey
Jaz Dorsey, founder of the African American Playwrights Exchange (AAPEX), skipped out on us when we were all sleeping last night, 2:30am to be exact.

At its peak from 2007 to 2016, AAPEX listed over 250 black playwrights and theatres across America and was for the most part first in publicizing their work on the Net, gratis. Although those names haven't been updated in a few years since Jaz retired, they are still there, floating over a black space on the right side of the blog, immortalized in a digital record for the ages. Some still have workable links to the playwrights and theatres just in case someone reading the blog wants to get in touch.

Jaz Dorsey was an "enabler" in the best sense of the word and will be missed. But his legacy of hope lives on. If you never knew the man, read these thoughts of those who did and you'll get a pretty good idea about who he was and why his passing hurts us all: and

Update (7-2-19): The Celebration of Life for Jaz Dorsey will be at the Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37209, on Saturday, July 27, 2019, starting at 12:00 PM and ending at 2:30 PM.
If you want time to perform or speak, please let me know, as Jaz wanted this to be about Nashville's Theater Community as much as it is about his life.
Also, there will be a potluck on stage after the celebration service. Please let me know what you may be able to contribute (finger food, drinks, or deserts).
Mary Freels

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dramatists Guild's Special Issue of The Dramatist spotlights Nikkole Salter & Danai Gurira

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The latest issue of the Dramatist Guild's magazine "The Dramatist" is just out. It features playwrights Nikkole Salter & Danai Gurira interviewing each other. Ten years ago they co-wrote and performed their acclaimed play In the Continuum. This February the venerable Crossroads Theatre Company filmed and aired Nikkole's play Repairing A Nation for Thirteen's "Theatre Close-up." Also in February, The Public Theater's production of Danai's play Eclipsed transferred to Broadway. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Celebrate Fats Waller's 112th Birthday with Jitterbug!

Jitterbug! the dancical
Please click image to enlarge.
To learn more please click:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blackboard Reading Series Monday Nights (NYC)

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Suggested donation at door: $10.00
--Light Refreshments-- 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Petronia Paley's Summer Acting Classes June 6th-27th! (NYC)

Hello Everyone! 
Wishing You a Great Summer!

June 6th - June 27th

4 Acting Week Class

Scene and Monologue Workshop

Mondays:  6:30 PM - 9:30 PM


Register Now!

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Impossibility of Black Citizenship

"Under the direction of Daniel Alexander Jones, this production of Gem of the Ocean employs the theatrical jazz aesthetics that rest on “the break”—the jazz space where improvisation happens, where the unknown is sought, where Black life is allowed to flourish free of externally imposed sanctions. This fertile space of new possibilities is precisely what the present moment of racial turmoil demands."

Black Mary (Omoze Idehenre), Aunt Ester (Margo Hall), and Eli (David Everett Moore) in anguish over their friend, Solly Two Kings (Juney Smith), being shot. Photo by Kevin Berne
Marin Theatre Company's dramaturg, Dr. Omi Jones, commentary on the company's production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean is a must read. Check it out here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oscar winner LUPITA NYONG'O stars in ECLIPSED on Broadway (Previews begin 2/23)

Win tickets to see the show here.

ECLIPSED is the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia. They forge a close-knit community... one that inspires them to feats of increasingly greater strength. Directed by South African-born LIESL TOMMY (The Good Negro, Appropriate). Written by Zimbabwean-American playwright and actress DANAI GURIRA (star of AMC's "The Walking Dead" and co-author of In The Continuum). ECLIPSED is a stirring tale of hope, humor and resilience—and the only new play by a woman on Broadway this season. For more information and tickets, visit

Monday, February 15, 2016

James A Tyler's DOLPHINS AND SHARKS, Friday, February 19th (New Jersey)

NEXT Blackboard: FRIDAY, February 19, 2016 
Art House Productions 
136 Magnolia Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

To learn more, please click here.

Monday, January 25, 2016

4th Annual Columbus Black Theatre Festival

Welcome to the 4th Annual Columbus Black Theatre Festival (CBTF) 2016 Each year the Columbus Black Theatre Festival brings to the capital city of Ohio original plays that pertain not only to the African American community but society at large and 2016 will be no different. If you are interested in submitting your play to the 4th Annual Columbus Black Theatre Festival, now is the time. The CBTF will be accepting original plays for consideration from playwrights starting October 31, 2015 through February 28, 2016 for the July 8-10th, 2016 festival. We will notify the winners selected by March 15, 2016 by email and telephone. The CBTF is a self-producing festival which provides a full-service, supportive platform.... See more