Saturday, March 29, 2008

McCraney's BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS trilogy World Premieres at Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre (Princeton)

Liberty City born and raised Tarell Alvin McCraney will see the world premiere of his trilogy Brother/Sister Plays at the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre on the edge of the Princeton University campus. The theatre's 2008-2009 season will end with Mr. McCraney's plays. Congratulations Tarell!

McCraney received his masters's degree in play-writing from Yale University last spring. He has had "high-profile individual productions of two of the three works that make up the Brother/Sister Plays-- In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet." This will be the first time all three plays are presented at one theatre over the course of one season. In the Red and Brown Water begins the program with previews April 17th, 2009 then Brothers Size and Marcus join it in repertory May 9th, for a run through June 14th. For more info click here.

Source: The Miami Herald.

Friday, March 28, 2008

August Wilson's TWO TRAINS RUNNING opens May 10th (Pittsburgh)

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Presents
August Wilson's
Two Trains Runing

Directed by
Mark Clayton Southers

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre will produce August Wilson's Two Trains Running, his 5th play (written) in his 10 play-cycle. Two Trains Running is based in the Historic Hill District during 1969. It explores the social and psychological manifestations of changing attitudes toward race from the perspective of urban blacks with Memphis Lee's Restaurant being the focal point.
The production stars:
Tony Award Nominee Anthony Chisholm (of Beloved, OZ, Rein Over Me). Straight from the national scene, Anthony has done four of the definitive New York Wilson productions, playing Wolf in "Two Trains," Fielding in "Jitney," Solly Two Kings in "Gem of the Ocean" and Old Joe in "Radio Golf." Pittsburgh will recall him best as the former tailor turned alcoholic in "Jitney" at the Public. In this "Two Trains," Chisholm will play Memphis, owner of the diner where the play is set.
Sala Udin (former City Councilman of District 6). Sala will play Holloway, the community philosopher -- the same role Udin played for the Public Theater in 1994.

Wali Jamal (of Piano Lesson, Pill Hill). Wali will play Wolf, the numbers runner

Donald Marshall (of Silence of the Lambs, Breakfast with Mugabe). Don will play West, the undertaker (no specific allusion, Wilson later claimed, to the Thomas L. West who was a leading undertaker on the Hill, 1932-68).

Along with Jonathan Berry (of Black Nativity, Pill Hill) who will play the central role of young angry Sterling, Jomo (of Peter Pan, Seven Guitars) who will play the mentally challenged Hambone, and introducing Sharnece Thomas who will play Risa, the waitress at the restaraunt.

Directed by Onyx Award Winner
Mark Clayton Southers (Piano Lesson, Pill Hill)

The production will open May 10, 2008 and run for three weeks only with shows on Thursday (8pm), Friday (8pm), Saturday (2pm and 8pm), Sunday (2pm and 7pm). Tickets are $27.50 and will be available starting April 2, 2008. Pittsburgh Playwrights is located Downtown Pittsburgh in the heart of the Cultural District. Check for more information.

I will host a Sunday at the Theatre day for Mother's Day and Freinds on Sunday May 11, 2008 during the 7:00 showing of Two Trains Running. There will be a reception after the show to chat with the director, cast and crew of the production. For this event only Pittsburgh Playwrights will offer a special price of $17.50 (a savings of $10) if you reserve by April 19, 2008. The theatre is a small intimate setting and all seats are good seats. Come out and fellowship with friends while watching a great production.
If you are interested send an email to Eric Smith at with the number of tickets requested (Payment is not due until Saturday May 3, 2008). Hurry tickets are limited and going fast.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Call for Scripts: Emerging Writers of Color Deadline: 4/1

Call for scripts!
IGNITION: Emerging Writers of Color
Funded by The Ford Foundation

Victory Gardens Theater announces IGNITION: Emerging Writers of Color, funded by The Ford Foundation. The goal of the initiative is threefold: to introduce exceptional new writers of color to Victory Gardens; to help develop dynamic new work for mainstage production at the theater; to set up an ongoing network of interested producers and theaters to jumpstart future productions around the country. We are inviting you, as a playwright of color under the age of 40, to submit an un-produced play for consideration in Victory Gardens Theater’s Emerging Writers of Color Festival. Six new plays will be presented in a festival of readings tentatively scheduled for August 7 through August 10, 2008. These plays will be directed by leading artists of color from Chicago and around the country. Following the readings, two of the plays will be selected for two week intensive workshops during Victory Gardens’ 08-09 season. Our ultimate aim is to produce one, if not both, of these final scripts in the 09-10 season. If your script is chosen for the Festival, Victory Gardens will provide you with housing and transportation as well as a stipend for one rehearsal week beginning July 30th through the final event of the Festival weekend. You may send a script as soon as possible but no later than April 1, 2008.

Victory Gardens Theater, founded in l974, is the recipient of the 2001 Tony Award for Regional Theater. For thirty-four years the theater’s mission has been to develop new plays for the American Theater. Victory Gardens is a leader in its commitment to inclusion and diversity, and has been recognized by the Ford Foundation for translating this core value into mainstage productions by writers of color each season. The theater has a fourteen member Playwrights Ensemble whose membership also reflects the diversity of the mission. Our home is the newly renovated historic Biograph Theater, a 299 seat theater with state of the art equipment.

Submission Deadline: April 1, 2008
Announcement of Six Festival Participants: June 1, 2008
Festival Dates: August 7 – August 10, 2008

Submission Guidelines:
-The initiative is open to all playwrights of color under 40 years old. The theater hopes that a diversity of perspective will inform the plays, but the plays do not have to deal specifically with race issues.
-Plays must unproduced and must be in English or primarily in English.-Victory Gardens Theater defines “emerging writer” as a writer who has not had a full production at a major regional theater.
-Plays must be submitted by mail, not electronically, and should not be permanently bound.
-Playwrights may only submit one full-length play.
-Please include a biography or resume.
-Please include a return addressed postcard if you wish to be notified that the script arrived. All scripts will be recycled after reading and will not be returned.
-There is no submission fee.

Submit to:
Aaron Carter, Literary Manager
Ignition: Emerging Writers of Color
Victory Gardens Theater
2257 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60614

If you have any questions, please call Aaron at 773-328-2142 or Sandy Shinner, Associate Artistic Director and Project Director, at 773-549-5788 ext 2139.

LADY DAY opens at The American Negro Playwright Theatre 3/27 (Nashville)

Click Image to Enlarge.
For more information contact
Barry Scott at 615-963-5809

OSHUN (The Goddess of Love) Reading 3/31 (NYC)

You are cordially invited to the FREE reading of my
Yoruba Dance Drama,
presented by the
Frank Silveras Writers Workshop
on Monday, March 31, 2008
at 6:30pm
Harlem School of the Arts Theatre
St Nicholas Avenue Between 142nd St and 145th Street.
Ye Yeo
See You there,
DD Wright
Omo Osun

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WEBEIME inaugurates new home for Negro Ensemble Company 3/28 (NYC)

The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) will inaugurate its new theatre home at the Harlem School of the Arts with WEBEIME (We-Be-I-Me) , a play about an imprisoned black man who reflects on his life and the events that may or may not have put him there. The play will run for five weeks with preview performances beginning Friday, March 28. Opening night will be on Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 PM.

Layon Gray, one of the eight cast members who tell the protagonist’s story in dialogue, song and dance, wrote WEBEIME. Mr. Gray, who will also direct, has become one of Los Angeles’ top playwrights after creating the African-American Repertory Theatre there in 2003. He has won local and national awards for his theatre work and his hit play DIARY OF A CATHOLIC SCHOOL DROPOUT is in pre-production for a feature film.

Charles Weldon, the artistic director of the NEC, said he chose WEBEIME because, "it reminded me of the early plays at the Negro Ensemble Company. It was exciting cutting edge theatre."

Mr. Weldon was speaking of NEC productions of "The River Niger" and "Soldier’s Play," both of which went on to Broadway.

"The effect of WEBEIME was so exiting that I knew I wanted us to bring it to New York," said Mr. Weldon, who saw the play at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina last summer. "I think New Yorkers will feel the same way I felt when they see it."

The Harlem School of the Arts is located at 645 St. Nicholas Avenue, just north of 141st Street, and south of the A Train stop at 145th Street. Tickets/group sales are available through Ticket Central (212-279-4200) or on line at www.ticketcentral. com and

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Friday, March 14, 2008


Below are the bios of the actors who will be reading

Hershell Norwood's



at the

Players Club

16 Gramercy Park South


1 pm on Wednesday, March 19.

The reading is free, so please join us!

Hershell Norwood (playwright) has an M.F.A in acting from Brandeis and is currently working to complete doctoral degree in history/theory and acting/directing from Texas Tech University. His interests feature playwriting and developing a Black Aesthetic Theory for theatre. He spent growing years in the metropolitan New York and New England areas and currently resides with his wife and grand children in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Thierry Saintine, (director) recipient of a BA in Theatre and Speech from City College, author of My Heart's Talking (book of poetry) which won him the Lowell Fellowship Award, Diamond Lovers (screenplay) and BitterSoul (stage play), Mr. Saintine is currently pre-producing Diamond Lovers which will begin production this summer under his newly founded Struglife Productions.

Juliette Fairley was discovered by Spike Lee in 2007 when she was hired to play a principal role in Mayor of New York (M.O.N.Y), a TV pilot commissioned by NBC in March 2007, produced by Tom Fontana with Barry Levinson (Oz, The Jury). Prior to booking her breakthrough role, Juliette hosted Cha Ching Money Makers, a tv show that aired on the Discovery Channel. She played a principal role in a re-enactment Segment for A&E TV's Watching the Detectives, airing in April 2008 and appears in a McDonald's TV commercial on Spanish television. Miss Fairley recently wrapped a lead role in the stage play Mulatto's Dilemma, which was a semi finalist in the 2008 Strawberry One Act Festival. View press clippings and her show reels at and at

Ken Dashow (Jack Hearald) is a fish-monger from Brooklyn who has actually fooled people into letting him act, write, and direct His play, “The Wingding Doodle Club,” is in discussions for an Off-B’way run after its successful debut at the N.Y. Fringe Festival. Ken can be heard each afternoon, 4-8 PM, on Q104.3, “New York’s Classic Rock,” where he practices his day job of spinning mounds of sounds platters-that-matter. You can also find-out other junk about him at, and

Zeretha Jenkins (Mama Sadie) Multi-talented as an actress, author/playwright and producer, Zeretha Jenkins has acted in TV, film and theatrical projects including: American Adoption, Who’s the Man, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, The Rape of Leila Meshki, Dancin’ on Moonlight; and various commercials/videos: Dove’s Fresh Take with Alicia Keys; I Apologize with Anita Baker; Pfizer; MasterCard. Her book, Walking By Faith: An Afro-American Trilogy, is a collection of dramatic works. Her plays -- Trial of the Race and Illusion in Blue, were presented at the prestigious National Black Theatre Festival. As producer, she currently has two projects in development. For more information, visit: and

Jermaine Small (John Levy) is a proud Howard University alumnus, originally from Atlanta, Ga. He has performed in numerous productions, ranging from TopDog Underdog to Black Eagles. He would like to thank God, AAPEX, his family, and friends.

Liliane Klein (Katie Rose) NYC: Me and My Girl (McGinn/Cazale Theatre, Musicals Tonight!), I Wanna Be Rosie (La Mama, E.T.C.), The Greeks (MET, IMUA!), Narrative Intervention (Here, IMUA!), Do I Hear $5 (St. Clements). Regional: Fat Pig (Speakeasy, *Elliot Norton and IRNE Award Nominee), A Streetcar Named Desire (Foothills), Love's Labours Lost (CFS), Cyrano de Bergerac (CFS), As You Like It (CFS), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Ivoryton), Dido (001 Gallery, Scratch Theatre), Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Broadhollow,) Nunsense (Acting Up Theatre Co.). National Tours: Titanic (Candlewood), Scrooge (NYSO), Cyrano De Bergerac (NTAE), The Little Prince (NTPA), Tikki Tikki Tembo & Friends (StorySalad). Liliane plays Terry the Turtle on Kid Fitness (PBS). Recording: Stage Stars GYPSY (Mama Rose). Training: Boston University (BFA). Member: AEA, SAG, CFS, NJ Rep, The Players. --

Arlene Love (Narrator) Among Arlene's many theatre credits: Nominated Best Actress in a Full Length Production off-off Broadway by Spotlight On for Lunch at Armageddon by Richard Lay. Appeared as a nun and as a prison inmate on One Life to Live and as the evil maid in the Nicole Kidman film,Fur. Studied with Anthony Vincent Bova. A proponent of The Eric Morris System. AEA SAG AFTRA.

Jimmy Gary Jr (Bobby Tucker) is a former NFL football player and Graduate of West Virginia University. He has appeared in "LAW & Order", "Rescue Me", "All My Children" and a number of independent films. He has just completed filming "A Long Road to Nowhere" a feature film that will make its way into the public eye in 2009. He is freelancing with agents Karen Goldberg & Associates and The Krasny Office.

T. Bankole. The last twelve years T. Bankole has been involved in producing and directing film, documentaries, and made for television projects. In 2000 Bankolé co-produced and acted as assistant director on a film entitled Conversation Piece with partial monies given by Miramax films, In 2002 Bankolé produced and directed a made for television pilot for Vh1 entitled Verses, which involved Wyclef John as a co-producer, He was also involved with a Japanese film production entitled Collogue of Our Lives which premiered at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival. He has also produced and directed a numerous amount of plays that he secured, and controlled funding for under the auspices of the New Federal Theater, ran by Woodie King Jr. Noted actor Armon Assante and Italian legend Marrio Fratti were involved with a production of his entitled Parallel Lives. He has had the opportunity to work with great names, from actors, such as Ruby Dee to Dave Chappell and Aretha Franklin to John Legend. Over the years Bankolé has built great relationships with music video directors, producers and industry insiders, he is associate producer for The national Black theatre c/o NFT,

We would love to thank our sponsors:

AAPEX (The African American Playwrights Exchange) was founded January 1, 2007 by dramaturg Jaz Dorsey to preserve, present & promote new works by African American playwrights and new works by any playwright which deepens our awareness of and connection to our African American heritage. Visit us at AAPEX is a program of TRU (Theater Resources Unlimited).

S.O.A.P.I.F.F (Southern Appalachian International Film Festival), A film festival held in the majestic mountains of East Tennessee every October that celebrates the beauty and history of the Appalachian mountains. For more information go to and also on or contact Mark Compton at 423-743-soap.

TRU (Theater Resources Unlimited) was organized in 1992 to provide information and a variety of entertainment-related services and resources that strengthen the capacity of producing organizations, individuals producers, self-producing artists and other theater professionals. TRU produces monthly seminars on a wide range of subjects important to theatrical producers and directors. In 1996, TRU served as the umbrella organization for a co-production by member companies as a part of the first annual NY Fringe Festival. The organization has expanded its production efforts by creating the TRU VOICES Annual New Plays and New Musicals Reading Series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings of new works. Shows developed through the series that have gone on to off-Broadway productions include The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Nor'mal, Pied a Terre and Taxi to Jannah. TRU is ciurrently the associate producer with Animated Theatreworks for Missives by Garret Jon Groenveld, a play from the 2006 TRU series that is opening March 20th at 59E59 Street Theaters.

Donations to this project are welcome and can be made by contacting Jaz Dorsey at

Program provided by Ginna Bellamy 423-367-2584 or at

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

To be Young, Gifted and Black: Call for Plays

Ebony Joy in Illinois. African-American theater in Illinois seeks full-length plays by writers of color, ages 16-30, for alternate Saturday Reading Series (3/8-12/12) to expose emerging voices and ignite discussion on cultural, political, social and philosophical issues. E-mail ASAP to Ebony Joy or mail to: Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre 2008 Reading Series, c/o Ebony Joy, 927 Noyes St., Evanston, IL 60201. More info: visit or call 847/448-8026.

Source: TRU

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Jamal Williams' LAST DANCE OF THE PANTHER WOMEN 3/29-30 (Stamford)

Carol London, Sharisma Simmons, Candice Myer
Also Featuring: Larry Floyd, Mark Maples


presents a dramatic concert reading of


The year 1974 was a tumultuous year for the Black Panther Party in the city of Oakland, California. The People's "Revolution" was severely faltering; hooked up on "life support" systems. Most of the leaders were either incarcerated, murdered or as was Huey Newton in exile with criminal charges hanging over their heads. Many of the Panther chapters were either at war with one another or just trading in their guns for real jobs. And to top it off, the "macho" Panthers were now being run by a woman, Elaine Brown. Some of the original members were deeply disillusioned with the failed politics and not ready for the end of the Revolution nor female leadership. Things were in great turmoil. But as Huey made his way to Cuba, Eldridge Cleaver was returning from his exile in Algeria. This play is about a Panther woman with a gun in her pocket and deadly grudge infused in her mind who travels to a dance being given in Eldridge's honor at Oakland's Merritt College; the place where the Party originated. She is convinced that she must assassinate one of the Cleavers so that a new Revolution can begin.

Written by Jamal Williams

Directed by Ray Aranha

Sound Design by Billy Gagliano


Saturday Evening, March 29; 7:30 PM

Sunday Matinee, March 30; 3:00 PM

Leonhardt Studio

Rich Forum 307 Atlantic Street

Stamford, CT 06901

Need directions? Visit Mapquest.

Admission: Adults - $20.00 Seniors (65 years & older) - $15.00 Young people (18 years & younger) - $15.00 Group Sales Available Major Credit Cards Accepted Reservations: For information and reservations, visit our tickets page and click on the appropriate links Or phone us at: 203-561-5024.

AAPEX ADDENDUM: Most playwrights have difficulty in getting their works produced. But Mr. Williams' experiences are even more frustrating because of the play's political sensitivity. "Even had a theater in San Francisco accept it into a play festival," he says. "Had it cast and were in final rehearsal when the actors and director got cold feet and were frightened because they didn't understand my point-of-view. I kind of was surprised, but having a play canceled because of 'fear' was quite a feather in my artist's hat, so to say." The Stamford show will be the play's East Coast Premiere.

Ben Marshall's SIMPLE MAJORITIES 3/16 (NYC)

When the African-American Communications Director of the white Republican Senator sponsoring the Defense of Marriage Act is outed, trouble ensues. The issues in SIMPLE MAJORITIES are those involving people of color, sexual identity and marital choice. When do you make the political personal and the personal political? Are there boundaries?
by Ben Marshall
The WorkShop Theater Company's
MARCH 16TH, 2008
at 6pm
312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor
CK Allen, Duane Allen Robinson*, Brian Deutsch*,Mark Hamlet*, Amy Hutchins*, Tobi Kanter*, Amy Threet
*AEA Member

Monday, March 3, 2008

Actor-Playwright APRIL YVETTE THOMPSON's "Liberty City" debuts tomorrow (NYC)

April Yvette Thompson and Jessica Blank's multi-character solo show

Liberty City

debuts tomorrow at the

New York Theatre Workshop
79 E. Fourth Street
New York City
Click here for more information.

7PM Tuesday
8PM Sunday
Wednesday through Saturday
(3PM Saturday/2PM Sunday)
The play runs from 3/4-16.

Cost: $45.00 ($20.00 students and Sunday evening tickets
at box office only)