Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The 3rd Annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival kicks off in August

NASHVILLE (July 25, 2008) SistaStyle Productions, Dream 7 Theatre Productions and The Destiny Theatre Experience are re-teaming for the 3rd annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival at Nashville’s Darkhorse Theater. Film/television/stage actress Phyllis Yvonne Stickney (Malcolm X, What’s Love Got to Do With It) will serve as the festival’s special guest. On September, 20th, Stickney will facilitate an acting workshop and present her one-woman show, P.S. I’m Still Standing. The festival will officially kick off with an opening mixer on August 11. The Destiny Theatre Experience will kick off the shows with My Lover, My Best Friend & My Roommate, written by Shawn Whitsell and Melissa Hughley. The company will also close out the festival with Whitsell’s original piece Never Been Home. SistaStyle Productions will present 70% More, Mary McCallum’s highly-anticipated sequel to her run-away-hit, The 70% Club. Dream 7 will present Michael L. Walker’s gritty Smokin’ Room. Guest theatre companies, Geo Soul Theatre and Griot Theatre Ensemble will present George Darden’s Pieces of a Dream and Jacqueline Springfield’s Goin’ Back to Where I’ve Never Been, respectively.

“All of our main stage shows are original works by local playwrights that have never been produced before,” says Whitsell, one of the festival’s organizers. “That’s pretty exciting. We’re giving theatre-goers all new works this year. We’re also very excited about Phyllis Yvonne Stickney’s participation this year. She’s a very talented and versatile actress.”

Other events include, The Emerging Playwright Reading, a poetry jam, a night of locally produced short films and a number of workshops. The purpose of Shades of Black Theatre Festival is to provide an outlet for showcasing quality black theatre in the Nashville area. The festival will also serve as a platform for actors, directors, producers, writers, and theatre enthusiasts to learn, network and enjoy quality theatre. Tickets for all shows may be purchased for $15. All Shades of Black events will be held at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209. For a full listing of events, visit To reserve tickets, contact (615) 781-3904 or

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Theodore Ward Prize/Call for African-American Playwrights

Deadline: December 1, 2008. The annual playwriting contest sponsored by Columbia College Chicago Theater Center. Nationally acclaimed for recognizing the outstanding individual accomplishments of African-American playwrights, along with their growing importance to the shape and direction of American drama in our time. The goals of the contest are as follows: To uncover and identify new African-American plays addressing the African-American experience that are promising and producible; To encourage and aid playwrights in the development of promising scripts; To offer an opportunity for emerging and established playwrights of African-American descent to be exposed to Chicago's professional theater community through staged readings and/or fully mounted productions. For more information on the submission process, and prizes, please contact contest facilitator, Chuck Smith at 312.344.6136. Visit

AAPEX Writer Nathan Ross Freeman's Feature Film MR. BONES Screened By New Filmmakers (NYC)

(Click Image to Enlarge)
(NYC) AAPEX writer Nathan Ross Freeman's award-winning film MR. BONES screened at New Filmmakers July 29th at 8:20PM. Reception starts at 7:30PM. Admission: $5.00.
Congratulations, Nathan!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

AAPEX Writer Yvette Heyliger's HILLARY & MONICA Opens July 24th (NYC)

Following, Barack Obama’s lead, we are showing Hillary some love by helping her to pay down her campaign debt resulting from one of the hardest-fought primary races in history! The Midtown International Theatre Festival in association with Twinbiz presents Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent beginning July 24, 2008. If a patron wishes, after each performance the hat will be passed or a ticket can be purchased online at with the following promotional code: HILSBILL. A dollar of each ticket purchased with this code will go towards paying down Hill’s bills! Giving is totally optional, of course!

Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent is a one-act play which explores what would have happened if the former first lady and the infamous intern had a chance meeting before the scandal broke? Find out in this all-American uproar about women, power and politics which takes a look at the evolution of the role of First Lady, as well as the age old problem of infidelity which affects first ladies from all walks of life.

Written and directed by Yvette Heyliger, the one-act play stars Clinton look-a-like Heidi Dallin, Jacqueline Kristel as Monica Lewinsky, Vanessa Shaw as Betty Curry and Jeff Pierce as Bill Clinton. Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent will be playing at Workshop Theatre Main Stage, 312 West 36th Street, 4th floor on July 24th at 8:30pm, July 25th at 6:30pm, July 26th at 9:00pm, July 29 at 6:30pm, August 2nd at 5:00pm and August 2nd at 2:30pm. Tickets can be purchased for $18, $15 for seniors and students at or 212-279-4200.

People are often surprised when they discover Heyliger is African-American. To this she says, “I write about women’s issues which transcend race and I have always been patriotic; with this play I had a chance to explore both. This is a play about infidelity, a universal subject most people unfortunately know something about. However, the play is bigger than the scandal which is only used as a jumping off point for larger issues regarding women and politics. Women seeking office have to walk a tight rope between toughness and humanity that men do not, and the play explores that. It is interesting that the themes I wrote about in 2001—a presidential hopeful juggling power, politics and perfidiousness—have come to pass in 2008.”

Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent was produced in a limited engagement last summer at Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts and was well received by audiences. Interestingly the play attracted Hillary supporters and detractors alike! Following are a few additional quotes by critics: "A witty take on recent history." Daily Item; "Hil-arious production!" North Shore Sunday; Complex: ‘Hillary and Monica’ delivers more than laughs." Winston-Salem Journal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AAPEX Writer Valetta Anderson gets produced in Atlanta

Decatur, GA Working Title Playwrights (WTP), Atlanta's leading play-development organization, is thrilled to congratulate WTP Affiliate playwright Valetta Anderson on her knockout production of Hallelujah Street Blues at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, GA. Hallelujah Street Blues was developed through WTP workshops as Blue Water Fishing, culminating in a concert reading as part of WTP's 2006 Work-In-Progress reading series. Working Title Playwrights is proud to have been a part of the evolution of this play and encourages everyone to see its jubilant production at Horizon Theatre through August 24, 2008. For more information on Hallelujah Street Blues or for reservations, please visit Horizon's website at http://horizontheat or call 404.584.7450.

Working Title Playwrights, Inc., is a professional theatre company dedicated to the development and promotion of playwrights and new plays. Its goal is to provide all playwrights with the chance to excel -- by helping them tell their stories for stage; fostering the development of well-crafted plays; and increasing the visibility of theatre in Atlanta and beyond. Incorporated in 2003 as a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) statue, WTP serves its mission by featuring workshops and education seminars; public and private readings; and collaborative programs with other recognized local, regional and national artists and cultural arts groups.

Jill Patrick
Managing Artistic Director
Working Title Playwrights

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

AAPEX Writer Henry Meyerson's JUMP JIM CROW July 17th thru August 2nd (NYC)

Jump Jim Crow
Written by
Henry Meyerson
Directed by
Tom Thornton
Will Be Produced at this Year’s
Midtown International Theatre Festival
Where Eagles Dare Theatre
347 West 36th Street
Cast: Lawrence Floyd * Michael Gnat * Tom Thornton
*Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association
Thursday, July 17th
6:15 PM
Saturday, July 26th
6:15 PM
Sunday, July 20th
7:00 PM
Tuesday, July 29th
8:30 PM
Friday, July 25th
8:30 PM
Saturday, August 2nd
8:00 PM

For Tickets: 212-279-4200 or
For Information:

Jump Jim Crow tells the story of Tom Rice, a white performer in black face, and his black friend and writer, Jack Washington, who develop a successful blackface act in the mid-19th Century. Strom Thurmond joins Tom’s act and encourages Tom to develop material that become the springboard, and justification, for Jim Crow laws.