Friday, July 31, 2009

Call for Short Screenplay (NYC)

Narrative Short - Screenplay Needed - Paid (Downtown)
Date: 2009-07-31, 4:18PM EDTReply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Looking for a screenplay for a narrative short to be filmed this fall. Funding in place for production, to be directed by award-winning filmmaker, currently accepting open submissions for screenplay. Looking for anything in the drama and/or comedy genres, preferably original and quirky. No action or horror stories. If your story is chosen, you will be paid $500 and receive a writing credit on the film, which is intended for major festival submission. Please submit a synopsis of your story and contact information. If we are interested, we will contact you to discuss it further and read your screenplay. Feel free to submit the screenplay up front as an attachment. You retain all ownership of submitted materials.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $500

Source: Craig's List

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Samm-Art Williams’ hit comedic play “The Dance on Widow’s Row” opens 8/13 (Nashville)

Samm-Art Williams’ hit comedic play “The Dance on Widow’s Row” returns to Nashville after a successful and critically-acclaimed run at TN State University several years ago. The play depicts four wealthy widows in Nashville who invite the area's four most eligible bachelors to an intimate soiree for eight. Having already buried nine husbands altogether, they know that neighbors' tongues will wag like the tail of a starving dog with the key to the butcher shop; but they are willing to defy town mores and endure vicious gossip if there is a chance that they will meet “Mr. Right” tonight. "The Dance on Widow’s Row” is a light comedy about death, dating and superstition - - or, more specifically, about how hard it can be for a woman to get a date after she's buried a few husbands.

“The Dance on Widow’s Row” is under the direction of Barry Scott, who is widely known for his successes as an actor, writer, producer, director, motivational speaker and voice over artist.

“The results at TN State a couple of years ago were powerfully encouraging," Scott says. "I am excited to bring this show back in an indefinite run to Writer’s Stage and to give Nashville something that it doesn’t get enough of: an extended run of a top- notch comedic theatrical production depicting African-Americans."

The cast features Diane Dixon, Stella Reed, Tamiko Robinson, Darlene Knight, Barry Scott, Kenneth Dozier, and Eric Williams.

The performances will be held at the Writer’s Stage located at 1008 Charlotte Avenue. Performances will be held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm. The play is unique in that it is being offered to Nashville as an open run with no definite end date.

Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased at the door or online at ; For Group Reservations, please call 615-476-6430.

Barry Scott

Mary McCallum

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Claude Purdy passes at 69

Claude Purdy

Stormi Greener, Star Tribune

Claude Purdy, the influential director and co-founder of Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, died in Washington. D.C., on Monday after feeling ill. He was 69. His death was confirmed by officials at Penumbra, who had spoken with members of the director's family.

"Claude was a fantastic director with a deep well of understandingof black culture, aesthetics and spirituality, " said veteran Penumbra actor James Craven, who worked with Purdy over the last three decades.

"He knew every texture, thread and fabric of the culture and he was able to put that onstage, light it and enlighten us. People talk about Lloyd Richards and other great directors. I would put Claude at the head of that pantheon."
Purdy, who directed August Wilson's "Fences" at the Guthrie Theater in 1997, spent 10 years at Penumbra in the 1980s.

"He had a very visual approach to the stage, like a painter with acanvas," said actor-director Abdul Salaam El Razzac, who credits Purdy with being instrumental in his career. "He could see figures coming to life, and he did it brilliantly."

In 1978, Purdy convinced his friend August Wilson to move from Pittsburgh to St. Paul and to write plays instead of poems. Purdy became an expert interpreter of Wilson's works, and staged them across the nation. He also became a mentor and career guide to a raft of actors.

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

Source: Terrence Spivey
Artistic Director
Karamu House
2355 East 89th
Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: 216-795-7070

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arthur W. French III's THIRD'S WORLD 7/30-8/16 (NYC)

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Third's World
Arthur W. French III
July 30 - August 16th
Thursday - Saturday Performances: 7:30pm
Sunday Matinees: 3:00pm
Roy Arias Theater Center
Payan Theater, 5th Floor
300 W. 43rd St. between 8th & 9th Ave.
General Admission: $18
Students and Seniors: $15
Groups of 10 or more: $10
For reservations, call 212-613-6238
The Box Office opens 45 min. before the show, for ticket purchase
Please click the post's title to visit the website.
To purchase tickets, please click here.

An Invitation from Garlia Cornelia Jones

Hello Hello!

Wanted to share the start of something wonderful that I will be working on... I have begun to interview people etc, about their work at the cell / their involvement in Blackboard Reading Series.

I share the following two links: "the cell is..."

"Blackboard Playwright Conversation" -

If you are not already following our youtube channel, I will be working on many more videos so if you are curious about what the cell is about, look there:

This is the start of something wonderful!

If you haven't come by the cell, please do so!... (If you are in NY)... it is a very fun place!

Love, Garlia--
Garlia Cornelia Jones
Masters of Fine Arts Candidate - Playwriting - The New School for Drama
Masters Candidate - African American and African Diaspora Studies - Indiana University
Founder and Artistic Director - Black Curtain - Indiana Univeristy
Founder - Blackboard Reading Series @thecell

Nathan Ross Freeman launches new era in City of Arts Community 8/4 (Winston-Salem)

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We need your support and attendance at the National Black Theatre Festival's screening of Authoring Action Documentary (formerly Winston-Salem Youth Arts Institute, makers of the renown award winning Indie Feature Mr. Bones.) Authoring Action Feature Doctumentary was compiled and edtited by Nathan Ross Freeman, Co-Founder and Artistic Director. It was made possible in large part by the Arts Council of Wisnton-Salem & Forsyth County. See the Trailer at

Come celebrate the film's fast paced archival moments; the outreach prowess of 7 years of the Winston-Salem Youth Arts Institute and our new branding: Authoring Action. Our youth entering a new era of global impact communications. Their words will pierce you. Admission free. For further information call me at 336 995 2119.

Nathan Ross Freeman
Script Writer ~ Filmmaker ~ Dramaturge
Creative Writing & Spoken Word Educator

Call for Screenplays

African-American Themed Screenplays (US)
Date: 2009-07-26, 9:48PM PDTReply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Mystery Inc. is currently seeking an African-American themed screenplay in the reign of THE COLOR PURPLE, BELOVED, EVE'S BAYOU. Specifically looking for scripts that can be shot in the $1,000,000.00 range and that deal with the trials and tribulations African-Americans may have encountered in the early part of the 20th century. Script to be packaged with two other great socially important screenplays. For more info on the the production company see IMDb link : Record-breaking Director Attached: Please send synopsis for consideration.
Location: US
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: TBD

Source: Craig's List

Support The Essential Theatre 7/28 (DC)

Click Image to Enlarge.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Meet WeGoCentric for the pro-active playwright

A very smart, very savvy group of playwrights from Chicago got good and tired of waiting for the big theatres to notice/produce/support them. So they thought, "What the hell? We'll just do it ourselves." Read about their fascinating work as WeGoCentric.
The Loop

I have been a playwright for over thirty years with some successes and many failures. I have always felt at the mercy of theatre companies, submitting scripts and then waiting . . . and hoping . . . and waiting . . . and . . .self-doubting . . . and, well, you get the idea.

I thought many times — who is going to come to my aid? What theatre is going to say, “We love your musical!” Where was my Angel (who, I fantasized I would somehow meet at a party) who would (after I charmed her and explained my musical) say, “Here’s $1,000,000 to produce your show!” Yeah, sure, all of this could happen. And I could win the Lottery, too. The odds are about the same.

I live in Chicago. The Windy City has a thriving theatrical community and literally hundreds and hundreds of talented playwrights call it home.

Companies such as Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Building Chicago, and others provide a fabulous service, supporting playwrights through classes, readings, and production opportunities. But due to budgets, staffing, space and time, these opportunities have limitations. There is a shortage of opportunities and a wealth of very good, if not experienced, playwrights in this town. For every opportunity, there are ten playwrights who believe they deserve that chance. And they are right. Here are excerpts from an article written by Gary Garrison, Creative Director of the Dramatists’ Guild of America, discussing self-production with a group of dramatists in Seattle in 2008:

“. . . Guild members quickly articulated a common concern . . . dramatists can’t get produced in their own backyards.”

“What was extraordinary . . . was the almost instant call — by representatives of three large theatres . . . for playwrights to stop focusing on something that’s probably not going to happen for a variety of predominantly economic reasons, and instead to channel that passion and energy to either co-producing . . . or self-producing.”

“. . . there was something empowering in dramatists realizing that if they want their stories told to a local audience, they’d most likely have to figure out for themselves how best to do that. And they should. They should figure it out because every voice should be heard, and every story desperately needs to be told.”

So, how do playwrights who have a finished piece, either a play or a musical, get their play from the page to the stage? I faced this very situation in the fall of 2007 when I finished the first draft for musical, Song-Poems Wanted! The Musical. Although I was a member of Theatre Building Chicago’s Musical Theatre Workshop, we had missed the deadline for submission to their 2008 Stages Festival. And though I knew the show had potential, I wasn’t very optimistic that it would be chosen for one of the Monday Night Readings at TBC (there are only 8 each year) for the 2008-2009 year. At that time Chicago Dramatists didn’t support the development of musicals.

I had a choice. I could wait a year or try the traditional submission route (which basically still takes a year or more to come to fruition, if it ever does) or I could take the bull by the horns and force the development of this show. I knew the show needed to go through the development process (table readings, public readings, workshops) for it to become polished.

Self-production. Self-promotion. Those were the answers I discussed. In order to achieve what I wanted to do without waiting in a long line, I was determined to do it myself. Fortunately, with a background as an actor, director, producer, I had self-produced my own works in the past.

So I took the leap of faith, put almost ten-thousand dollar of my own money into developing the show, and as a result it will be presented at the Stages Festival, Theatre Building Chicago on August 22nd and 23rd, 2009. And this is just the beginning of the process of obtaining a commercially viable production of the show.

I wanted to share my experience with other writers, so I formed WeGoCentric, the Writers’ Entrepreneurial Group of Chicago in May. The Mission of WeGoCentric is to assist writers to become entrepreneurs by helping them self-produce, self-promote and self-publish their plays and musicals.

Think of yourself, the playwright part of you, as a business. Of course you are an artist, too. But for most artists, to be fulfilled, your art needs to be exposed to the public.

Think of WeGoCentric as a business-to-business, service-based company, with writers paying fees for the services they desire to achieve those goals.

WeGoCentric hopes to become a bridge that will take your work from the page to the stage and lead you closer to a legitimate production of your play or musical. We encourage writers to be entrepreneurs and to further their work via alternative methods.

WeGoCentric provides writers with a safe and trusted support system (typically provided by a theatre company) by connecting them with producers, directors, actors and support people who know how to develop and produce new plays.

We hope to create a level of artistic trust so that you know your play will receive the attention it needs. We help writers produce table readings, public readings, and workshops of their plays and musicals. We help writers format their plays correctly, write synopses and cover letters for the submission process, and we even provide help with the actual submission process. We also develop web pages for writers and their plays. In the future, we hope to originate creative and cost effective ways of promoting new work to theatres across the country.

But by no means is WeGoCentric the only outlet for playwrights to move their projects forward. Here a few other suggestions. First, every playwright who has a play finished needs to join the Dramatist’s Guild of America. Period. That’s the first $95 you should invest. The membership provides so many benefits and the Chicago branch is strong and growing under the guidance of Doug Post. By attending the meetings and participating in the group discussions, you might find a writers’ cooperative that you could join (or form) that supports new work. Second, explore Chicago Dramatist’s and Theatre Building Chicago’s programs and find out how you can take advantage of the classes and developmental processes offered. Both programs have allowed members to self-produce shows using their facility within the last year. There are no guarantees, but at least there are opportunities. Third, find a theatre that you feel is perfect for your play, and be realistic. If you are a novice playwright, the chances of the Goodman producing your work are very, very slim. So find a smaller theatre whose mission statement resonates with your play, and vice versa. Then focus on seeing their shows, making contacts and maybe even volunteering, just to get your foot in the door and your name known.

There is no question that playwrights will self-produce and self-promote more and more as theatre companies offer fewer and fewer opportunities. The only question is how to do so without falling prey to the “vanity production” syndrome. Russ Tutterow of Chicago Dramatists says, “. . . if the production is good, no one cares who produced it. If it is bad, and it was produced by the author, then it’s a vanity production.”

So how do you make sure your self-production is one of the good ones and not one of the vanity productions? Let’s assume you have a finished first draft of a play or musical. That doesn’t mean it is ready for Broadway. I don’t care if you are Stephen Sondheim or Edward Albee. It needs to go through a developmental process before it is time for serious money to be invested. The process can be shortened with experience, but for less experienced playwrights, it might goes like this: Finished first draft, followed by a dramaturg or a director reading and commentary and evaluation, followed by rewrites, followed by a table reading with a few friends and mentors, followed by evaluation, followed by rewrites, followed by a table reading (this time using actors who are age appropriate, etc.), followed by evaluation, followed by rewrites, followed a public reading, hopefully in front of 100 or less audience members that represent the audience you are hoping to attract (i.e. not just friends and family).

By this point, the writer should have worked most of the bugs out of the script and the public reading will allow an audience’s reactions to “tell” the writer if the play is communicating what the playwright thought it was. If positive, their response will excite the playwright to move ahead with the project and find a way to take the next step. If not, it may be time to move on to another project. And at least the writer didn’t put his work in front of a paying audience and critics, spending thousands of dollars to find out that his or her play needs more work.

If you are a playwright, good luck and good fortune, for it can pay off, artistically and financially. But it doesn’t just happen. Angels are few and far between. At least I know I’ve never met mine. If you want your play to move forward, you are going to have to play an active role in its development.

For more information about writer support groups and self-production, take a look at these websites: WeGoCentric, You can visit the Dramatist’s Guild of America at and ask for information about the Chicago area meetings. Contact Chicago Dramatists at, and Theatre Building Chicago at

Source: The Loop


Mario Farwell

You Know I Can't Eat Buffalo Meat
When There's A Terrorist on the Loose
Mario Farwell

Lowell Lovelace is a middle-aged black male with his own business. Lowell also has a brilliant idea to cash in on his one-eighth American Indian heritage (and get a cut of Creek Indian casino money) by transforming himself and his home into what he thinks is traditional American Indian style. Unfortunately, he does this the day his family meets their daughter's fiancé's parents, the upper-crust Barondorffs. Things are rocky but manageable for Lowell's long-suffering wife Maggie as she deals with the snooty Barondorffs, their rapper son LAX, neighbor Darrel, who insists on displaying his Scottish heritage with the shrill of bag pipes, and his pre-altzheimic mother-in-law Noona, a former girl street-gang leader. Things get dicey when Lowell mistakes Rajeem Nasir, a Pakistani terrorist, for the Creek tribe representative. They are all taken hostage by Rajeem, who reveals his intention of blowing up one of the revered American and St. Louis landmarks. Will they escape? Will the young couple get married? Will St. Louis still have its landmark? Will the Buffalo meat burn? Find out in this hilarious farce.

Directed by
Judy Yordon

July 24, 25, 31 August 1 2009 at 8:00 PM
July 26, August 2 2009 at 2:00 PM

Advanced Tickets: General Admission $10.00
Seniors and Students $8.00

Groups of 10 or more General Admission $8.00
Seniors and Students $5.00

Tickets at the Door General Admission $12.00
Seniors and Students $10.00

Thomas Hunter Theater
DeSmet Jesuit High School
233 N New Ballas Road
Creve Coeur MO 63141

For more information and directions, visit our web site (

Friday, July 24, 2009

AAPEX: Now Playing!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tennessee State Univ Theatre’s “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” Chosen to Perform at the National Black Theatre Festival 8/8 (Winston-Salem)

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Nashville, TN – The Tennessee State University Theatre production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” by Lanie Robertson, has been chosen to perform at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for its 20th Anniversary Festival during the week of August 3-8, 2009. “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” is one of four college productions chosen to perform as a part of the Fringe College component of the National Black Theatre Festival, whose “spotlight shines bright on the most professional collegiate theatre productions from around the world. NBTF Fringe is primarily a performance showcase for college and university students.”

“Lady Day” will be given two performances on Saturday, August 8th at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at this biennial Festival’s “International Celebration & Reunion of Spirit.” The NBTF highlights productions and celebrities from the most prestigious professional and semiprofessional theatre groups, as well as television and film artists and celebrities in America and internationally.

The TSU Theatre production, directed by Lawrence James, Ph.D., features student Ashley Bishop in the title role of Billie Holiday, with support from Alex White, II, Harold Pettigrew III, and Joel Diggs. Daryl Nettles, Ph.D., is musical director, who also performs as the piano accompanist character for Lady Day. The musical band is made complete with the musical virtuosity of Paul Deyo, Brook Sutton, and Rob Crawford. Professor Mark Collino is scenic and lighting designer, and technical manager.

The production of “Lady Day” was recently honored in February 2009 as one of the five Regional Finalist productions invited to perform at the Regional IV Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, then subsequently selected as one of the nineteen Kennedy Center National Finalists.

NJ Performance Lab Season 3 Finale (New Jersey)

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The NJ Performance Lab
presents its Season 3 Finale
featuring winners from all of the previous weeks
competing for a chance to win Cash, Trips and Prizes.
Don't miss your opportunity to see some great talent
which includes the following finalist:

Spoken Word Artists:
Nasir the Poet
Los Chil

Buck 50

R & B Singers:
Mennah Black
Erica Philpot

Gospel Singer:

Special Guest Apperances by Houston's own from the Michael Baisden Show
and the unforgettable Sis Peeola Patterson

Sponsored by:
EliteRadio 97.5FM, Performer Track, Shades of Pink, Trinity Harvest Inc., Babsokus Gifts & Signs, Baguissa Restaurant, Michael Locker Entertainment, Chateau De Grace, International Limo Service

For more information and to buy tickets, please click the post's title.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts needs your input (NYC)

The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts is always looking improve its services, programming and advocacy for artists. Currently, we are doing a complete review of all our programming and WE NEED YOUR INPUT!!
We want to hear your thoughts on the Alliance and find out how we can best help you to get work and fulfill our mission. As part of this effort, we are holding a Brainstorming Session for Actors, Writers and Directors to discuss your needs, how the Alliance has (or hasn’t) helped and what we can do to improve our services. Please let us know if you can attend one of the two sessions below.

Brainstorming Sessions
Monday, July 27th
1560 Broadway @ 46th street, Suite 790
Session 1: 6:30 PM
Session 2: 8:00 PM

Please RSVP to:

If you want to participate, but can’t make one of these sessions, please let us know. The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts is the nation’s leading advocate for full diversity as a key to the vitality and dynamism of American theatre, film, and television. We promote authentic dialogue about race, culture, and disability that embraces the complexity of underlying social and historical issues. We actively engage artists and decision makers, forge partnerships, and create opportunities. Our aim is to achieve a theatre, film and television industry that reflects American society; where each artist is considered on his/her merits as an individual; where the stories being told are drawn from diverse experiences; and where our individual humanity and forms of expressions can be celebrated.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Call for Plays

The Women’s Theatre Project is seeking full-length plays by and about lesbians (75-120 pages). The play must be written by a woman and have an all female cast. Our performance space is small (think off-off Broadway black box space.) Prefer single set or simple space setting. Cast limited to 5. No musicals at this time. Plays of interest will have a reading with an audience, with possible future production in 2010 or 2011.

Email play to: and put Lesbian Full-Length Play in the subject line.

Scripts may be mailed to: TWTP Lesbian Full-Length Play, 1314 E. Las Olas Blvd, #31, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301.

The Women's Theatre Project, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2002 and is the only professional theatre company in the country founded by women and exclusively presenting theatrical works written by women with all female characters.

Source: The Loop

Monday, July 20, 2009

George O. Brome's ANOTHER MAN'S POISON opens 8/12 (NYC)




When struggling comedian, Frankie Masters, finally gets his shot at his own network television show in 1970, his imminent success exposes the hidden conflict and mounting turmoil of his personal life. It's a pivotal time in our history, where the Vietnam War, exposing the racial divide, and the politicizing of sexual identity, all conspire to add depth and texture to the drama. A potent six character play -- 3 Black, 3 White, is a quintessential Hollywood story with a distinct New York bite. ...ANOTHER MAN'S POISON feeds our incessant desire to peer into the "making of a celebrity".

It is the story of family, reaching for goals, and the choices that are made along the way.


Two Week Off-Broadway Limited Engagement

August 12 - 16 & August 19 - 23, 2009

The Peter Jay Sharp Theater
416 West 42nd Street
(btwn 9th Av & 10th Av)

Wednesday 8/12 7:00p
Wednesday 8/19 2:00p & 7:00p
Thursdays 8/13 & 8/20 7:00p
Fridays 8/14 & 8/21 7:00p
Saturdays 8/15 & 8/22 2:00p & 7:00p
Sundays 8/16 & 8/23 2:00p & 7:00p

Tickets: $75.00

Tickets On Sale Now


By Phone: 212-279-4200

In Person: Ticket Central Box Office,
416 West 42nd Street, 11:00am to 8:00 pm daily

Running Time: 2 hours, includes 2 intermissions

Please click post's title to visit website
and to view interviews with the director.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Call for Actors (NYC)

Roger Feuerman
Auditions for reading of new musical equity approved reading.
African American cast: Four women and Three men,
Age range mid 20’s to mid 30’s.
One woman to double as 12-year girl.

At Ripley Grier Studios
939 8th Ave. between 55th and 56th,
Room 3A

TUESDAY July 21 @ 3- 5:00

Prepare an up tempo Gospel and a ballad.
Reading will be on August 24 @ night and August 25 in the daytime.
for more information contact Ben Marshall 908 821 5591

Click post title to visit Ripley Grier Studios website.

Gay theatrical producer comes out of the closet, no longer lives ‘His Double Life’ (Miami)

‘His Double Life’ producer-co-writer Nial Martin and
J.L. King, author of the book "On the Down Low, "
who plays an HIV/AIDS doctor in the show.

When Nial Martin created and produced the 2006 play His Double Life – about closeted gay black men -- he himself lived a double life.

"We're not trying to bash the [down low] or the whole gay lifestyle, we're just trying to bring awareness to be honest and faithful to the one you are with," Martin told The Miami Herald three years ago, while not revealing his own homosexuality. "If you are living a double life, it's just not fair."

Saturday night, Martin's No Jive Productions company brings His Double Life back to the Joseph Caleb Auditorium in Miami, but this time he's fully out and wanting to talk.

"I was a DL brother myself," he now says. "I had a little girlfriend, but at the same time I was unhappy because I wasn't being true to myself. Don't get me wrong, I love [women], but my heart wasn't there."

Martin, 30, of Miami Lakes, didn't come out publicly until seven months ago.

Twelve years ago he told his mother that he's gay.

"I was so scared. I thought she was going to kick me out. She looked at me and said, `I can't judge you. The only one who can judge you is God. You have to live your life.' That really threw me."

Martin confided in no one else and he dated women.

"I felt pressured by society. By my straight friends. They all had girls, so I needed something to talk about, too. I was afraid they were going to talk about me, and I didn't want any of that," Martin said. "I met guys through other friends I knew who were gay. Nothing serious. But I was still feeling ashamed. I felt I would go to Hell. Every time I went to church they said, `You shouldn't be gay, it's an abomination.' I wanted God to love me."

At 21, Martin hit rock bottom and tried to kill himself.

"I felt I was all alone. I tried to commit suicide twice. The first time I took a pill. I thought I would just fall asleep, but it didn't work."

He tried again at a friend's house. "I sliced myself four times on my wrists. It started to bleed, but the butter knife wasn't sharp enough."

Martin went into therapy and spent about about eight years coping. Seven months ago came a breakthrough.

"I was in a dressing room one day and I looked at myself in the mirror 15 minutes before a show and I just broke down and cried. I said, `Why don't I love myself, God?' I snapped out of it and I said to myself, `you are somebody. You are somebody special. You're here for a purpose – to touch someone through theater.' ''

His Double Life is set during a family reunion in Savannah. Lead character Matthew is a 27-year-old businessman who brings his girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner to meet his family. That's when Matthew tells his father, a reverend, that he's gay.

This production features a name familiar to the gay black community: JL King, author of the 2005 New York Times bestseller, On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of `Straight' Black Men Who Sleep With Men.

"The way he wrote the characters, they're everyday folk," said King, who'll make his stage debut as a psychiatrist in the show. "That's why it's empowering. People can relate to the characters."

Saturday night's performance of His Double Life coincides with the third annual Miami Beach Bruthaz conference, in which dozens of gay black and Hispanic men meet in South Beach for a long weekend of socializing and networking. Bruthaz events include workshops to help boost attendees' self-confidence as openly gay men.

"I definitely don't like the idea of men being on the down low. They're not just hurting themselves, but innocent people – their girlfriends and wives," said Kenzie Perry, 29, a Miami decorator and Bruthaz production assistant in a nine-year relationship with partner Craig Stafford.

"Men on the down low give a bad impression of good, honest gay men -- black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever you are," Perry said. "It has to stop. It's ridiculous."

Where: Joseph Caleb Auditorium, 5400 NW 22nd Ave., Miami
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday July 18
Cost: $15-$34; students $15-$28; through Ticketmaster, or 866-448-7849

Where: Royal Palm Resort Hotel, 1545 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Events at Yuca Lounge, 501 Lincoln Rd.; Score Bar, 727 Lincoln Rd.; Discoteka, 950 NE Second Ave., Miami
Cost: Passes are $120 and $80; individual events also available
Info: Click `Schedule & Tickets' for event details and pricing.
To see a video interview with Nial Martin and excerpts from his play, please click the post's title.
Source: The Miami Herald

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Black American Writers Needed. Screenplay writers for film (NY)

Black American Writers Needed. (Manhattan, NY )
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]Date: 2009-07-15, 3:22AM PDT
Seeking submissions from serious screenwriters for new film to be produced in Manhattan. Subject matter ranging from dark dramatic to comedy with the only prerequisites being quality and creativity! Please respond to this posting with your name and contact phone number and a producer will phone you with 24-48 HRS
Location: Manhattan, NY
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: TBD
PostingID: 1270799842

Source: Craig's List

Watermelon Sushi looking for actors and actresses

Aloha AAPEX,
Watermelon Sushi now has a fan page on Facebook, and I'm looking for actors and actresses to send me their submissions to post in a photo album that I've created there. It's called Watermelon Sushi. There's a photo album called "Talent Submissions" where I will post the actors' pix. But first they have to send it to me via email:

Thank you!
Your Hip Hapa,

Please click the post's title to visit Yayoi's blog.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Dramatists call for submissions

New Dramatists, in New York City, on of our country's oldest institutions for supporting playwrights and nurturing new plays, just released their revised submission policy. We thought we'd get it to you asap.
Courtesy The Loop.

New Dramatists is a nonprofit center for the development of talented, professional playwrights. We support our resident playwrights through free, seven-year residencies, providing access to an array of programs and services, primarily space and time to grow as artists in the company of some of their most gifted peers. Other services include our Playwrights’ Laboratory—i.e. readings, workshops, and innovative studios for new plays and musicals; writing space (the John C. Russell Writers Room); free copying; international exchanges; retreats; awards; temporary accommodations in 7th Heaven, located on the third floor of our one hundred-year-old Church in Midtown Manhattan; a full-time support staff for casting, dramaturgical and career assistance, and professional advocacy; and a vibrant community of colleagues. New incoming playwrights receive a free one year membership to the Dramatists Guild. New Dramatists is a member of Fractured Atlas Open Arts Network.

Playwrights living in New York City and the surrounding tri-state area;
Playwrights outside the tri-state area who are able to demonstrate the ability to spend time in New York City, the desire to utilize New Dramatists’ services, and the readiness to participate in a dynamic artistic community.

Full-length plays (A full-length play is a single play that constitutes a full evening of theatre. For example, a 90-minute play without an intermission IS a full length play.);
Books to musicals (You may also submit music but please do not submit music in place of the book. Please note, however, that past admissions committees have often found libretti less competitive than plays.).

Screenplays and/or teleplays;
Translations or adaptations from previously published material;
Short one-act plays or 10-minute plays, whether collected or alone (Thematically connected short plays will no longer be accepted as a full-length play submission.).

Between July 15 – September 15 annually. THIS IS NOT A POSTMARK DEADLINE. Any application that arrives after that time will not be considered. Please call New Dramatists for hours of operation.

Over the course of eight months, a seven-person panel of past and present New Dramatists writers and outside theatre professionals reads plays, meets to discuss the work, and, by consensus, winnows down the list of applicants. (All “A” plays are read; “B’ plays are circulated as applicants advance through the process.)This committee changes completely from year to year. Special efforts are made to balance the panel in terms of aesthetic sensibilities, gender, race, age, etc., as diversity is crucial to the adjudication process. We send notification regarding the status of your application in a rolling fashion: a round of letters goes out in February, the second round of letters goes out in April, and the final round of letters goes out in May. Writers who are accepted into New Dramatists are notified in May.

We charge resident playwrights no dues or fees. We do ask, though, that they make full use of our programs and services and participate actively in this artistic community.

Call for Plays

Home for Theater Performers (HOME) is seeking submissions for their audition material database. Accepting plays, musicals and musical compositions with lyrics - this is a great opportunity to showcase your work, providing:

*Free performer access to your audition material
*Exposure to casting and creative teams
*A valuable resource to performers of all levels for new audition material

Please submit an entire typed script (if musical, professionally printed music- NO MANUSCRIPTS PLEASE) for best consideration. For songs only, please see below.

If the reviewed material contains an appropriate selection for use at auditions, you will be contacted by the administrator with the exact cut for use. At that time, you MUST sign a release allowing HOME to use the material in our database. Each time your work is introduced at auditions, your name and the selection of your work may be noted by Directors, Choreographers, and perhaps Producers. Your selections will be stored in a searchable database along with a link to your bio and your contact information.

You MUST own the rights to submitted work in its entirety. Collaborations MUST submit releases from ALL contributors to the development of the submitted work.

Please send non-musical scripts to
Please send musicals to

For more information about HOME, please click the post's title. Questions about the program should be addressed to Meredith Kaunitz at

If you would like to submit songs individually(apart from a score and without dialogue), you are welcome to do so with the understanding that it will be easier for us to find the best selections of your work for audition purposes if we have the context. Please include a description of the character and a context/song purpose blurb with the music submission.

Source: TRU

Friday, July 10, 2009

Call for plays

Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]Date: 2009-07-08, 2:30PM PDT
I am now accepting submissions for the 2010 Ojai One-Act Festival. Plays must be no less than 10 minutes and not more than 30 minutes in length. They must be "Holiday Themed" because we will be putting this project on in December. Remember, there are several holidays between 10/31 and 1/1 so take that into consideration. I am more interested in funny, humorous and sweet than I am in religious plays. I am also not interested in plays that "preach" but plays that an adult or child (8-17) will enjoy. Please send your play to and be sure to give me your e-mail address and what you'd consider accepting as payment for the rights to produce this play.
Location: Calif
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: Performance rights only

Source: Craig's List

AAPEX Interview: Ashley Bishop

Ashely Bishop
One of the recent highlights of the Nashville theater scene was the Tennessee State University production of LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL, featuring the amazing Ashley Bishop in the role of Billie Holiday. The production is headed to Winston Salem for The National Black Theater Festival. I asked Ashley to tell us something about herself and how she has prepared for the role of the legendary singer. Here is her response.
What role did theater and the arts play in your childhood?
Growing up, I was surrounded by people and family members who were older than me. Many of my siblings were older than me by far. So, I was introduced to a lot of genres of music, including soul, gospel, and jazz. As far as I can remember I have always sung along with Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Ruth Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, and many more soul and jazz artists. So, music has always been my first love. But just as I loved music I loved watching classic movies and watching soap operas with my mother. When I was a youngster I used to act out commercials and movies all the time while other children watched cartoons and played outside. I always wanted to watch the “grown-up movies,” my mother used to tell me, and then act out the scenes and make them my own. Later in life, I found myself on the stage once I entered grade school, whether it was singing or in the annual spring and winter plays I would participate. I have always had a love for the arts. Once I realized I had been blessed with the talent of singing and acting I jumped at every chance I had. I would like to think that my exposure to great music and great actors helped to mold me into the aspiring actress and singer I am today. In my eyes, theatre and music have always gone hand in hand. If I were asked to choose between the two, I would pick both!

Tell us about your own evolution as an artist.
Everyone says that striving to be an artist is a hard task, which is true to say the least. I have witnessed my share of hardships along this journey. But, just as I have had struggles, I have endured blessings that have weighed out any negativity I have encountered. Though I am young and still learning everyday, I have learned to take every piece of criticism and turn it into positive knowledge. I believe that every good artist has had their share of criticism, making them stronger and wiser. During high school, I had a math teacher tell me a few days before my graduation day that I would never amount to anything and that my dreams of acting and singing was only a mere fantasy, simply because I was absolutely horrible in math. But, I never allowed her negative thoughts and words stop me from what I have had to accomplish. Just as people have supported me, they have doubted me; many friends, many classmates, many professors. I simply look at them and laugh now, for I know that if I continue to stay positive and stay focused I can be what I’ve always longed to be. My growth as an actor has been sparked by the doubts people have had in me.

How did you prepare to play the role of Billie Holiday?
Preparing for the role of Billie Holiday was one of the greatest experiences of my life. You hear people talk about such legends as Billie Holiday and you gain a respect for them. But, I got to take a trip into Miss Holiday’s life, and experience the pain and the suffering along with the love she shared for her music, her man, and her “moonlight.” When I first received the news that I got the part I was breathless, excited, and nervous all at once. “A one woman show,” I said to myself. “This is an actor’s dream, but plenty of work,” my director said to me. I was up for the challenge. I went head first into this role. Spending every waking moment I had to spare in getting in sync with my character. I read books on Billie and listened to every single recording she had done over and over to get those eerie notes she’s so popular for, down to a science. I watched footage of her on YouTube as well. Many of my friends thought I was going crazy, for I had gotten so deep into my character my mannerisms were no longer my own, but Holiday’s. When it came to Billie’s drug addiction, I went around the local street corners (as dangerous as it seems) and watched the heroin addicts and alcoholics, and boy, I tell you when I got the shakes and the sniffs down to a science I scared myself! It was quite an experience and so many enjoyed the show and told me how believable the show was that they forgot they were NOT in a night club. And in my mind, I never understood what was so wonderful about it! I know it sounds strange, but true. I saw myself as a regular college student doing what I love, and I love to make people happy and seeing them enjoying themselves. I never thought this show would make it as far as it has. When people see me out and recognize me they always say, “Hey, Lady Day,” I don’t think anyone remembers my name is Ashley anymore!

What are your thoughts on Nashville as a theater town?
This is my 4th year in Nashville, and I absolutely love it. I don’t think there could’ve been a better place for me to be at this time in my life. Nashville’s music scene is great and there are so many wonderfully talented people around the city. The theatre scene is great as well, so many aspiring actors and actresses participate in the community shows as well as come out and support the shows at the local Universities and colleges. With that being said, I do wish that there was more exposure for the theatre based actors of Nashville. I see so many flyers around town about music concerts and independent artists, I would absolutely love for the actors (including myself) of Nashville to expose themselves a bit more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Call for musicals

I am building up a "new musical series" at my school, and though I am set for the next academic year (2009-2010), I would be interested in receiving submissions for 2010-2011.

The music theatre program at Western Kentucky University presents a new musical each year as part of its "Before Broadway" series. Done as a staged reading with an audience talk-back following, writers are brought to campus as guest artists for a portion of the rehearsal process. New material is sought for the 2010-2011 school year, and beyond. Submit to:

Tracey Moore
Theatre & Dance #71086
1906 College Heights Blvd.
Gordon Wilson Hall Room 313
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42101

Please click the post's title to visit WKU web site.
Source: The Loop

International Black Film Fest Submission deadline 7/31 (Nashville)

A little over 3 weeks left to submit works for Nashv ille's most important new film festival..

The International Black Film Festival of Nashville (IBFFN), established in 2006, is a collaboration of dedicated professionals who support the need for a “community” effort to bring African American and other Communities together to showcase their work as emerging and skilled independent filmmakers, actors, composers, screenwriters, directors and other film industry professionals.

“Defining Our Stories, Transforming the Image” as its organizational theme, IBFF strives to insure culturally accurate depictions in film with special emphasis on providing a forum for unheard, unseen and unknown viewpoints, and to showcase the rich creativity and diversity found in communities of color locally, nationally and internationally.

IBFFN Mission: “Through the art of film, we celebrate the richness, diversity and creativity of storytelling for the cultural enrichment, progression and education of communities worldwide.”

IBFFN is committed to:

Hosting a celebratory, culturally diverse, community inclusive, family friendly, festival that provides a source of education and entertainment for all participants.

Engaging people of all races and cultures in the support, development and enjoyment of culturally relevant depictions in film.

Creating an environment to showcase independent film from around the globe that accurately depicts the cultures, images, and traditions of all communities.

Introducing the work of Tennesseans in filmmaking to a larger national and international fi lm community.
Providing a venue for filmmakers to present their work, collaborate and network with one another, and to learn from industry professionals.

Educating children and young adults in the complex art of filmmaking.

Fostering global partnerships and collaborations among people from the visual and performing arts, music, radio, television, and film.

Attracting economic growth and development in Tennessee by bringing all aspects of the film and television industry into the state.

Training, preparing and equipping a skilled workforce in Tennessee to staff filmmaking projects.

IBFF looks forward to enriching and being of service to the community. We embrace the significance of creating an environment that will inspire, cultivate, and encourage.

Please click the post's title to visit the IBFF web site.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shawn Whitsell's HOUSE OF HARTS opens this Friday, 6/10 (Nashville)

Click Image to Enlarge.
The Destiny Theatre Experience will present the debut of Shawn Whitsell's original play, "House of Harts," July 10-12 and 16-18 at the Darkhorse Theater. "House of Harts" depicts the life of the Harts, an average all-American family. The Hart family is made up of adult siblings Janet and Jamison Jr. (affectionately nicknamed Strawberry and June, respectively); Jamison Sr., the family patriarch and Leslie, a new addition to the family after having married Jamison, Sr. less than a year prior. Like any family, the Harts have challenges to overcome. Twenty three year old June is a non-ambitious, free-spirited college student who is only enrolled in classes because his father requires it in order for him to continue residing in the Hart household. Jamison, Sr., a marketing executive wants his only son to be just as successful as he and his daughter, Strawberry. Because of June's lack of drive and his carefree attitude, tensions between father and son are constantly rising and falling. Strawberry, having lost her mother over 20 years prior, is very much a "Daddy's girl" and is very suspicious of the motives of her father's new (and pregnant) wife, Leslie. There is a constant power struggle between Strawberry and Leslie that Jamison, Sr. is often caught in the middle of.

Rounding out the family is close friend/housekeeper, Annette, who has held the family together and helped Jamison, Sr. raise his children after his wife passed away several years prior. Though there are tensions that exist and obstacles to overcome, life inside the Hart household is fairly typical, that is, until Lamont, an overachieving intern at Jamison, Sr.'s marketing firm, temporarily moves in. Lamont ignites a chain of events that threaten to break family bonds and change the family forever.

In addition to Whitsell, "House of Harts" features performances by Mary McCallum, Dianne Dixon, Alicia Ridley, Jason R. McGowan II, Rashad Rayford, Jené India, Molly Breen and Tamiko Robinson.

Performances will b egin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the matinee show on Sunday, July 12th, which will begin at 3 p.m. Admission is $12 (there is a special half price show on Thursday, July 16th). The Darkhorse Theater is located at 4610 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209. For reservations, call (270) 366-6266 or email Visit for more information.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Call for plays by women

Deadline: 04-01-09 thru 09-30-09 (Postmarked by)
Material: Full Length Play by female Playwright

Winning Playwright receives $500 and a 2010 Workshop Presentation of her script by Echo Theatre in Dallas, Texas. Winner and Honorees notified by FEBRUARY 27, 2010

Selected Finalists will be featured in our Echo Reads… staged reading series in 2010.

Playwright must be female.
* Entry must be in English and unpublished at the time of submission.
* Submission should be a full length, completed script only; no queries please.
* There are no restrictions on cast size or production requirements.
* No musicals or children’s shows.

Please include a cover letter with playwright’s bio, production history and contact information.

No fee is required.

BLIND EVALUATION PROCESS: Author's name should not appear on title page or on any interior pages of the script. Please submit either one (1) paper copy of script or a digital file.


Submit Via U.S. MAIL to:
Echo Theatre’s BIG SHOUT OUT!
PO Box 670849
Dallas, Texas 75367
Note: Mailed scripts cannot be returned. Include S.A.S.E. for confirmation of script receipt if desired.


Please click the post's title to visit Echo Theatre's website.

Source: The Loop

University of Miami seeking Lecturer in Script Analysis and Playwriting (Deadline July 15th)

Seeking a Lecturer in Script Analysis and Playwriting

The University of Miami is committed to educating and nurturing students, creating knowledge, and providing service to our community and beyond. We are leaders in the area of education, scholarship, intercollegiate athletics and service. Come join our team!

DETAILS: The University of Miami's Department of Theatre Arts seeks applications for a lecturer appointment to begin August 15th, 2009. This is a full time, 9 month position. This position will be working with BA and BFA theatre majors as well as non-majors. Specific areas of expertise may include: Directing, Dramaturgy, or Playwriting. Opportunity to direct for qualified candidates. Qualifications: M.A. or M.F.A. in playwriting, dramaturgy or directing. Preference given to individuals with evidence of effective teaching and/or significant professional theatre experience. Position #023840. Salary: Competitive. DO NOT APPLY ONLINE.

Please send a letter of application, professional resume, teaching philosophy and contact information for a minimum of 3 references to: Theatre Arts Lecturer Search Committee; University of Miami Department of Theatre Arts, PO Box 248273, Coral Gables, FL 33124-4820. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

The University of Miami offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental benefits, tuition remission, vacation, paid holidays and much more. The University of Miami is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Source: The Loop

Call for plays

Clubbed Thumb is accepting proposals for the third Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission! The winner will receive a $15,000 commission to write and develop a play based upon Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission Guidelines. Playwrights are invited to submit a description and a writing sample of the play they propose to write.

DETAILS: The Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission was created to encourage the writing of plays that consider the relationships between truth, power, history, and personal responsibility. For each commission, Clubbed Thumb asks a question or poses a theme to serve as a jumping-off point for this examination. Please use the theme as inspiration. The result need not be immediately recognizable as a product of the initial examination. The theme for year 2009-20010 is “The Crisis of Confidence Speech.”

Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission Guidelines:
* Running time: between 1 hr. and 1:30 hr.
* Intermissionless.
* Must have a reasonable representation of women, both in quantity and quality of roles.
* At least 3 characters - we prefer medium sized ensemble casts.
* Clubbed Thumb produces plays that are funny, strange, and provocative. The presence of a sense of humor is strongly encouraged. We are attracted to plays that take place in a heterogeneous and dynamic world.

Please check out to get a feeling for our sensibility and a selected chronology.

How to apply: Register at
a.Submit an application packet including
b.Application cover page
c.Letter of intent no more than 500 words
d.Your résumé
e.10 page sample scene of the play you propose to write. This sample need not be from the beginning of the play or all one scene.
f.Stamped, self-addressed post card if you want to receive acknowledgement of receipt

Go to website to download application packet. As the adjudication process is blind, please DO NOT put your name on Letter of Intent or Writing Sample. Your application should include ONLY the above materials and be mailed to:

Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission
388 Second Avenue
Suite 529
New York, NY 10010

This address is only for Biennial Commission applications. Biennial Commission questions can be addressed to For other correspondence, visit or call us at (212) 802-8007.

Applicants may be contacted and asked to supply completed scripts of other plays they've written, references, or other materials or information.


Please click the post's title to visit the Clubbed Thumb website.

Source: The Loop

Call for plays

* We need your play! The Shelterbelt produces four original productions each season, from collections of short one-acts to full length plays and musicals. We welcome submissions of new scripts of all lengths and subject matter. Please do read this entire page before you submit your play.

* We are especially interested in works by local and regional writers! We will be glad to assist local authors - we can review and critique your play, and set up a reading panel or workshop setting. Just let us know!

* At this time we are accepting full-length and one-act plays ranging in length from short (up to 15 minutes) to long (1-2 hours or more).

* Scripts for Shelterskelter and From The Shelterbelt With Love should generally be a MAXIMUM of 10-12 minutes in length, although we will consider excellent plays of up to 30 minutes.

* NEWS FLASH!! We are having a new late night event to coincide with Shelterskelter 14 in October 2009. Called B-Sides, this will be an adults-only late show running on Fridays and Saturdays after the regular Shelterskelter show. The plus side for playwrights is that there are really no restrictions on content. The only requirement is that it must be able to be staged in our space with no elaborate lighting or set needs. Let your imagination run wild! Length can range from 8 to 30 minutes. We are looking for total show length of about 60-70 minutes with no intermission. Send your script in today! Deadline is the same as Shelterskelter - July 1, 2009.

* If you are submitting a full length play, or a longer one-act play, there is no specific length limitation.

* Please Note: If your script is properly formatted, each page should equal a little more than 1 minute.

* Scripts for Shelterskelter (our tales of horror, suspense, the macabre, bizarre and Halloween themed anthology) are due by July 1.
* Scripts for From The Shelterbelt With Love (our tales love, loss, romance, relationships and Valentine's themed anthology) are due by September 1.
* If you are submitting for Shelterskelter or From Shelterbelt With Love, please indicate this in the subject line of your email, and/or on your cover or title page.
* There are no specific deadlines for our other production slots, although we generally try to select plays and musicals 4-6 months before the performance date.

Submission STEP 1; Please submit the following:
1. A letter of inquiry with your contact information.
2. A one page synopsis of your script.
3. A full version of your script; or at the very least, a 10 page selection from your script.

Make sure you have a title page at the beginning of your document, with your full name and contact info. Failure to do this may result in playwrights not getting properly credited. The title page must be in the same file, not sent as a separate file.

Submission of script(s) does not mean that we will give you a response. If you do not hear from us, please do not call us or e-mail us. It means that we are very, very busy. We make every effort to review all submissions. If your script is considered for the season, we will contact you.

Submission STEP 2 Please email your submission to:

We accept the following types of files: Microsoft Word; Plain Text, Rich Text Format, and Adobe PDF. We are no longer supporting Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter documents.
Please convert your scripts to one of these formats above before submitting to us.

Please click the post's title to go to our submissions page.

Source: The Loop

Call for Plays

Playwrights from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are invited to submit their short plays to the University’s annual new play festival. We enjoy plays that experiment with structure and language and address race, class, and power in America.

Submission guidelines:
1. Plays must be received by July 15, 2009 and be non-musicals, feature diverse casts for three to five college-aged performers and be no longer than 30 minutes
2. Submissions must not have received a professional production or publication
3. The selected plays will receive readings at The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival over Labor Day Weekend and on the campus of Bowie State University this fall
4. Plays must be submitted via e-mail to in pdf format
5. Submissions should include a brief author bio
6. $250 prize to best script of the festival, and $50 prizes to two runner ups, plus an audience favorite award.

Please click the post's title to visit the Bowie State University website.

Source: The Loop

Monday, July 6, 2009

Play publisher seeks scripts

This came to us via The Loop:
A message to all members of The Loop Online
Hello, all. Heartland Plays (Publisher, and specifically, Rebecca Ryland, Editor/Literary Manager), wrote to us and asked us for the best advice in getting the word out about their establishment after a mishap with reading fees. We offered to send it forward to you. Rebecca's note is below:

Dear Mr. Garrison,
I have recently signed up on the Loop (as an individual) and would like to know how we might provide information about Heartland Plays, Inc. and our submissions and contests on your website. Evan Guilford-Blake steered me to your site. We are a new publisher of plays and drama products. We made the mistake of offering a reader’s fee which guaranteed a cover-to-cover reading with a critique. This was my decision, and it was the wrong decision because it has offended playwrights and hurt submissions. When I was submitting my work to editors and publishers, I always said I wished I had the opportunity to pay a reader’s fee if I truly knew the work would be read. Since we accept online and e-mail submissions, eliminating the time, cost and resources of copying and submitting by mail, I actually thought a reader’s fee with the guarantee made sense. Boy was I wrong. We have been slammed pretty hard on this and we are trying to get the word out that we listened to the concerns of playwrights and that a reader’s fee is no longer any part of the Heartland Plays, Inc. submission process or philosophy. We apologize for offending the very people whose work is integral to our success. I appreciate any advice or direction as we move forward.

Rebecca Ryland
Editor/Literary Manager
Heartland Plays Inc.
Visit The Loop Online at:

Please click the post's title to visit the Heartland Plays website.

AAPEX Interview: David Wright, resident playwright/producer of Orisha Tales Rep Radio Theatre

David Wright

Meet David Wright, resident playwright/producer of Orisha Tales Repertory Radio Theatre. David is very passionate about his work and the tradidtions in which it is rooted. I asked David to share that passion with us. Below is his response.

What role did theatre and the arts play in your childhood and upbringing?
Theatre and the arts particularly music played a large role in my growing up in the streets of Brooklyn, New York. As legend would have it my story begins at the age of two banging with wooden spoons and cooking pots in the middle of the living room floor while playing with the studio orchestra of The Ed Sullivan Show. Subsequently my father bought me a set of junior trap drums and my mom enrolled my younger sister and me in dance school. I was a dedicated and determined student in both forms.

Tell us about your evolution as an artist.
My evolution as an artist continued to flourish as my oldest sister was a poet and the editor of her high school newspaper. She brought me into the world of writing during my primary school years and my younger sister and I would create and act out our stories for friends and family alike. I was among the first Black students to be bussed in New York City to an all white school across town. It was in that environment that I was accused of plagiarizing a poem I had authored in the fourth grade. My mother had to come to the school to inform my European teacher that I had in fact written the poem. Whew!!! My first come-uppance with not being good enough. I acted in school plays and musicals played in the Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corps, first in the Horn section then in the Drum Section.

At 14 years of age I became a student of the Project Double Discovery Program at Columbia University. It was on that campus where two things happened in 1966. One was I discovered my African and African American history and consciousness, and two, I learned how to play congas and an assortment of African percussion instruments.

“Thank God for the Pullman Porter and the Domestic.” After hearing that expression hundreds of times I got what it meant in the summer of 1967. My mother worked as a domestic for Morris Levy of Roulette Records and she told him that I wanted a set of Bongos of my own. He then sent her to a certain musician who will remain nameless and had him give her a pair of bongos for me. I should have told him myself because she couldn’t tell the difference between congas and bongos. But the bongos became another tool in my tool kit of percussion instruments and knowledge.

During one summer vacation from college after my junior year I had the opportunity to sit at the feet of the late Morris Levy and the late Nate McCalla, of Roulette and Calla Records respectively. Under their tutelage I became one of the youngest successful African American Regional record promoters in America during the early 1970’s. I compiled the first R&B Radio Directory which consisted of all the primary and secondary R&B radio markets and radio stations in the entire United States. I also performed as a percussionist/keyboard player with the likes of the legendary Eddie Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive, Fonzi Thorton, the Coasters and the late Chief Bey. I toured with, Mark Radice, Brass Construction, The Ohio Players, The Trammps, and K.C. and The Sunshine Band to name a few. I also worked as a drummer for some of the great dancers, and instructors in America including the late Charles Moore and Alvin Ailey. I am a six times Vivian Robinson, AUDELCO AWARD winner for Excellence in Black Theatre. I won for Excellence in Musical Direction for The National Black Theatre’s production of The Legacy, and received five Excellence in Sound Design Awards for, Rome Neal’s Julius Caesar Set in Africa, Amiri Baraka’s Meeting Miss Lillie, The Nuyorican Poets Café’s production of Pepe Carill’s Shango de Ima, Joseph Edward’s American Place Theatre’s production of Fly and Take Wing and Soar’s 2007 production of William Shakespeare s Hamlet. I have also sound designed for many theatres in the New York City metropolitan area, and across the country.

As an actor, I was nominated for an Most Outstanding Lead Male Performance, Audelco, for my "channeled-like" portrayal of the late Louis Armstrong in Ishmael Reed’s play, The C Above C Above High C.

I received a Parents Choice Award for my production of Stephen Di Lauro’s River Tales tape and CD, as well as a Golden Reel, Silver Reel and Special Merit Awards from The National Federation of Community Broadcasters for my numerous radio productions aired on WBAI-FM, in New York City. I also received a Law Enforcement Video Award for my musical score of an NYPD training film while producing, hosting and engineering my own radio program entitled Orature, a dramatic literary series.

I am a recipient of the National Arts Club’s Food for Thought, Playwrighting Fellowship, and I am a Fellow of the Columbia School of the Arts, WGAE’s Harlem Arts Alliance Screenwriter’s Workshop.

I am the producing playwright of the Orisha Tales Repertory Radio Theatre Company, having successfully co-produced six of my seven critically acclaimed Yoruba Dance Dramas. Oshun(The Goddess of Love); Oya (The Yoruba Dance Drama), winner of four Audelco Awards including Outstanding Musical Production; Obatala (King of the White Cloth), two Audelco Nominations; Sango (Lord of Thunder), winner of Outstanding Choreography; The Creatures(Tales From the Bush) and Orunmila (The Adventures of the Father of Ifa Divination), one Audelco nomination. I am also a retired twenty-two year veteran of NYPD and an initiated Babalorisa, (Yoruba priest).

What are your roots in the Yoruba religion?
My roots in the Yoruba Tradition (Ifa) began the summer of 1967, when I heard the distinct sound of congas and the like emanating from a distance along the streets of Brooklyn. I followed the sound until I encountered three men drumming in African attire in the front yard of a brownstone. Upon asking questions about whom and what they were, they invited me to come learn about the religion and its music. I stayed with them briefly and brought my younger sister to meet them. She stayed and learned and I went on to have a life, because I was still on my spiritual journey. Eventually she was initiated as a priest of Yemonja and it was then that I began to pay attention to the dogma. I was eventually initiated ten years after my sister , as a priest of Oshun.

What is the mission of the Orisha Tales Repertory Radio Theatre Company?
The vision of The Orisha Tales Repertory Radio Theatre Company is one of laser vision. We exclusively explore the Yoruba culture of West Africa through the artistic sensibilities of myself, its resident playwright. Anthony Sloan interprets these sensibilities through his directing; as Keisha M. Booker acts as dramaturge for the projects. This way of working firmly defines the guiding vision of the company as taken from my writing. My words are the source – the wellspring, if you will, of all we seek to do to elevate this art to the classical state it deserves.

What is your take on the curr ent climate of the American theatre with regard to African American playwrights?
My take on the African American playwrights climate is that it is ever evolving and as African Americans we have to take responsibility for the images we project, and be historically accurate about how we present them when dealing with historical information, persons and subject matter. I contend that there is room for playwrights, if they would take a stand on having their work produced. There are only so many Woody King Jr’s, Garland Thompson’s, Marjorie Moon’s and the late Barbara Ann Teer’s in the world who have the vision and tenacity to see young playwrights work mounted. The dynamic of the playwright is often overwhelmed by film, television, webisodes, and video games. It is a brave new world we have entered within this digital age, and we as playwrights have to begin to embrace and add these new skills and technologies to our tool kits if we are going to survive and endure.

To learn more about Orisha Tales Repertory Radio Theatre Company, please click the post's title.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Help send a playwright to grad school

Here's an interesting approach to raise funds for grad school-- or to bring attention to the opening of your play. It was found on a recent Black Theatre Yahoo! Group email. AAPEX likes it and think it's something for playwrights to consider including in their efforts to get butts into seats and their name out there. Thanks to and digital video, its gotten a whole lot easier to make a promo for you and your show and harder to find excuses for why no one came to your premiere and why you're still laboring in anonymity. The accompanying email post is below.

My name is Jireh Aki and I am apart of the Production Company Colleagues. We are performing a play written by Christopher Aguilar about education, called "Dormed" Its Directed by Danny Ortiz. We Chris and Danny put this show together in three weeks, and the actors only had FIVE days before it opens. This is a NO BUDGET performance. But tickets are $10 dollars, and all of the proceeds go to venue Zombie Joes Underground Theater and to fund raise for Chris to go to Graduate school. Here is a link to our PROMO. com/watch? v=FnRdrzsyOWg

We would love for you to come to our performance with any of your friends or co-workers.

Thank you,
Jireh Aki

Derek McPhatter's BRING THE BEAT BACK opens Freedom Train's Fire Fest 8/5 (Brooklyn)

Hey everybody. I want you all to save the dates!
My residency with Freedom Train Productions continues, and next month, Freedom Train’s Fire! Festival of new plays in development begins.
My project – Bring the Beat Back – opens the festival, followed by two other exciting projects from Freedom Train’s resident playwrights. More info is available here.
Here are some upcoming dates:
July 22, 2009 – 6:30 P.M. Offstage Forum: Freedom Train
will host an open discussion
exploring the relationship between the concept of the
Apocalypse and progressive social movements.
August 5th, 2009 – 7 P.M. – Performance
August 6th, 2009 – 7 P.M. – Performance

More on the Project: Bring the Beat Back: an Apocalyptist Episode

Tru Believers know the Musicship Megarhythmic is on its way to save them from the End of the World, but you can’t get on if you can’t get down, and somebody done stole the beat. Trudy thinks her boy-crazed brother may be the troublemaker in question. And unless she can literally “straighten things out” between her brother and his latest love, the Musicship may just groove on by without them. Reaching into a transcendental realm of underground dance music, Bring the Beat Back is an experimental work of music-drama.

This is shaping up to be a very exciting project. Christopher Burris has joined the project as my collaborating director, and I really appreciate his perspective as we are moving towards the staged reading events.

Freedom Train gives its resident playwrights so much support to help bring the work to life. From the play development workshops, to assistance with casting, to career sessions, to the Train’s great network of backstage and onstage talent, to the other resident playwrights.

It’s great, great, great! I hope you all get a chance to see our work in August.
More soon.

Derek Lee McPhatter.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's HURRICANE SEASON at the National Black Theatre 7/10-8/2 (Harlem)

Click Image to Enlarge.
Click post's title to visit the website.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Half and Half: The New Race Politics by Yayoi Lena Winfrey

Yayoi Lena Winfrey

AAPEX playwright Yayoi Lena Winfrey writes about biracial and multiracial identity in the U.S. for The Brown Girl World. To read the article, please click the post's title.