Saturday, December 29, 2012

Call for plays by women (2/1 Deadline)

Festival Looking for Talented Female Playwrights (Manhattan)

The Venus Festival is a new theater festival designed solely for women playwrights and directors.
We're accepting scripts between 40 and 50 minutes long until February 1st.
Check out rules & previous festival winners at
All submissions are accepted electronically.
  • Location: Manhattan
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: $2500 to winning play

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

AAPEX 2013

The African American Playwrights' Exchange kicks off 2013 with a new partnership. In September, I signed on as the Managing Director/Dramaturge for The Spiral Theatre Studio in NYC. One treasure that I bring to the table is a catalog of brilliant, unproduced scripts by the writers of the AAPEX network. 

The Spiral Theatre Studio will start our first year with a new play reading series. 

On Thursday, March 14 (date subject to change) we will inaugurate the AAPEX/Spiral relationship with a special reading of THE CARELESSNESS OF LOVE by Michael Dinwiddie at The Players Club in New York City. 

For those of you who do not know him, Dr. Dinwiddie is a professor at NYU's Galatin School and was recently elected President of The BlackTheatre Network. Without folks like Michael, who put aside their own artistic endeavors to teach, mentor and serve our community, progress would not be made. We can all thank him by supporting his work as a playwright and especially his stunning play about the amazing Grimké clan. If the Grimkés are unknown to you, google Archibald Grimké and his playwright daughter, Angelina Weld Grimké, whose radical play RACHEL rattled the NAACP back in the day. 

Read all about it in Dr. Henry Miller's swell book, THEORIZING BLACK THEATRE

In the field of historical revisionism, theatre is the greatest tool we have. I'm sure you'll agree after you have heard Dr. Dinwiddie's play. 

So please save the date! And if you can, also plan to join us at our New Year's kick off, with a reading of Coni Koepfinger's metaphysical conundrum GARRETT THE BLUE GIRAFFE on Thursday, January 3rd - also at The Players Club. Reservations required, so contact me if you can attend.

Merry Christmas, 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Call for Plays

Announcing the Urban Stages Emerging Playwright Award! 

Established in 1986, Urban Stages' Emerging Playwright Award has been presented to the best of new, innovative playwrights whose works speak to the whole of our society. Urban Stages' ongoing mission is to develop and produce new, exciting multicultural works that are issue-oriented. A cash prize of $500 (in lieu of royalties) will be awarded to the winner. There will also be a staged production of the play in New York City. Submissions are open to playwrights in the United States and received throughout the year. Full-length plays preferred. For more details, visit

Friday, December 21, 2012

Call for Plays

The No Frills Theater Company is currently seeking play scripts for its annual New Play Development Workshop. Playwrights are encouraged to submit their work. One play will be selected for a 1-2 week workshop culminating in a staged reading of the play. The workshop will take place in June, 2013 at the Carriage House Theater in Sheridan, WY. Our mission is to take plays from the page to the stage. Previous workshops have resulted in professional productions in union theaters. No musicals please. Please submit play scripts to DannyLee Hodnett by January 15, 2013. There is no cost to submit your play. If your play is selected for further development, travel and lodging will be provided.
Petronia Paley

Greetings! The time for celebration is here. As you reflect and plan for 2013, ITA wishes you a prosperous and creative New Year. I want to thank all who supported I the Actor Showcase 2012. It was a great success. And thanks to all ITAers for their commitment to their craft and ITA! 

New classes begin January 28th: Advanced Monologue and Scene Study, Beginning, and I Solo

For more information, check our website

 Petronia Paley 
 I the Actor

Save 10% New classes begin January, 28th 2013. If you refer a friend who enrolls, you can get another 10% discount. Email code: ITA13   
Offer Expires: January 14, 2013

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Call for Plays

2013 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival 
Call for Submissions 

We are now accepting submissions for 2013 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival... 40 Plays in 4 Days. Please visit our website at for more details.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Call for Plays

Call for submissions: 2nd Annual New Work Playwriting Festival 
at Framingham State University 
This year's theme: Peace and Conflict 

Framingham State University and Theater906 are proud to announce a call for submissions for our 2nd annual New Works Festival to take place April 1st and 2nd of 2013. We are seeking innovative and exciting short works that explore the universal binary of peace and conflict. 

Submission Requirements: 
- All submissions must be received no later than December 31st, 2012 
- A completed submission form must accompany all submissions. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. 
- Scripts and supporting materials must be submitted digitally in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf format 
- We cannot accept scripts that have been previously published or performed for a royalty. Previous readings or workshops are allowed. 
- Submitted scripts should have a running time between 5-45 minutes. 

The competition will be juried by a panel of nationally recognized educators, writers, directors and theater makers. Decisions will be made during January 2013, and winners will be notified no later than February 15, 2013. Winners will be given a staged reading of their piece as part of the 2nd annual New Works Festival on April 1-2, 2013, as well as an award plaque to commemorate the occasion. 

This festival is part of the FSU Arts and Ideas series dedicated to bringing lectures, performances, exhibitions, and films on campus. This year’s theme, Peace and Conflict, offers a big-picture examination of the shared causes of conflict. Several of the events are aimed at making participants better-informed historians of the recent past. Others will show the audience how to theorize “peace,” not as the simple absence of war, but as an active doing in the world. The series highlights activism. Scriptwriting is surely a form of activism. 

To request a submission form or for any questions, please email Dr. Sarah Cole at We look forward to reading your script!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Call for plays


MultiStages, a multicultural, multidisciplinary NYC theatre company founded in 1997 is seeking high quality full-length new works for its seventh New Works Contest. MultiStages produces new theatre in collaboration with artists working in dance, music (including opera), visual arts, puppetry, poetry, multimedia, et al. The submitted script must be multidisciplinary, multicultural, and respect non-traditional casting. This is a BLIND contest, do not include your name on every page. Include BLIND title page (no personal info) as well as title page with contact info. All productions are subject to development by MultiStages in collaboration with the playwright. Guidelines and Additional Info can be found on our website. 

Deadline: Postmark 12/31/12 

Submission Fee: $15.00 (checks must be made out to MultiStages), and sent to: Lorca Peress, MultiStages Artistic Director, 344 W. 87th Street, NY, NY 10024 

Email Submissions: please email script, resume, and anything else you would like us to know about you to: Attn: Lorca Peress, Artistic Director. 

Mailed Submissions: please send script, resume to Lorca Peress, MultiStages Artistic Director, 344 W. 87th Street, NY, NY 10024 

Founded in 1997, the Mission of MultiStages is to develop multicultural and multidisciplinary new works through collaborations between playwrights and artists (within and outside the theatre arena) that celebrate a fusion of art forms rarely found in today’s theatre. By supporting these cross-collaborations, new works are created that enrich, explore, and reinvent the world.

Red Harlem Readers

Thursday, December 13, 2012

eta spotlights "Women Writers, Women Directors" for 2013 season (Chicago)

“Wine in the Wilderness” and “Florence” 
two one acts by Alice Childress 
Open 2013 Season January 10

(CHICAGO) 12/12/12 -- Women are in the spotlight when eta presents ‘Women Writers, Women Directors’ in its ongoing series exploring the blues in theater. Featuring three shows by three distinguished female writers, selected and directed by three female directors of note, the series kicks off the New Year Thursday, January 10, 2013 with two one acts by Alice Childress, directed by Mignon McPherson Stewart. The first African American female playwright to receive a professional production in New York, novelist, activist, actress and playwright Alice Childress’ contributions to the canon of African American drama is significant and profound. 

All shows are performed at eta Square, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue. Show times are 8 pm Fri & Sat; 3 pm Sundays. General admission is $30 with student, senior and group rates. For tickets and information, call 773-752-3955 or visit

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." -- unknown-- 

Barbara Kensey Kensey 
Kensey Communications 
5212 S. Dorchester Ave. 
Chicago, IL 60615 
(773)288-8776 tel (773)556-3250 mobile

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CURTAIN CALL exhibit covers 100-years of the performing arts in Music City (Nashville)

No doubt about it - one of Nashville's greatest treasure's is our brilliant pubic library - especially the stunning Main Library on Church Street, whose architecture resonates with the same classical power that we see in The Parthenon and the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. For attendees at a recent Nashville conference of The American Societyfor Theatre Research, the library - and the current exhibition reflecting on Nashville's theatre and performing arts history - were on the short list of not to be missed places to visit in downtown Nasvhille.

CURTAIN CALL is a beautifully curated exhibit covering over 100 years of the performing arts in Music City which lines the walls of the Special Collections gallery on the second floor of the Main Library. Curated by Special Collections staff member Beth Odles, the exhibit draws on materials in the library archives - materials which have been donated over the years by Nashvillians whose passions for the performing arts and the city's history are now passed down to us ( and serve as an important example of why it behooves the current generation to see that materials from the history that WE are making today find their way into the archives.)

The CURTAIN CALL exhibition first went up in 2003, but the current version has expanded on that original to include all aspects of entertainment, including music and cinema. In fact, as I learned from Beth, the Main branch of the library sits on the same block that once boasted Nashville's Vendome Theatre.

Materials in the exhibit range from the late 1800s through the 1950s, with a few more recent relics, including a First Night program and a flyer from my own 2003 production GHOSTS OF NASHVILLE. Among these treasures are materials from the Lula C. Naff scrapbooks - Ms. Naff ran the Ryman back in the day, when folks like Katherine Hepburn and Roy Rogers came to town - to sheet music collections from young ladies who studied music back in the 1800s to memorabilia from the founding of The Nashville Children's Theatre in 1935.

CURTAIN CALL will remain up until the end of the year and is something that Nashville's theatre community should not miss - and for those who have never been, an excellent opportunity to check out Special Collections, which includes such wonders as The Civil Rights Room and the Nashville Authors Special Collection. 

And while you're down there, pick up the forms which will allow you to add materials from your company or film and theatre projects to the archives. 

Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre! 
Jaz Dorsey 
The Nashville Dramaturgy Project

Reginald Edmund's SOUTHBRIDGE to premiere at Chicago Dramatists

A world premiere production;
Directed by Russ Tutterow 
Previews begin January 24, 
Regular run February 1 - March 3
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 
at 8:00pm & Sundays at 3:00pm 

A white woman has been brutally killed and an angry mob is at the jailhouse door demanding the sheriff punish the accused murderer. The only way to untangle the truth is for the accused, a young black man called "Stranger" to relive the events that lead him to the hangman's tree in Athens, Ohio, in the year 1881. Based on a true story. 

Wendy Robie, Gene Cordon, Ashley Elizabeth Honore, 
Manny Buckley, Lance Newtown

Set Design - Michael Mroch 
Lighting Design - Jeff Pines
Original Music and Sound Design - Joseph Fosco
Makeup Design - Izumi Inaba
Costume Design - Samantha C. Jones
Props Design - Aimee Plant
Production Manager - Becky Mock
Stage Manager - Jenniffer Thusing
Technical Director - Jarrod Bainter
Assistant Director - Rebecca Willett
Dramaturg - Dana Lynn Formby

Begins Previews on January 24, 2013
Regular Ticket: $32
All Thursday performances are $15 for Students. 
Industry Group discounts available.
RESERVATIONS - ONLINE - 312-633-0630

For more information please visit: 

Chicago Dramatists 
1105 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647 
Chicago Avenue Blue Line Stop

Friday, December 7, 2012

Louis Johnson's COWARD at Monday's Blackboard Reading Series (NYC)

NEXT Blackboard 
Monday, December 10, 2012 

Louis Johnson 

Directed by 
Toccarra Cash 

Andover, Massachusetts. Fall, 2011. A boy commits suicide due to a bully's taunts. His surviving sibling becomes unraveled as she watches her parents go to war... With each other! Can mom and dad stop their bickering long enough to save what's left of their family? Or will everything they've worked for go spiraling down the loo? 

$10 Suggested Donation ~wine served~ 

To learn more, please click here.

Mary Pat Hector wins McDonald's 365 Black Award

Mary Pat Hector

Mary Pat Hector has been on the AAPEX radar since she was just a little kid. Now, as a teenager, she's receiving the McDonald's 365 Black Award for her work promoting teen anti-violence through the National Action Network where she serves as the National Youth Director-- which is way cool since she's being honored with the likes of Bishop TD Jakes and Chaka Khan among others. The awards celebrate "outstanding individuals who give back 365 days-a-year impressively and are deeply rooted in the community" To learn more about her, please click the first link above for her video interview. 

Red Harlem Readers

Monday, December 3, 2012

Peter Lawson Jones AAPEX Artist of the Year for 2012

Peter Lawson Jones

As we enter the last month of the year, 
AAPEX is pleased to recognize 
Peter Lawson Jones 
as our 
Artist of the Year for 2012

One of the first playwrights to join our network, Peter's play, THE FAMILY LINE, was the first script to receive an AAPEX reading, in Cincinnati in July 2007. At that time, Peter held the elected position of County Commissioner of Cuyahoga County, Ohio and also served on the Board of Directors for Cleveland's Karamu House, one of the oldest multi-cultural theatre companies in the country. 

Peter is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA and can currently be seen in "Alex Cross." He is married and the father of three children. 

After 22 years in elected offices, Peter has left the political arena to focus on his career as an actor. For his amazing story as well as his work as an actor, visit his website at

Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Harlem Readers

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Free video course on becoming a Broadway/Off-Broadway Producer and Investor

Click this link for a FREE video course on what is needed to become a Broadway and Off-Broadway producer and investor. Hosted by entertainment attorney Bruce Lazarus.

Producers and investors learn the ins and outs of the Broadway deal. The first six video segments are devoted to acquiring the rights to a play or musical and raising capital to develop the show for commercial production. Each video reviews the deals and contracts needed to develop a show including the Producers’ Joint Venture, the Author(s) Option/Production Contract and the Limited Liability Operating and Subscription Agreements for Accredited Investors. 

Also included on the site is a series of audio interviews with Broadway industry professionals. 

UpDate (11/29): Bruce Lazarus named Executive Director of Samuel French plays. Lazarus will oversee company strategy, marketing and business affairs. 

Lazarus has been an active professional within the theatre community for over 25 years. As an entertainment attorney he has represented numerous theatre artists and producers including the original off-Broadway production of BLUEMAN GROUP. As the Director of Business and Legal Affairs for Walt Disney Theatrical Productions his responsibilities included the Broadway productions and international tours of THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and AIDA. He also produced several Broadway and off-Broadway plays including the Tony Award nominated Best Play of 2003, SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE and the Lucille Lortel Award winning Best Play of 1997, SHAKESPEARE’S R&J. Lazarus lectures frequently on various aspects of the entertainment industry. 

“We are excited to add such an exceptional professional to our team,” said Nate Collins, President of Samuel French. “Bruce’s experience and insight will help us further our goal of being the ultimate resource of dramatic literature and information for authors and producers.”

Lazarus said “Samuel French matters- we matter to those who create, study and love theatre and to the future generations who will create, study and love theatre. I am honored to be working side by side with the dedicated and passionate staff at Samuel French. We make theatre happen, worldwide, everyday!”

About Samuel French

Samuel French was founded in 1830, has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and London, and retail bookstores in Hollywood , California, making it the oldest and largest publisher and licensor of stage plays and musicals in the world. Their extensive catalogue of over 10,000 plays, musicals and industry related books can be found at  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Call for Plays

In February 2013, The Theatre Project is proud to present Cold Reads, a new play development lab. Featuring 4 new plays by 4 playwrights in reading workshops over the course of 4 weeks, Cold Reads workshops and promotes contemporary theatrical productions. The Theatre Project's Cold Reads Series seeks to develop these 4 new plays and produce them both Off and Off-Off-Broadway. For each reading workshop, the audience and a panel of industry judges will vote on plays in Cold Reads. At the end of February the winning play is selected. Both the winning play and the three plays get to grow in different developmental tracks. 

The Winning Play 
The winning play will receive a 5 month Development Spa with an Off-Broadway Limited Engagement at The historic Players Theatre

The 3 Plays 
The 3 additional plays from Cold Reads will be developed and featured in our Off-Off-Broadway Micro Festival.

Deadline is December 20, 2012 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Corcoran & Dorsey's GONNE/YEATS 12/13 - 16th (St. Louis)

Please click to enlarge and then 
right click and open in new tab.
Click image then to enlarge.

AAPEX's Jaz Dorsey and Dennis Corcoran 
at the Firecracker Press
December 13th thru the 16th
in association with the
St. Louis

Hi. My name is Dennis Corcoran. I am the founder of a small, local (STL) theatre company, The Black Mirror. We are putting on a special program in mid-December at The Firecracker Press entitled Gonne/Yeats. It is what my collaborator, Jaz Dorsey, calls Literary Cabaret. 

In a nutshell, the program focuses on the lives and relationship of Maud Gonne (McBride) and William Butler Yeats using his poetry, episodes from her life and some music/singing of Loreena McKennitt. Our aim in developing this piece is to stimulate awareness of and interest in Maud Gonne, a singularly remarkable character in her own right. 

I hope you can join us - and that you will spread the word among your students and colleagues who might find Yeats' poetry and the life of this special woman, Maud Gonne, of interest. The venue, Firecracker Press, is both intimate and unique. We staged Samuel Beckett's KRAPP'S LAST TAPE there last year to fabulous reviews, both for the program itself as well as the choice of venue. 

Seating is limited. The cost is a suggested $10 donation, making it financially accessible to all. Go raibh míle maith agaibh agus beannachtaí. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ETA's GOT THE BLUES with Soul Man Otis Clay 12/10 (Chicago)

The Blues is center stage at eta during the 2012-2013 season. Featuring Mainstage productions infused with the blues, an exhibition highlighting blues images by four distinguished photographers, scholarly panel and post-performance discussions and live blues performances, eta's got the blues. 

In a season of "Resurrected Works and Reclaimed Music" focusing on great African American writers and Blues music the current Mainstage show is "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men," the powerful 60s drama by Lonne Elder III. Directed by Vaun Monroe, the play is often compared to A Raisin in the Sun for its then contemporary examination of the disintegration of a Black family in the midst of the great social revolution in America. Shows run at 8 pm Friday and Saturday; 3pm Sunday through December 23, 2012. General admission is $30 with student, senior and group rates. 

Two of Chicago's leading blues artists perform during the monthly "Music Mondays" series. Soul Man Otis Clay brings his powerful brand of blues to the stage during the December 10th "Music Mondays" showcase. One of the premier deep soul, blues and gospel singers working today, Clay celebrates the release of his new CD "TRUTH IS." On January 14, 2012 Chicago's own Ambassador of Chicago Blues, Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues perform. Show time is 7-10 pm on the second Monday of each month. Admission is $10. 

On display in the eta gallery is an exhibition presented in conjunction with iRock Jazz. The "All Blues Photography Exhibit" features photos of blues entertainers by Farrard Ali, John Broughton, Foster Garvin and Javet Kimble. The show is up through December 23, 2012 during regular weekday business hours and during Mainstage performances. 

 eta Square 
 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

COTTON CLUB PARADE returns to New York City Center thru Sunday

Amber Riley picture from Helene Davis Public Relations.

This musical revue marks Amber Riley's (Mercedes from "Glee") Broadway debut. To learn more about this musical revue about Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club during the 20's and 30's, please watch the video below which showcases the dancers.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Red Harlem Readers

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Last performance of Ernie Silva's HEAVY LIKE THE WEIGHT OF A FLAME this Saturday 11/17 (LA)

To purchase tickets, please click here.

For more info, please click here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Blackboard Reading Series: AM I WHITE? by Adrienne Dawes 11/12 (NYC)

NEXT Blackboard - 
Monday, November 12, 2012

By Adrienne Dawes 
Directed by Kevin R. Free 

Playwright - Adrienne Dawes

When Neo-N* terrorist Wesley Connor returns to prison after a failed bomb plot, he is confronted with the two identities that threaten his position within the White Order of Thule most: fatherhood and his own mixed race heritage. Inspired by the true story of Leo Felton and Erica Chase, Am I White? travels between linear narrative, recurring dreams and minstrel show nightmare to discover if a singular self exists in post-modern, “post-racial” America. 

$10 Suggested Donation 
Reserve your seats by clicking here
~wine served~ 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Call for Plays

University of the Arts New Play Festival 
Deadline: Nov. 9th 

The New Play Festival at the University of the Arts intends to cultivate artists through developing their plays and musicals. It also provides an invaluable opportunity for our students to work with professionals in new play development. This January, we will develop 1 new full-length play and 1 new musical at the University. 

Selected pieces will be given rehearsal time in our studio spaces as well as two staged readings in the 230-seat Arts Bank Theater at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The New Play Festival will be held between January 21st-February 3rd, 2013 at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. 

We will provide: 

  • Travel and Housing (as required)  
  • Modest per diem 
  • Rehearsal Time and Performance Space 
  • Actors / Directors / Music Directors 
  • Public Staged Reading
Please submit the following materials to

1) A brief synopsis of the show including time period and number of scene locations. 
2) A character breakdown including: age, sex, and a short description of each character. 
3) Development goals for the project. 
4) A developmental history of the play, no submission should have received a full production. 

FOR A MUSICAL (we welcome large casts) we will also need: 
5) CD or mp3 files of three songs along with sheet music (lead sheets are acceptable) 

*Please send all files in PDF format. For more information contact: 

To discover more opportunities, please click here.

A "Tip o' the backward Kangol" to Aurin Squire for this information.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fun in the White House! 11/7 (Nashville)

"Efficiency is doing things right; 
effectiveness is doing the right things." 
 -- Peter Drucker 

Growing up to be the president 
Isn't that what American meant 
It doesn't matter, poor or rich 
Good Guy or a Son-of-a-Bitch! 
Oh we'll have Fun in the Whitehouse, wait and see 
It's just the right house for you and for me. 
We'll Party away international gloom 
Smoking a doobie in the Oval Room. 

c. 1988 by Jaz Dorsey 

SOME PEOPLE just won't give up! Such is the case with Nashville's very own Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, O. McDonald and Rick O'Shea.  Join us as O & O (as they like to call themselves) accept America's call to the White House, Wednesday, November 7, 7:00 pm in Cabaret/theatre @ ArtLightenment 2012 -  

Chinks and Polacks, Wops and Spics 
All get involved in politics. 
We may not like it, but what can we say. 
We're Victims of the American Way.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Red Harlem Readers

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Call for Screenplays

The following is this week's call for screenplays from 

Company C ** We are looking for completed, feature-length biopic scripts dealing with the life and times of legendary activist Angela Davis. Please note we are only interested in biopic scripts, not fictional scripts. Budget is open. Both WGA and Non-WGA writers may submit. For more information on gaining access to this lead, please see

Company D ** We are looking for completed feature-length thriller scripts with a female African American lead role. Please note this is for a specific actress who plays 20s to 30s, and we are not looking for material with a female co-lead, we are only interested in scripts where the lead role is specifically female and can be played by an African American. Budget will not exceed $1.25 million. WG and non-WG writers may submit. For more information on gaining access to this lead, please see

It's rare that we see calls for African American scripts so take advantage of this if you have what the producers are looking for. Please note that to access the info, you will have to subscribe to the weekly newsletter ($50/4-months).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cabaret/Theatre at Artlightenment Nov 7th (Nashville)

Here are some people you will see at 
 Cabaret/theatre @ Artlightenment 
7:00 pm Wednesday, November 7 
The Celebrity Centre of Nashville 
1130 8th Avenue South 

Here's the Cabaret/theatre lineup: 

  •  ACT ONE 
  •  Bob Teague - preshow music 
  •  Film - Drama Mamas - documentary about African American Women Stage Directors by New York film maker Passion
  •  Andrea Coleman, vocalist/Steve Kennedy on piano- Here I Stand . 
  •  Ronnie Meek - Rothko monologue from RED 
  •  Aaron Crites - 3 songs 
  •  The Balcony Scene from Romeo & Juliet - Luciano Vignola & Billie Norris. Directed by Jaz Dorsey
  •  Michelle Glenn - 3 songs with Bob Teague on guitar. 
  •  Al Holbrook - 3 songs 

  • ACT TWO 
  • Cabaret Overture: Roxie Rogers & Ann Street-Kavanagh 
  •  Scene from THE CARETAKER, directed by Irina Sundukova 
  •  NEW MUSICALS by Nashville Songwriters Janet McMahan & David Huntsinger, songwriters - selections from MUCH ADO and ONCE UPON A TREE. 
  •  Terry Harkleroad and Sharon Cort - selections from THE MOCKINGBIRD SINGS, a new musical play about the birth of country music and the Bristol recording session. 
  •  Roxie Rogers, Ann Street-Kavanagh & Jon Statham - selections from MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR by Brian Pederson

  •  Steve Alberts & David Allds - FUN IN THE WHITEHOUSE. 
  •  Laurie O'Shea - 3 songs 
  •  DRIVE THROUGH, PLEASE - Kenley Smith and Billie Norris
  •  WHOEVER I NEED TO BE - by Mel Nelson 

  •  IT ENDS WITH A SONG (or two) 
  •  David Webb - 3 songs 
  •  Suzahn Fiering - 3 songs. 

  •  Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre.

Adam Leipzig to speak at SOAPIFF Nov 12, 13th (Knoxville)

Adam Leipzig, publisher of Cultural Weekly will speak at this year's Southern Appalachian International Film Festival. Leipzig's career includes producing such films as DEAD POETS SOCIETY and HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS for Disney. Leipzig also served as the first president of National Geographic Films and was responsible for the highly successful Oscar winning documentary MARCH OF THE PENGUINS. All SOAPIFF events are free to the public and sponsored by the Knoxville Museum of Art, Pellissippi State Community College, and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

Jaz Dorsey,
Director of Education SOAPIFF 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Passion's DRAMA MAMAS opens ArtLightenment Fest-- November 7th (Nashville)

ArtLightenment 2012's "Cabaret/theatre" opening night gala on Wednesday, November 7th will kick off the festival with a screening of DRAMA MAMAS, a documentary short profiling African American Women Stage Directors, by NYC director, comedienne and film maker PASSION. 

Passion’s work has been critically acclaimed as "stunning" and "creative.” She has directed over thirty-five productions, including Saviour?, by Esther Armah, Real Black Men Don’t Sit Crosslegged On The Floor (Best Ensemble AUDELCO Award), Melba Moore’s Sweet Songs of the Soul (Best Solo Performer AUDELCO Award). At Newark and Houston airports she directed Gimme Wings! a salute to Black women pioneers of flight. Formerly Known As Sarah, Joyce Griffen’s tribute to Madame C.J. Walker, was presented at the National Arts Club, the Museum of the City of New York, Paul Robeson Theater and Estrogenius Festival. She is a member of the Workshop Theater Company, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Women’s Project Directors Forum, SDC and former Artistic Director of the NJPAC Young Writers Workshop. This AUDELCO Outstanding Pioneer Honoree recently directed the dual premiere of It Takes A Village To Raise Hell, in Times Square and Harlem. She appreciates your support of her first film, Drama Mamas! Black Women Theater Directors in the Spotlight and Remembered

Reservations are required for Cabaret/theatre and may be made at 615-915-0891.

Monday, October 29, 2012

AAPEX Interview: Melissa Maxwell wins AAPEX Filmmaker Award

for her satirical short FETUS ENVY.
(See it screened at ArtLightenment 2012)

 Please click image to enlarge.

Here's what Melissa has to say about herself and her film.
 Melissa Maxwell

What role did theatre, film and the arts play in your childhood and upbringing?
Truthfully, very little. As a child, though I had a very vivid imagination that kept me entertained for hours (and occasionally caused my parents great concern), theatre, film and the arts were not on my radar. In fact, I had been accepted to three different schools for fashion design until junior year of high school when, needing an elective, I signed up for Mrs. Gunion’s "Play Production" class. It was then that I got “bitten by the bug". 

Tell us about your own evolution as an artist. 
I graduated from Boston University with a BA in performance in classical theatre and immediately moved to NY where I spent the early part of my career acting in regional theatres, commercials, voice-overs, TV and some film. Along the way I started writing and then eventually directing. The past eight to ten years my focus has been primarily on directing. I believe it is the discipline that best utilizes my talents, and that my years/experience as an actor and playwright were necessary to my development, informing who I am as director and how I approach that craft.

What inspired FETUS ENVY and what are the adventures you have had on this journey? 
Fetus Envy was originally written as a one-act play in 2003. At the time, I was a member of the now defunct theatre company called Urban Rock Project. In response to the Bush administration’s Patriot Act, founder Rich Cole challenged company members to write plays that addressed the many ways in which our rights were being infringed upon (one addressed criminal justice, another marriage and civil unions, another capital punishment, right to privacy, etc). We ended up with ten one-acts, which were produced in the NY International FringeFestival under the title, Patriot Acts: The Constitution Project. Earlier this year, however, with the trans-vaginal controversy and Congress refusing to let women speak on a panel about contraception (are you kidding me!), I got angry all over again and realized that my play was more pertinent now then when I first wrote it. So I decided to shoot it as a film in hopes of it being a call to action. At some point during the filmmaking process, we discovered an article about the criminalization of pregnant women due to the personhood bill (and one article led to another). It was at this point that we realized that the film, while a work of fiction, was more life-like and less satirical than we’d thought and that “the not too distant future” was NOW. Making the film has been both the scariest and most exhilarating experience of my career to date. Scary because, having never made a film before, I was on a HUGE learning curve. I was stretched so far outside my comfort zone there were days I thought I was going to spontaneously combust. And yet, those very same reasons made it exhilarating: standing in the face of all of my fears, overcoming all the overwhelming challenges and not backing down gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. This year has been about growth for me. 

Whas'up next? 
For the film: enter it into festivals, screen it where/whenever possible and continue to get the word out. For me: I’m always working on several projects at any given time. I am the director of AmericanSlavery Project’s “Unheard Voices”, a collective work by African-American playwrights, which brings to life some of the 419 anonymous men, women and children who lived in colonial New York and are buried at the African Burial Ground. I am also currently directing a rehearsal project at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting for their third year students. In December I begin rehearsals for a children’s musical at Vital Theatre called, SHOW WAY, an adaptation of Jacqueline Woodson’s award-winning children’s book by the same title. Then I head to University of Texas where I will be directing a production of Intimate Apparel. That will keep me busy through the first of March. 

Writer/Director FETUS ENVY It's not just a film; it's a movement!


Speaker TEDx Talk: "Taking Ownership" 

Words of Success

"You must once and for all 
give up being worried about successes 
 and failures. Don't let that concern you. 
It's your duty to go on working steadily 
day by day, quite steadily, 
to be prepared for mistakes, 
which are inevitable, and for failures." 
--Anton Chekhov

A "Tip of the baseball cap" to Owa.

Announcing SisterDelphia, a women's theatre arts collaborative based in Philadelphia

Announcing SisterDelphia, 
a women's theatre arts collaborative 
based in Philadelphia 

SisterDelphia is a brand new women's theatre arts collaborative, based in Philadelphia. Our mission is to support women theatre artists at all stages of their development, through readings, workshops, other development opportunities, and production. We also hope to partner with women-run theatre companies for additional networking and growth possibilities. The plan is to build a strong base for support of our Philadelphia membership, while reaching out to partner with women's theatre arts groups across the U.S. and across the globe, for networking, collaborative opportunities and other possibilities. 

To contact, please click here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fred Thomas Jr's 12' x 9' TICKETS ON SALE TODAY! Nominated by N.A.A.C.P for Best Ensemble, Best Director, Best Playwright, Best Producers (Hollywood)

Please click to enlarge.


Townsend has five years left on a 25-year prison sentence. The only things important to him are staying alive and the visits from his wife. But, a fire puts two inmates in his cell: Jasper, a pious man, with no remorse for the true crime he hides and Train, a sociopath scheming to use one man and get rid of the other. An explosion is brewing, the only question: Who will be left standing?

Order tickets here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MOTOWN the Musical casting Sat 11/3 (NYC)

MOTOWN the Musical Casting in NYC 

Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy (prods.) are casting "Motown," a new musical based on the life of Berry Gordy featuring a score by various Motown composers. Seeking

  • Little Michael Jackson: boy, age 8-11, also plays Little Stevie Wonder and Young Berry Gordy, must be charismatic and have a great high tenor singing voice like Michael Jackson on "I Want You Back" also seeking Understudy; principal role. 
  • Marvin Gaye: male, 20s, to portray the physical and vocal likeness of Marvin Gaye, must have a fantastic soaring high tenor singing voice, should also move/dance well; principal role. 
  • Smokey Robinson: male, 20s, to portray the physical and vocal likeness of Smokey Robinson, must have a fantastic soaring high tenor singing voice, should also move/dance well; principal role. 
  • Female Singers: 20s, African-American, attractive, with a slender build, must be 5'4"-5'8", move very well, and have an amazing pop singing voice to cover Diana Ross and others; featured ensemble role. 
  • Male Bass: 20s, African-American, attractive, with a solid low C, must also move well; featured ensemble role.                                                                                          
Time and Date: SATURDAY November 3, 2012 

Where: Telsey + Company, 
315 W. 43rd St., 10th fl.
New York City 

Please prepare a Motown song; show range. Bring sheet music in the correct key; an accompanist will be provided, but may not transpose. Bring pix and résumés stapled together.

Monday, October 22, 2012




Theater is a collaborative act. There are a train of complex elements and craft-persons involved in the creation of a live show. At the helm of this mélange of master builders is the playwright. The architect of imaginative worlds brought to life by a predisposition to a fine madness, and a possession of the soul by the spirit of one’s Muse. The practicum of playwriting was known in the Kingdom of Kemet as well as by the dramatist of the ancient Hellenes; both enhancing theater to its most elegant format. 

Despite its most ancient pedigree, theater and the art of Playwriting is neither an exact science, nor a profitable one. It is on the one hand, a baffling and on the other, a strange scheme. No one hires a playwright, (except when set out to pasture in academe to teach) and therefore, no salary is earned. It may and usually does, take years to write a play. It will also take years to find someone to produce it. With the almost certain possibility of many rejections and hurt feelings. Once having successfully done so, one’s audience, or critics may not understand or like the show and overnight, one’s project is out of business. There is also the risk of group trance where all involved in the project, have no idea how bad it is, only to discover in costume, under lights, and on the boards, it’s a turkey. 

The term a “play” is itself quite a mystical experience in character and essence. What has been routinely called show business is something more, and exquisite. The essence of the playwright’s task and genius is the excavation of the intimate truths of his or her characters in the dynamic relationships of a compelling story. A story that defies death and lives on as long as humanity itself may exists. In this sense, a play is a living thing, and like life, no two moments are the same. Like life, the play dies when the audience leaves the theater or the show closes at the end of its run. However, unlike life, the play can be reawakened (like a resurrection) and breathe again, through living and loving voices. 

Yes, I would say the practice of the dramatist, director, thespians, producer and technicians is a spiritual experience... 

Bronx, NY October 21, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

SHADES OF BLUES: A Conversation on the Classic Works of August Wilson and Lonne Elder III from a Blues (Music) Perspective 11/3 (Chicago)

A Conversation on the Classic Works of 
August Wilson and Lonne Elder III 
from a Blues (Music) Perspective 
Sat., Nov 3 at 

eta Creative Arts Foundation presents a panel discussion exploring plays from the black theatre canon that are reflective of an African-American blues aesthetic. Shades of Blues: A Conversation on the Classic Works of August Wilson and Lonne Elder III from a Blues (Music) Perspective takes place Saturday, November 3rd from 4-6 pm at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street @ Drexel Blvd., Room 801. Discussants are Dr. Ken Warren, University of Chicago and Dr. Mikell Pinkney, University of Florida. Moderator is Lincoln Beauchamp, Jr., aka Chicago Beau. Free and open to the public, it is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture and the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago and eta Creative Arts Foundation. For information, call 773-752-3955 or visit the eta at the link above.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Red Harlem Readers

Advice to the Playwright

Advice to the playwright: 
  • Never let anybody alter your work. But if they do, and it happens to make it better, be prepared to take credit for it. 
  • Never allow directors to intimidate you, but have some sympathy for them. They are professional cat herders and you are why they drink. 
  • Strive to be kind to actors, even when they're being impossible. They have a difficult life, and without them, you're a novelist.
  •  Praise and blame are illusions. 
  • Never take kind words for granted, but do your work. 
  • Just do your work. Don't let anybody stop you. Keep writing no matter what. 
  • Direct, act, build sets, earn your right to be in a theatre. This will give you insight into the absurdly difficult tasks you set for others when you write. 
  • Help other playwrights when you can, even if they don't like you. Jealousy is poison. We're all in the same sinking ship. 
  • Calm down. Hysteria is contagious in rehearsal, and life is short. 
  • Break the rules. 
  • Trust your own instincts. If your instincts now and then betray you, learn from it, but don't stop trusting them. Experience can deepen and fine tune your instincts, but in the end, you have nothing else. 
  • It's better to be hated for what you wrote than for what you let somebody else talk you into writing. 
  • Write without fear. 
  • Love without hope.  
  • --- DON NIGRO 
    A "Tip of the Hat" to Owa for passing this along.