Friday, November 8, 2013

AAPEX 300 Playwrights

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Who knew six years ago and 1,592 posts later that today we would be listing the 300th active* African American playwright? That's when dramaturg Jaz Dorsey, founder of the African American Playwrights Exchange (AAPEX), published the first AAPEX post on April 4, 2007 to promote the works of African-American playwrights, playwrights of African-American stories, and African American theatres across the country. 

Did you know there are at least 91 African American theatre companies? Neither did we but-- like our playwrights who we added over the years to our roster once we discovered them-- you can find these theatres with just one click on the right below our playwrights list.**. 

That's why we consider this to be the "Golden Age" of African American theatre

Of the 300 playwrights, 256 have direct links to their websites/play publishers so that anyone looking for a playwright can find him or her with just one click-- and hopefully buy a play or arrange a reading or full-production. 

Over 40% of the playwrights are women and some, like multi-hyphenate Petronia Paley, are also actor/directors.

AAPEX promotes new productions across the country (and now London, England with Michael Bradford's Olives And Blood) and acts as an open forum for discussions on theatre (as an example, see Owa's call for a Theatre Central here).

AAPEX also permanently lists 4 African-American Theatre college programs, over a dozen black cultural organizations, and over 50 resources for playwrights ranging from links to playwriting contests to play publishers and groups associated with playwriting and theatre. 

All of these free offerings are just one click away. 

Since 2007 AAPEX has posted 36 AAPEX Interviews spotlighting playwrights, producers and other people involved in theatre. These interviews are just a click away when you click the AAPEX Interview "Label" below each AAPEX Interview post.

Considering AAPEX has never charged anyone for anything and has never received any kind of grant whatsoever to support its work, it's quite remarkable-- and a testament to its founder Jaz Dorsey-- that AAPEX has been responsible for over a dozen productions from NYC to London. It's also pretty amazing when you realize AAPEX is based in Nashville, TN and Jaz is the ONLY one setting these things up.

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I have been a recipient of that largess with two NYC readings for my dancical Jitterbug!, none of which would have been possible without AAPEX. I use AAPEX to stay on top of the latest news re African American theatre, call for plays, and to make connections. I encourage all playwrights to do the same.

To paraphrase the words of that late great Spartan leader: prepare for glory, playwrights!

DC Copeland
AAPEX Blogboy

*Active in the sense that, although he or she may be dead, their plays are still being read and performed.
**There may be more AA theatres, but without a website it's pretty hard to find them. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

21st Century Comedy: Aurin Squire's DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON 11/7-24th (NYC)

Aurin Squire
"This month my comedy "Defacing Michael Jackson" is at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. I'm really excited about this because the actors are great and the production is sharp. Come check out a new comedy on race, pop music, and hero worship. Please click here to read my interview on Culturadar."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nathan James' GROWING PAINS encore performance this Thursday (NYC)

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"What makes a man? 
How do we as a society re/act to media? 
How does it shape you?"

Nathan James, one of AAPEX's favorite multi-hyphenates (actor/playwright/poet/dramaturg) whom the New York Times has lauded as a "standout" performer, will have an encore performance of his hit one-man show GROWING PAINS this Thursday, November 7th as part of the United Solo Festival in NYC. Please consider buying tickets to his show through the link provided above. You won't be disappointed.

Check out the short video below to see James' process and inspiration for GROWING PAINS.

World Premiere of FEAR UP HARSH at Zoetic Stage this Friday (Miami)

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Christopher Demos-Brown's FEAR UP HARSH has its world premiere at Zoetic Stage in Miami this Friday. Although Demos-Brown is a white playwright, it's interesting to see the thought process that made him change a pivotal white trash character to black:

Demos-Brown says that originally, he wrote Mary Jean as “a trailer trash white girl.” But soon he began tailoring the part for Karen Stephens, a Carbonell-nominated black actress, transforming the character into “a very, very bright person who happened to grow up without a great deal of formal education. When she gets emotional, she gets more articulate. She has a very complex soul. She has had some real hardships in her life.”

Stephens brings humor and edge to the play as Mary Jean. She has admired Demos-Brown’s past work and is enthusiastic about bringing the character to life through Meltzer’s collaborative rehearsal process.
“Chris’ command of language is stellar. He has a way of elucidating a character’s point of view in a really smart and precise and incisive way. And he finds the right balance of levity and drama,” Stephens says. “Mary Jean delivers so many funny lines. But there’s so much pathos there. Just like real life.”
You can read more about the play and its returning Iraq War hero with secrets he wishes to keep buried here.

Read more here:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lessing and Dramaturgy Lesson

For 35 years, I have been repeatedly asked the obvious question - " What is a dramaturg?" It's the obvious question because in this country, when you tell someone that you are a dramaturg, they have no idea what you are talking about. 

And it's a strange word; definitely suspect. Sounds communist. 

There is one country, however, where almost any 15 year old could tell you what a dramaturg is. That's Germany. 

Germany is the homeland of the ur-dramarturg, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Honestly, dramaturgy has been around as long as theatre has been around. It took dramaturgy to get Oedipus Rex on it's feet because what dramaturgy is is the process of getting the script ready. Ready for the actors, ready for the audience, ready for the critics. The two primary divisions of dramaturgy - script development and production research - are inevitableBut in Lessing they jelled and became a profession - in Germany, a very honored profession. (I can think of worse things to be referred to than Herr Dramaturg. And over here, I have heard some of those "worse things" beginning with dramaturkey - and you can take it from there.) 

Here's what happened. 

In Lessing's day, Paris ruled when it came to theatre, much like the influence that Broadway and NYC have on theatre in this country today. If theatre wasn't "frenchified" back in 18th century Europe then it wasn't valid. 

This did not sit well with Herrn Lessing, who saw perhaps a deeper purpose to the theatre than his colleagues. Lessing wanted to see a theatre which was rooted in the German language, and so, among other steps, he wrote some very interesting plays of his own in a style that had it's rhythm, meter and syntax taken from the German pallet. Soon Schiller and Goethe would follow. 

Lessing also generated what has come to be known as The Hamburg Dramaturgy. As a German major at Chapel Hill, I read excerpts in German when I took a course on Lessing, but it's not the kind of thing you'd find on the New York Times bestseller list. 

Or is it? Because now, thanks to Dr. Wendy Arons of Carnegie Melon and Dr. Sara Figal of Vanderbilt University, there is about to be an annotated, English translation - and before the book, these two scholars are, thanks to this marvelous age of the internet, sharing their project with the rest of us as it evolves, via this link: 

Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to ask that question - 

"What is a dramaturg?" 

Jaz Dorsey 
Director of Education 
The Actors' Reading Room 
Nashville, Tennessee 

Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre! (I'm pretty sure that's what Lessing would say.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Call for plays (11/4 deadline)

New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship 
Deadline: Nov. 4th 

The United States is rapidly changing. The U.S. Census Bureau expects that by the year 2050, there will be 439 million Americans (there are 312 million of us now) and for the first time, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority. 

These projections provoke thoughts about the transformations that will take place in the American landscape over the next 37 years—technologically, environmentally, demographically, and artistically. They are a catalyst for broader questions about our moral and artistic future. How do we define diversity? Whose stories aren't being told? What lies ahead for our world? 

In response to these questions, NYTW has expanded its Fellowship program to support the diversity of voices that will make up this new minority majority. NYTW is re-affirming our responsibility to nurture artists who reflect this multiplicity of perspectives, challenge the dominant paradigm, and give voice to those whose experiences are not often heard. 

The 2050 Fellowship is an expansion of NYTW's Emerging Artists of Color Fellowship, established in 1995 out of NYTW's fundamental belief that a diversity of thought, experience and culture is crucial to theatrical innovation. We remain committed to this conviction by expanding the way we identify an artist who is eligible for our Fellowships toward a more inclusive and wider range of artists of varied backgrounds and aesthetics. 

As an institution, NYTW is constantly interacting with and being informed by the diverse body of artists we serve. We seek to listen and respond to untold stories and underrepresented voices, and our roster of artists has always embodied a multitude of communities. In addition, as both a laboratory for theatrical exploration and a producer of plays, NYTW supports projects that are aesthetically, thematically, and methodologically varied. We seek Fellows who reflect, celebrate, and practice this diversity, and who are dedicated and motivated candidates wishing to develop their talents and craft by participating in a dynamic, artist-centered creative community.

To apply, please click here.  

Thanks and a tip of our backward wearing Kangols© to Aurin Squire

Call for plays

Each July, St. Louis Actors' Studio will produce the "LaBute New Theater Festival." The Theater Festival will run yearly at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108 (Inaugural event July 5-28, 2013) Submissions will be accepted October 1 through December 31st .Successful entries will have no more than four characters, and be crafted specifically to exploit our intimate performance space. (18' x 18' stage) Changes in scenery or setting should be achievable quickly and with few major set moves. Our focus is on fundamental dramaturgy: plot, character and theme. Professional, new and previously unproduced one-act play submissions should include a letter of inquiry, a synopsis and a 10-page sample from the script. Eight plays will be chosen: four to be performed in the first two weeks, four in the second two weeks. Check website for more information. Submissions should be sent to: 
 LaBute New Theater Festival 
360 N Boyle Ave 
St. Louis, MO 63108

Thanks and a tip of our backward wearing Kangols to Aurin Squire, Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwright Fellowship at The Juilliard School

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Harlem Swing Dance Society private benefit Sunday, Nov 3rd (NYC)

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Music and entertainment by Gordon Webster and Friends Band, tap dancer Hillary-Marie Michael, and the legendary Dawn Hampton with all proceeds going to support The Harlem Swing Dance Society Youth Program. This is a deal-and-a-half! Besides helping a worthy cause, you get admission/entertainment/food and drink to a private party in a penthouse in NYC with its view of the Freedom Tower and Fulton Street. Expect the limited number of tickets to be sold out quickly. You can learn more about THSDS Youth Program and purchase tickets through PayPal via this link.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Keith Josef Adkins' THE LAST SAINT ON SUGAR HILL opens FRIDAY at The National Black Theatre (Harlem)

Keith Josef Adkins' THE LAST SAINT ON SUGAR HILL opens FRIDAY (with previews starting tonight) at The National Black Theatre in Harlem. To purchase tickets and to learn more about The National Black Theatre and the celebration of its 45th season, please click here.

Bill T Jones & Gregory Vuyani Maqoma TONIGHT at NBT (NYC)

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To purchase tickets, please click here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Broadway Producer Ken Davenport interview

Ken Davenport
Emmitt Thrower
Recently hailed as the “P.T. Barnum of Off-Broadway” by the New York Times for his unique 21st century marketing strategies, Ken Davenport is becoming widely recognized as one of the most innovative theatre producers today. Ken’s visionary tech-savvy was also recently featured on a national commercial for Apple’s iPhone and he was named one of Crain's “Forty Under 40” in 2008 as a result of his fresh ideas and unprecedented success. Ken’s impressive Broadway and Off-Broadway production slate includes Speed the Plow, You’re Welcome America, Blithe Spirit, Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom, My First Time, Kinky Boots, and more. Hosted by Emmitt Thrower. Please click here to listen to the interview.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ekundayo Bandele's IF SCROOGE WAS A BROTHER opens 11/1 at eta (Chicago)


Reduced Price Previews Thursday, October 31 

Get ready for a holiday show that’s like no other. It’s all about Scrooge in this hilarious and heartwarming reconstruction of the classic Christmas ghost tale. Spirited jokes and holiday music chronicle a journey from self-hatred to love as Scrooge faces his past, present and future and learns the wealth of family in “If Scrooge Was a Brother.” Written by Ekundayo Bandele and directed by Kemati J. Porter, the show opens Friday, November 1 through December 29, 2013. Reduced price previews are Thursday, October 31. Show times are 8 pm Fri & Sat; 3 & 7 p.m. Sundays at eta Square, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. General admission is $30, with student, senior and group discounts. Subscriptions to the 2013-14 season are also still available for only $75 through December 31, 2013. For tickets and information, call 773-752- 3955 or visit eta here

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Magnolia's BBQ: The Musical

Emmitt Thrower

Emmitt Thrower and Old Lions Still Roar Productions is offering investment opportunities for another project. This time around, it's a musical set in a juke joint in the South. Watch the video for more information.

Robert F Benjamin's WRINKLES up next at The Spiral, Friday 10/25 (NYC)

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The Spiral Theatre Studio is very excited to be opening our second show Friday, October 25th. 

WRINKLES is an evening of seven short plays about aging with grace, humor and courage by New Mexico playwright Robert Benjamin, originally produced under the title Salt & Pepper

The Spiral Theatre Studio has spent our first year spotlighting playwrights, actors and directors over 60. The role of artists in this demographic in the American theatre is seriously changing as lifespans increase. Maybe it takes 30 or 40 years to figure this thing called "theatre" out, both artistically and politically. In that case, 60 is the new 20. AND if YOU are over 60 and still kicking butt theatrically, please contact me and share your story. 

Jaz Dorsey 
Managing Director
The Spiral Theatre Studio 
242 W. 36th Street 3rd Floor In Paul Michael's The Network 

AAPEX Interview: Nathan Ross Freeman

Nathan Ross Freeman
What role did theatre, film and the arts play in your childhood and upbringing?
My mother exposed my brother and me to ... everything. My first rock and roll show, My first symphony concert. Recitals, Trips to the mission. My father harped on education, education, education. They both made a big deal about every crayola disfiguration and term paper. I made my brother tell me a story every night before I went to sleep. I was fortunate to be an African American male who was not raised as a victim. So all I knew is what I could do! Never had a tow that road background and we were lower middle class family. I was reared on constant creativity and choice.

Tell us about your own evolution as an artist.
I graduated from St. Joseph's University, Philly PA. Got my first job as a para-professional teaching reading at Tioga Community Youth Center, an alternative education school. I decided to use theatre as a vehicle for remedial reading and behavioral modification. Couldn't find a play to fit the constituency of my class, so I wrote one, Where Is Momma. The center got behind it and we performed it at my al ma mater high school, St. Joe's Prep. It was so well received, though the staging was absolutely atrocious, that the center exec. Director awarded my cast of students a week of downtown theatre and a put up at a 5 star hotel. We went to Academy Of Music, Shubert and Walnut Theater show. It was glorious. The publicity of this outing together with this pioneering vehicle of theater (then) to develop underserved youth.  Temple invited us to perform the play for 3 days and the renown Walk Auditorium ... and ... paid the youth $45 per performance. I remember the closing performance, everybody gone, stage struck, sitting mid row, alone, staring at the stage with the ghost light the only illumination. Declared I was in love and the rest is history.

What inspired the film Mr. Bones?
Debra Terry, a renowned BET comedian and dear friend, came to me about an idea of a reunion of 3 close friends after going their separate adult ways. With some controversy I amended her story of coming home to do a Christmas Play for their hometown congregation, to their becoming friends as a result of surviving a church bus crash. While playing in the park they find the skull of a missing child. Instead of reporting it they make it a totem, a shrine and bring artifacts of their childhood to share with their deceased parents who died in the crash. Their reunion is the result of someone finding the skull and all the treasures during their adult years. They come home to face the music and, thus, confront and purge their demons of grief.

What are your current projects?
I have 2 feature films in development: The Quad and Topaz D. I have one script in development The Den. And I have one short feature I wrote to shoot myself and 2 superlative actors I grew up with, in professional theatre in Philly: Donald Newton (Mr. Bones Co-Star) and Wendy Pearson (played all my leading lady roles with Bushfire Theatre). The film is The Other Way Around; a true art house film I am so proud to have written and will be a sleeper at every festival that screens it. Principle Photography in April.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Harvest Moon Ball Saturday, October 19th (Harlem)

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The Harlem Swing Dance Society is puttin' on the Ritz this Saturday with its Harvest Moon Ball celebrating Harlem's impact and influence on culture and dance. Free dance lessons by the Last of the Best Savoy Ballroom Harvest Moon Ball Winners: Sugar Sullivan and Barbara Billups (see below). 

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7-11:30 PM
Saturday, October 19th
Joseph P. Kennedy Center
34 W 134th Street

For those not familiar with the Harvest Moon Balls, please watch the video below. 

For those interested in the award-winning dancical Jitterbug!, please click here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Job Post: Assistant Prof in African-American Theatre, Wayne State Univ (Detroit)

The Assistant Professor in African-American Theatre shall assume responsibilities as Director of the Black Theatre Program, direct 1-2 plays per year, teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in African-American Theatre, Black and World Dramatic Literature, additional performance courses suited to his/her strengths and other classes as...

For more information, please click here.

Have an impact on theatre. Support IMPACT (Atlanta)

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Please click here to learn more about IMPACT THEATRE ATLANTA. To purchase tickets, please click here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Stagefright: The Edgar Allen Poe Cabaret 10/27 (TN)

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Please plan to join us for the new and updated look at my personal theory about why Edgar Allan Poe, the son of two actors, did not write for the theatre.  

Tony Domenico and David Kinnard reprise their critically acclaimed performances as Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Price.

With a new, original monologue for Vincent Price by St. Louis playwright Dennis Corcoran. This time around they will be joined by Aaron Crites, Lanie Shannon, Tony Shannon, Natalyn McCants, Micah Hanson, Irish balladeer Caleb Harper and the magic violin strings of Laurie Canaan

2:00 PM
Sunday, October 27
The Main Branch of The Williamson County Public Library 
1314 Columbia Avenue 
Franklin, Tennessee 

(Click here for more information 
and to make reservations.)

The Actors' Reading Room 
Jaz Dorsey

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Two Film Festivals

The Southern Appalachian International Film Festival (SOAPIFF), which began in 2006 as Executive Director/Founder Mark Compton's graduate thesis in tourism at ETSU, will celebrate our 7th anniversary this fall in Kingsport, Tennessee, with a retrospective past award winning films and film makers. As the director of education for SOAPIFF, I feel that our award winning films and film makers are our greatest treasure and that we should treasure them in return. 

Also ARTLightenment is coming up here in Nashville November 14, 15, & 16th. Details are on the websites - and 

Discover acting at: 
The Actors Reading Room
270 Tampa Drive
Studio G9
Jaz Dorsey, 

Call for plays from NJ playwrights

The CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for 2014 StageFest was just posted. Click on this link to fill out application (No fee/No pay). DEADLINE 12/01, 2013 - Note 15 mins dance and music, 45 mins for plays. Last year's first-ever StageFest at the Loew's Jersey was a great success, and included 18 individual artists or performing companies, 50 performances, over 20 hours of programming – all enjoyed by around 600 patrons!

Call for shorts

John Chatterton, executive producer, is accepting scripts for the October Short Play Lab. New participants are welcome and plays will be considered for subsequent Labs in the 2013-14 season. Plays should be 1-10 pages (the shorter the better; shorter plays get priority) submitted in standard play-script format in MS-Word: 12 point Times Roman; character names in the middle on their own line; line spaces between speeches, and between speeches and stage directions; indented stage directions. Include a title page, as the first page of the script, with your contact info (preferred means of contact is by email). 

Winning playwrights will produce their plays themselves, whether or not they live in New York. Each play gets 2 performances (off book, no readings), 1 on Sat. and 1 on Sun. as part of 1 of 2 programs: Program A or Program B, but not both. Program A takes place at 7 pm Sat. and 4 pm Sun. Program B takes place at 9 pm Sat. and 2 pm Sun. Productions must be non-union: no showcases, no Equity waivers. Keep production values to a minimum: costumes and hand props are okay. The SPL provides the theatre (at the Roy Arias Studios, 300 West 43rd Street, NYC), rehearsal cubes, chairs, and a table. SPL also will provide a board op, box office, venue management, and a tech rehearsal. No fees. No pay. Each playwright and director gets to watch his/her show for free, but there are no other comps. The SPL keeps the door. The most popular production in each program receives a cash prize of $75. Winners are determined by polling patrons at the box office. Submit your script as an attachment, in Word format, to Notification will be immediately.

Call for plays

The Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF) is currently accepting submissions for its 12th annual season to be held at HERE ( in SoHo, New York City, March 31-April 19, 2014. DUTF, produced by Creative Ammo Inc., was founded in 2001 with the purpose to build a repertoire of new American theatre that echoes the true spirit of urban life and speaks to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. 

For 2014, DUTF will accept 15 theatrical works comprised of full-length productions (60-90 minutes) and shorts (under 45 minutes). Each work is performed only once during the festival. Three of the outstanding works produced during the festival will receive $1,000 awards in the categories of Best Play, Best Short and Audience. There is no submission or participation fee and each playwright will receive a monetary production stipend at the start of the festival to defray some of the production costs. 

To submit for DUTF 2014, please forward the following to
(1) Playwright’s bio with contact info - name, address, phone # and email 
(2) Photo of playwright 
(3) Synopsis of theatrical work 
(4) Complete script of theatrical work 
(5) Estimated running time of work 
(6) Actor/director/crew bios, if available 
(7) Description of stage set (if any) and production needs (i.e. sound and lighting) 

Submission deadline is 10/25, 2013.

Call for plays from NY or NJ African-American playwrights only

Submit a work of 40 to 50 minutes to The Griot Festival
Winner for Best Play will receive a prize of $2,500. 
Winner of Best Actor and Best Actress will each receive $500. 

The Griot Festival was created with the intention of offering a unique opportunity for playwrights / theatrical artists of African American descent who reside in NY and NJ. The festival’s purpose is to inspire and support both emerging and established playwrights/ theatrical artists of African American descent who would like to step beyond the page and get involved in the production of their work. In short, they will have creative input from the first sentence they write to the last curtain call. It is also a great opportunity to become familiar with all the elements of a theatrical production in the making and to become familiar with the process that translates writing into a living work onstage in a safe and supportive theatrical environment. Only plays from writers of African American descent in New York and New Jersey will be accepted. Submissions must be between 40 and 50 minutes long. This is a non-union company. All plays must be first runs, never produced before. The Festival will take place at the Cabrini Repertory Theater, a wonderful proscenium theater in Uptown Manhattan that also hosts two other festivals throughout the year: Thespis and Venus/Adonis. At Cabrini Repertory Theater, we consider ourselves a family and anyone who sets foot in our theater to stage a play is part of that family. Our team wants to make sure staging your show is a pleasure. First-time writers are more than welcome! Accepted plays will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. (The earlier you submit the better your chances are to be accepted into the Festival.) Submissions may close before October 15 if the maximum number of plays is reached. Click here for more information.

Call for musicals

The Next Link Project is New York Musical Theatre Festival's  (NYMF’s) primary writer service program. It empowers emerging musical theater writing teams by providing entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other services, culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival. The Next Link Project is open to any writer – produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation. The program receives hundreds of submissions from all over the world each fall, and every script and demo recording are reviewed by several members of NYMF’s Reading Committee. Shows are submitted “blind”, meaning the writers names are not on any of the materials the readers review. This ensures the work is judged on what is written, not who wrote it, giving all submissions an even playing field. The finalists are then reviewed by a Grand Jury comprised of leading musical theatre artists. Ten shows are accepted in to the Next Link Project each year and awarded production spots in the Festival! 

The Final Deadline is extended to midnight, Monday 11/11, 2013

Click HERE for all of the details on how to apply... and start planning to bring your show to life next summer!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Broadway Producers and Investors MEETUP: 10/22 (NYC)

Broadway Producers and Investors 
Tuesday Oct. 22, 2013
5:30 sharp -7pm

Snapple Theatre

For serious commercial producers this is an important seminar and networking opportunity. Join attorneys Daniel Wasser and Gary Emanuel and group moderator Bruce Lazarus to explore "The Practical Application of New SEC Rules on Publicizing Theatrical Offerings". New law passed September 23, 2013. It is imperative that you understand how these new rules have radically transformed how you can raise money for your commercial theatre productions. Do not miss this. 

*Read this article: 
Snapple Theater, Broadway and 50th Street (SW corner) 4th Floor. NYC. Free admission. Limited seating. Tuesday October 22, 2013 Seminar from 5:30 sharp to 6:15 followed by Q&A and group networking.

Update (12/12): Here's a great example of a multiracial company (Emmitt Thrower, Obediah Wright, A. Michael Storm, and Tom Horner ) taking advantage of the new SEC rules advertising theatrical offerings to accredited investors: Old Lions Still Roar.
Obediah Wright
Emmitt Thrower
A. Michael Storm

Tom Horner

PEARL receives 5 AUDELCO Nominations

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Best Musical
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Musical Director
Best Choreography!

Charles Bernard Murray
Congratulations and a tip of our backward-wearing Kangols© to Charles Bernard Murray, producer/author/composer at Pearl for bringing this to our attention. To learn more about the production and AUDELCO, please click the titles above.

Breaking into Hollywood Q&A with ENDYIA KINNEY-STERNS, VP of Programming And Development at the Oprah Winfrey Network (Atlanta)

Breaking into Hollywood presents 
Open Q&A with 

A Networking Event for Writers, Actors, Producers and Directors 

* Have a TV show idea, script, or completed pilot/sizzle that you'd like to sell to a network? * 
* Want to learn more about how reality and scripted TV shows are developed and produced? * 
* Or are you interested in producing a feature film and want insight on attaching celebrity actors? * 
* Want inside information on what types of shows OWN is looking for? * 
* Or how development works at a major network? * 
* Want to learn about the casting process: audition tips, and how to get cast in film, TV and commercials? *

Whatever your situation - this is an intimate event that you do not want to miss! Now is your chance to get the inside scoop on how the industry works from a top network executive. All participants will have an opportunity to ask candid questions directly to the speakers! 

Please note there will be NO PITCHING of projects to Endyia at this event (networking and information only!) 

A not-to-be-missed one-time event for producers, writers, actors, agents, managers, etc., and ANYONE who wants to know the inside scoop on how things work behind the scenes at a major network! DON'T MISS THIS ONE-TIME ONLY EVENT!

Saturday, NOVEMBER 23rd, 2013 
1pm - 4pm at 
Crowne Plaza Hotel 
4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road 
ATLANTA, GA 30346 

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR!! Use the special link below, and get 15% OFF! That's just $85 (normally $100!) - for an afternoon with a top network executive! SPACE IS LIMITED, SO REGISTER NOW! 

TO REGISTER: Advance RSVP only, as space is very limited. Use the special link below to get your discount: 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Endyia Kinney-Sterns is the Vice President of Programming and Development for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, overseeing day-to-day development of new original programming for the network. She joined the company in May 2011 as Executive Director of Programming and Development. Kinney-Sterns has been instrumental in identifying and developing various new programming including the popular docu-series "Raising Whitley" and "Life With La Toya." She was an integral part in developing the upcoming series "Millionaire Mama's Boy" with Sony Studios and "Houston Beauty" with Park Slope Productions, in addition to many presentations and pilots. An accomplished television producer and executive, Kinney-Sterns has over 13 years of entertainment television experience producing shows for high-profile networks including VH1, CBS, NBC, HGTV, and production companies such as Buena Vista Television, Arnold Shapiro Productions, and LMNO. She also established her own production company, Seraphim Entertainment, where she optioned two of her original shows, a drama series and an animated project. Kinney-Sterns held the title of Senior Director of Programming and Development for TV ONE, where she was responsible for the day-to-day supervision of production and programming for popular series including "Baisden After Dark," "Who's Got Jokes" and "Black and Men Revealed." Her most notable accomplishment was co-developing and creating the brand defining, multiple NAACP Award winning hit show "Unsung." Kinney-Sterns spent over four years working in programming and development at BET where she was responsible for overseeing production and post production for the network's top-rated series "College Hill" and the highest rated show in BET history at the time, "Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is." She was also responsible for helping to develop, launch and oversee the day-to-day production of "The Mo'Nique Show", the #1 late night talk show among African Americans as well as the hit music competition show "Sunday Best." She was responsible for overseeing other ratings hits like "Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown", "DMX: Soul of a Man" and helped to develop and oversee successful original programs such as "Exalted" and "Hell Date". Prior to her positions at BET and TV ONE, Kinney-Sterns produced reality, talk/variety, and lifestyle shows including the Emmy Award-winning syndicated series "The Wayne Brady Show," "Big Brother 4" and "The Other Half", among others. Kinney-Sterns is passionately involved in a number of children's organizations. She works with the Children's Hunger Fund in helping to move their vision forward to see that no child goes without meal, is active with Zoe Ministries to help stop child trafficking overseas and regularly speaks to inner-city girls about pursuing their dreams. She currently resides in Porter Ranch, California with her husband, Brigg Sterns, and her two sons, Judah and Cairo.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR: Angela Marie Hutchinson is a casting director, producer, former talent agent and author of three published books: her memoir "BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD" and two children's picture books, "Charm Kids" and "Sepia Girl." She received $20,000 for her first paid writing assignment. Recently, Hutchinson produced the feature film, "Hollywood Chaos," which she also wrote and cast, starring Vanessa Simmons with an ensemble cast. Currently, Hutchinson is producing two television projects that are in the post-production phase; another project she is casting, co-producing and directing this fall. Represented by the Filmtrix Agency as a Casting Director, Hutchinson has cast veteran actors such as Billy Dee Williams, Vanessa Williams, Lynn Whitfield, Tangi Miller, and other newcomer stars like Tyler Lepley (Tyler Perry's "The Haves & the Have Nots") in feature films, TV pilots, short films and web series. Hutchinson is a Chicago native with over 10 years of industry experience. She has worked for MGM, Warner Bros. Television and the GRAMMYs. In 2005, Hutchinson founded BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD (BiH), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps industry professionals pursue their entertainment careers with integrity, creativity and enthusiasm. Under the BiH umbrella, Hutchinson serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Hollywood & Vine magazine, Executive Director of the Hollywood & Vine Film Festival, and Executive Producer of "The BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD Show," which aired daily on Transit TV with over 1.15 million viewers. An alumnus of the University of Michigan, Hutchinson earned her B.S.E. in Industrial & Operations Engineering. She also has a Cross-Media Journalism certificate from USC. In Hutchinson's leisure time, she enjoys rollerblading, reading inspirational books and spending time with her husband and two young children. She is passionate about her community and has served on several boards. Recently, Hutchinson was featured in Rolling Out and has been interviewed on TV as well as print and online media outlets. 

REGISTER NOW: Advance RSVP only, as space is very limited. Use the special link below to get your discount: For questions or more information: Please call us at (310) 712-3459

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Clinnesha D. Sibley's UPROOTED at Blackboard 10/14 (NYC)

What happens when long-separated siblings reunite after the death of a parent? When successful film actress Venus Kettle returns to Glee, Mississippi, to her mother's "home going," she is greeted by her sisters with a wide range of emotions.  After airing incidents of sexual abuse in her childhood home a few months prior to their mother’s death, Venus can’t escape the rippling effects of her confession or in this case, the “leaking” of family business. In the meantime, Uprooted explores abortion in a small Mississippi town during the 1980’s by way of the play’s deceased matriarch, who is known as a pillar in the community and nursing profession. This uneasy sibling reunion and the possibility of Venus's brother, who is incarcerated in a facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, coming home for the funeral forces the Kettle family to recall the incest issues stemming from their household.  Uprooted is moving tribute to the redemptive power of family.
Wine served. Reading followed by a 20-minute talk-back. Please buy tickets here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

AAPEX Atlanta Awards


There really is no more exciting theatre city than Atlanta - and that's because of the many amazing and talented theatre artists who choose to live and work there. 

The African American Playwrights' Exchange is pleased to salute Atlanta as our Theatre City of the Year 2013 and to recognize four extraordinary Atlantan's with the following awards. 

Betty Chaney
Playwright Betty Chaney with Best Family Drama 2013 award for her touching and thought provoking script THE ROOTING PLACE

Jacquay Waller
Playwright/Actor/Director/Producer Jacquay Waller as our Artist of the Year 2013. and 

Dr. Shirlene Holmes
Actress/Director Brenda Porter and playwright Dr. Shirlene Holmes with our Educators Award 2013 for their collaboration on Ms. Porter's one woman historical show, PATHWAYS. 

Please come and meet our award winners this Sunday, 2:30 pm at the Rialto Theatre, 80 Forsyth St. and enjoy a reading of Betty Chaney's The Rooting Place, directed by Brenda Porter and follow us at Seating is limited. Reservations are mandatory and may be made at 404-758-6871 

For further information, contact Jaz Dorsey, Dramaturg, The Actors' Reading Room. 615-915-0891

Call for plays

The Lark Play Development Center is gearing up for their 2014 Playwrights Week, and free submissions are coming to a close on October 15th. Accepted writers will be provided access to the Lark's resources and a public staged reading of their work as well as a chance to meet and greet with some of the hottest new voices in the artistic community. To submit, please click here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

AAPEX Artist of the Year: Jacquay Waller

Jacquay Waller
AAPEX Artist of the Year 2013 

Atlanta based Playwright/Actor/Producer/Director Jacquay Waller is the AAPEX Artist of the Year for his work which is raising the bar on all fronts. 

Here is what Jacquay has to say about his work: 

I am the CEO/Artistic Director for DreamCatcher Productions. DreamCatcher is a theatre and film company based here in Atlanta. We produce the "Black Man-O-logues" series which explores love from a black male's perspective. 

Another of our popular pieces is "TRAFFIK: Games GrownUps Play" which explores human trafficking. We just completed a run in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Both of the aforementioned pieces were selected for the DC Black Theatre Festival

"Black Man-O-logues" was selected for the Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC where I was also nominated for Best Actor in the entire festival. 

I am an Actor, Playwright, Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist, etc. You can find out more about me at or

I am the founder of SLAMHOUSE which is a competitive artistic experience where artists of all types in their respective crafts compete to be "Best of Atlanta". Our first pilot is October 19th. The full launch will occur at the top of 2014. DreamCatcher is currently one of the sponsors of Top Actor's Monologue Slam which will debut in November at the Bronze Lens Festival.

Michael Bradford's OLIVES AND BLOOD at Liminal Space 10/23 (London)

Michael Bradford's exciting new play is just 3 weeks away and we're all systems go!.. The cast and creatives met up today to get fitted up for costumes, see the set, meet our fabulous puppets and to hear the beautiful original score. Then we all settled down for a read through before getting this great new piece of work up on its feet! 

Michael Bradford
The play delves into the mystery surrounding the assassination of one of Spain's greatest playwrights Federico Garcia Lorca. (Blood Wedding, the House of Bernarda Alba) It's 1936 and the start of the Spanish Civil War and in the dead of night Lorca was taken up into the Spanish hills. No body was ever found. But somebody must know something. 

The play runs from the 23rd of October to the 10th of November at a wonderful new theatre space Brixton East which Liminal Space found last year and fell in love with. It's a beautiful converted factory just up the road from Brixton Tube station and is the perfect setting for this play. 

As supporters of Liminal Space's previous work I hope you'll be able to come along and see the show. Tickets are currently on sale and we're offering a special deal on all tickets for the Wednesday shows - All tickets are just £5! BOOK NOW 

Prav MJ
From the 23rd - 25th of October the playwright Michael Bradford will be doing a Q&A session with the play's director Prav MJ and throughout the run we are also inviting Spanish artists, dancers, actors and musicians to perform with us to make each and every night a night to remember. Check out the website for more details. 

I'll be there at rehearsals taking lots of photographs so make sure you check our website or come and follow us on Facebook to see the team in action and to be kept updated with all that's going on. The full cast and creative team is now live on the site so you can go and see exactly who's involved. 

Looking forward to seeing you all there, 
Kathryn Gardner 
Katalyst PR 
@ katalystPR