AAPEX 300 Playwrights — DC Copeland , Jaz Dorsey , Owa , Petronia Paley — AAPEX

Friday, November 8, 2013

AAPEX 300 Playwrights

Please click image to enlarge.

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.

Please click to enlarge.
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. 

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