Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mother Courage and her Children opens Dec 9th (NYC)

To learn more please click here.
To buy tickets, please click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Save Funding for Black NYC Theatre

Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner

Edwin Torres, Acting Commissioner 
Cultural Institutions 

NYC Department of Cultural Affairs 
31 Chambers Street, 2nd Floor 
New York, NY 10007 

Dear_____________________: I am writing to urge the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs to reconsider/restore funding) of theatre’s Historic Black Theatre Organizations. My concerns focus on but are not limited to the drastic cuts in funding and/or de-funding of the Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre and the Roger Furman New Heritage Repertory Theatre Company. They bring awareness, education and entertainment to the Black Community and the City at large. National and international partnerships have promoted culture exchange through internship, performances, productions and special events. 

For these reasons I urge the Department of Cultural affairs to restore funding to these organizations that lay the groundwork for awareness, education, employment, community involvement, entertainment and more. 

Thank you for your attention to matter. 


(Your Name) 

Cc: Honorable Bill de Blasio 
Mayor of the City of New York 
City Hall 
New York, NY 10007

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THE 43rd Annual AUDELCO "VIV" Awards Monday, November 16th (NYC)

For more information about this year's awards in black theatre, please click here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Val Gray Ward's MY SOUL IS A WITNESS at Logan Center November 1st (Chicago)


Homecoming Performance 
Sunday, November 1, 2015 
 Logan Center 
Val Gray Ward

Actress, producer, cultural activist and internationally known theater personality Val Gray Ward headlines the one-woman show, “My Soul is a Witness,” for one night only in a dramatic homecoming performance Sunday, November 1, 2015. 

“My Soul is a Witness” will feature the works of James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Mari Evans, Richard Wright and other African American literary giants, 17 characters, music and love poetry. 

This special performance is presented by the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in partnership with the DuSable Museum of African American History. It will take place at 5:30 pm at the Logan Center, located at 915 E. 60th Street. General admission is $20/$10 students; $5 discount for groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased here or by calling 773-702-ARTS

Special guests are musical director and arranger Robert “Baabe” Irving and Emmy Award-winning vocalist Joan Collaso. Ward will be introduced by renowned poet Sonia Sanchez and welcomed home by Julieanna Richardson of The Historymakers

“Val Gray Ward has made major contributions to the cultural life of Chicago and America through her work as dramatist, founder and principal creative force behind the Kuumba Theatre,” said Bill Michel, executive director of the Logan Center. “We are delighted to welcome her back home to Chicago by sponsoring this special presentation.” 

Founded in 1968, Kuumba is one of the early African American theaters to come out of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago. Kiswahili for clean up, create, and build, the theater was dedicated to the revitalization of the black community through the arts. With Kuumba, Ward produced and directed such plays as The Amen Corner by James Baldwin, Welcome To Black River by Samm Art Williams, Five On The Black Hand Side by Charles Fuller and Sister Son/ji by Sonia Sanchez. Ward took the cast and crew of Useni Eugene Perkins' play, The Image Makers to Lagos Nigeria as part of the FESTAC '77, an international African arts festival. She also brought Kuumba's musical production, The Little Dreamer: The Life of Bessie Smith to Japan in 1981 and produced Buddy Butler's In The House of The Blues in Montreal, Canada. Kuumba also toured in cities such as Louisville, Atlanta, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Montreal, and Osaka, Japan. Ward and company received Emmy Awards for the PBS television production of Precious Memories: Strolling 47th Street in 1988. 

“I am absolutely delighted to return to Chicago where I have so many wonderful memories and so many amazing friends,” said Ward. “As we go into ourselves, we come to ourselves naturally.” 

When not producing, Ward performs one woman shows in the United States and abroad, including Harriet Tubman by Francis Ward, Sister Sonji by Sonia Sanchez and I Am A Black Woman which includes the poetry of Mari Evans. She also recorded a CD, “Rhapsody in Hughes” which was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Born Q. Valeria Gray on August 21, 1932 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, one of America's oldest all black towns, Ward showed an early interest in performance beginning at age four in her father’s church. In 1951, she moved to Chicago where she became active in Chicago's African American cultural community. She was a regular at the South Side Community Arts Center and the DuSable Museum of African American History as she developed friendships with Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Gwendolyn Brooks, Don L. Lee (Haki R. Madhubuti) and Abena Joan Brown. She was mentored by Dr. Burroughs, Margaret Walker and Hoyt Fuller. For 50 years Val Gray Ward has been married to journalist Francis Ward. She is the mother of five children, grandmother of five and great grandmother of eight children. She is the recipient of numerous awards; most recently she received the Benjamin Banneker Lifetime Achievement Award with her husband, Francis, in the Spoken Word category; the King Arts Complex “Legends & Legacies” Award in Columbus, OH, the DuSable Museum Lifetime Membership Award and the 100 Black Women Award. She has received the keys to the cities of Detroit, Osaka, Japan and Tuskegee, Alabama. She is most proud of the generosity of Ollye B. Shirley, a childhood friend who has given 38 acres to build a museum in her name in her hometown of Mound Bayou, Mississippi. 

In conjunction with “My Soul is a Witness,” at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, October 25th, DuSable Museum of African American History presents “Precious Memories: Strolling 47th Street,” a documentary film written by Francis Ward, which reenacts the days when 47th street was the entertainment hub of Black Chicago. Following the film there will be a Q & A with Val Gray Ward, the film’s director, and Precious Memories’ cast members. General Admission is $10; $5 DuSable members. DuSable Museum is located at 740 E. 56th Place. 

About the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts 
The Logan Center is a multidisciplinary home for the arts at the University of Chicago. Logan Center public programs include events, exhibitions, and performances from world-class, emerging, local, and student artists. Logan Center programs are made possible through the support of the Milken Institute, Michael and Patricia Klowden, the Reva and David Logan Foundation, and friends of the Logan Center, as well as partnerships with local and national arts organizations and performing artists. Visit to learn more. 

Kensey Communications
Barbara Kensey, 773-288-8776  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"In White America" opens tonight (NYC)

For more information, please click here.
To buy tickets, please click here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Marlon James wins 2015 Man Booker Prize

Author of A Brief History of Seven Killings – a fictional account of an attempt to take Bob Marley’s life – is the first Jamaican writer to win prestigious prize. To read more, please click here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

AAPEX's Favorite Playwright, Actor, and Director Petronia Paley Understudies for Cicely Tyson on Broadway's THE GIN GAME

Tony Award winners James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson will co-star in a Broadway revival of D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Gin Game, which will begin previews September 23rd at the Golden Theatre. To learn more about Ms. Paley, please click her name in the Label below. You can read more here:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Petronia Paley's All-Woman JULIUS CAESAR 6/8 (Harlem)

Please click image to enlarge.

Purchase tickets here.

World Premiere of Rain Pryor's FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES-- June 2nd - 28th (Harlem)

Please click image to enlarge.

New Federal Theatre and National Black Theatre presents the hilariously, irreverent and poignant “Fried Chicken & Latkes.” Directed by Kamilah Forbes, this is Rain Pryor's one woman theatrical, cabaret-styled show based on her life growing up Black and Jewish. Along the way she offers a unique perspective on race, identity and the loss of her iconic father Richard Pryor

Tickets On Sale Now June 2 - 28th

Purchase tickets here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Deaon Griffin-Pressley's FALSE BROTHERHOOD June 9th (NYC)

Please Click Image to Enlarge.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Steven Long's Black Panther play reading June 12th (Hyde Park)

I have had the distinct pleasure of researching a script that deals with Fred Hampton's relationship with Jeff Fort in 1968. How they were having discussions of a possible merger between the Blackstone Rangers and the Black Panthers. But whom would join who? It's a comedy/drama called JEFF FORT AND FRED HAMPTON: A REVOLUTIONARY LOVE STORY. It is an funny, honest look on race, politics and potential. This has been presented at the Classical Theatre of Harlem in NYC and the Dramatists Guild in NY. The Hyde Park Community Players has asked for the show to be presented there. We think there is probably no better place, because most of the discussions happened in the Hyde Park/Woodlawn area (where Jeff Fort lived). 
Steven Long

The reading will be June 12th at 8pm at 5500 S. Woodlawn Augustana Lutheran Church. There will be a $5 dollar donation at the door and light snacks will be provided. Also the reading will have a talk back with the surviving brother of Fred Hampton, Bill Hampton (presently on Hate Crime Commission for the Governor and recently elected Commissioner of Maywood Park District) and we are tentatively scheduled to have legendary attorney Flint Taylor (defended the Hampton family for wrongful death lawsuit against the city) to add his perspective to the script. 

Please RSVP by June 8th via email, and I hope to see you there. 

Steven Long

Monday, May 18, 2015

All-Female JULIUS CAESAR at Harlem Shakespeare Fest- June 8th (Harlem)

Please click image to enlarge.
For more information, please click here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jamal Williams' ELIZABETH'S PRECIOUS KITTY May 7th through 17th (NYC)

Please click to enlarge.
To learn more and to buy tickets, please click here.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Please click image to enlarge.

To learn more, please click here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Staged Reading Of A New Script in Chicago

Steven Long wrote a script called GANGSTAS, which is about a corporate street gang in Chicago and the importance of youth making right choices in bad neighborhoods. Part of his outreach has been with staffs of youth social service agencies, two of which are solidly behind supporting the script. One is GRIP Outreach for Youth and the other, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. It is important to note that both organizations said they see the benefits of the script to help at-risk youth. Mercy Home for Boys and Girls has agreed to host the reading in as the Gangstas script has been read and affirmed by key staff members who see it's accuracy and relevancy. Mentors from GRIP will be reading characters in the script such as Dr. Ulysses Burley who travels the world with the Lutheran Church on HIV/Social Justice issues, and Babatunde Oshinowo, a former Chicago Bear who is an active mentor at GRIP Youth Services. Alongside a host of young talented artists including Booker Vance, Kenwood Academy Senior and National Finalist in the August Wilson Monologue Competition. The reading will be at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, 1140 W Jackson, on the evening of Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 7pm. For more information regarding the script, please contact Steven Long at

Friday, April 17, 2015

Watch Nathan James as Brutus TONIGHT in Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR (Online live broadcast)

Marcus Brutus, played by Nathan James, argues with Cassius,
played by Vaughn Davis, in Penn State School of Theatre’s
outdoor production of William Shakespeare’s 'Julius Caesar.'
Please click image to enlarge.

Hello friend and supporter, 
Tonight, I will portray Brutus in Julius Caesar at Penn State University. Can't make it? No problem!!! It will be broadcasting live online at 7:30 from the link below.  

Thank you so much in advance for your support, and ENJOY THE SHOW! 

Nathan James

Exploring the cause... the words of Pinero

Mwalim DaPhunkeeProfessor includes the issues of today in his spoken word course, WORD! at UMass Dartmouth.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Flash Mob celebrates Gil Scott-Heron for Poetry Month

My WORD! Class Did a Flash Mob reading of three works by Gil Scott-Heron in honor of Poetry Month and the late bard's birthday (April 1).


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Shaun Neblett's "Homage5: Life After Death" reading April 13th (NYC)

"Homage 5: Life After Death" is the latest play that writer Shaun Neblett is finishing in his "7 Homages for 7 MCs" play cycle. The play pays homage to the second and final studio album by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Shaun is very excited to return to The Blackboard Reading Series for the debut reading of this play.
Please click here to buy tickets.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New art for D.C. Copeland's JITTERBUG!

New art for D.C. Copeland's Jitterbug! puts the "emphasis on the positive:" use of music in the dancical from the Great American Songbook by songwriters like Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, George & Ira Gershwin, and Chick Webb. Besides drawing attention to the music, it touches on the uniquely American collaboration of black and white creatives. To learn more, please visit the website. This is only a test.

Please click image to enlarge.

Friday, March 27, 2015

TodayTix: App for buying last minute Broadway theatre tickets at the best prices

Direct from Broadway.

Created by Broadway producers, TodayTix is an app for buying last-minute theater tickets at the best prices. Get tickets to any show in two taps, and we'll deliver them personally.

One stop shop.

Browse trailers and photos for the hottest Broadway and Off-Broadway shows this season. Take a peek at what's playing by clicking the text link above.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Clare Coss Book Signing Tuesday, March 31st (NYC)

In honor of the publication of the Clare Coss play 

Clare Coss and Woodie King Jr.

Please click to enlarge.
Kathleen Chalfant and Peter Jay Fernandez
in a 2013 staged reading p
resented by
Woodie King Jr.’s 
National Black Touring Circuit
at Castillo Theatre, NYC

What time? 5:00 – 7:00 PM 
Where? The Drama Book Shop, Inc
250 West 40th Street 
(btw 7th & 8th Avenues) 
New York, NY 10018 

RSVP by calling or emailing New Federal Theatre! 
(212) 353-1176 
Visit our Facebook page for more information!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Call for Plays by playwrights of color (March 31st deadline)

Theatre Nova deadline: March 31st 

Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor, Michigan is a brand new, 501C3 nonprofit theatre launching its first season this year. We focus on new works and most of our season is filled, but another part of our mission is to produce playwrights of color that write stories for actors of color in non-stereotypical roles. This means we do not want to read another play about segregation in the 1960's or another play about Cesar Chavez or another play about 911. We do NOT want actors of color playing drug dealers, criminals, terrorists or slaves. Consider ways in which we can present the experiences of people of color in a way that is universal and speaks about the human condition more than stereotypes or historical conflicts. LGBT characters are greatly appreciated as well.

For this particular submission, we are accepting full-length plays from writers of color (male or female) with strong, three dimensional roles for actors of color (though there can be white characters in the play as well). Think of Gina Rodriguez's golden globe speech "This award represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes." Because we are a new theatre, we can have no more than 5 characters in the cast. 

Please include in the body of the email: 
 -A Synopsis 
 -A Character Breakdown (include races and ages of characters) 
 -Set Requirements 
 -Brief Description of how this play promotes actors of color in a non-stereotypical manner. As an attachment 
 -20 page sample of script (any section that shows the best work) 
 -Full Script (both as separate attachments. 

Any submissions that do not follow the requirements above will be discarded. We will only respond if we are interested in pursuing your script. Please do not ask if we received your submission or send any other unsolicited follow through. Email all requirements to

Thanks to Aurin Squire for this info.

Call for plays from African American playwrights (April 1st deadline)

Deadline: April 1st 

The theme and subject matters of the work is open to the playwright's imagination. Scripts are open to African American playwrights across the U.S. Selected playwright finalists will be contacted no later than Friday, May 1, 2015. There is no fee to submit. 

Grand prize winner is chosen by audience vote and will be awarded a cash prize of $100.00. All selected plays will be performed in front of a live theater audience. 

To qualify for consideration, the scripts must conform to the following guidelines: Must be an original, unproduced, unpublished work written by an African American playwright. Must be at least 10 minutes long, but no longer than 10 minutes. (Generally 9-11 pages. | Industry standard - 1 page = 1 minute) Should accommodate a “bare-stage” set requiring only a minimum of removable stage props and require basic lighting and sound cues. 

To submit: Complete the script submissions form on website Email pdf of original work to: Email header should read: Submission: Fade to Black. Include your name and the name of the play. 

On the front page of your script include your name, contact information, title of the play as well as any character descriptions. Only three (3) scripts are allowed per playwright. 

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Thanks to Aurin Squirer for this info.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

20 Female Harlem Renaissance Writers You Should Know

Zora Neale Hurston
Worth a read.

Monday, February 16, 2015

For Colored Girls Is Back By Popular Demand Feb 27 thru Mar 1 (Philly)

First World Theatre Ensemble In association with Kaged Tiger Productions, once again brings alive through the direction of Zuhairah McGill a landmark in American theatre, Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" classic choreopoem illuminating the tales of women in all the shades of life’s experiences. 

Save 20% when you purchase your tickets in advance.

To purchase tickets, please click here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Two Plays You Don't Want To Miss This Sunday, Feb 15th (Harlem)

Please click image to enlarge.
Sunday, February 15th
Harlem Hospital's Cave Auditorium
506 Malcom X Blvd. @ 135th Street

Tickets: $20.00

Meet the Playwright: Nathan Ross Freeman, Monday, Feb 23rd (Nashville)

Nathan Ross Freeman

The African American Playwrights Exchange presents a reading of HANNAH ELIAS, conceived by Johnnie "Blue" Gardner and written by Nathan Ross Freeman. 

HANNAH ELIAS tells the true story of the scandal which swirled around the "enchantress" Hannah Elias ca. 1900 in New York City. The reading, directed by Franchesa Kirkpatrick, is the 35th event in the Metro Nashville Parks Theatre Department's New Play Reading Series. Free to the public, HANNAH ELIAS:The Reading, takes place at 7:00 pm, Monday, February 23 in the Centennial Black Box Theatre, Centennial Arts Activity Center, Centennial Park. Playwright Nathan Ross Freeman will be traveling to Nashville from Winston Salem for the reading of his play. Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Kinky Boots Tony Winner Billy Porter Will Be Kate in All-Male THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (DC)

Billy Porter

By Andrew Gans, Playbill
06 Feb 2015
Artistic director Michael Kahn has announced the 2015-16 season for Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company. One of the highlights will be an all-male production of Shakespeare's The Taming of Shrew. Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, the cast will be led by Tony-winning Kinky Boots star Billy Porter as Kate. In a statement Kahn said, “It is my goal to give fresh voices in directing an opportunity to tackle STC productions, and to bring the talent of those emerging artists to our stage. Ed is known for his epic, immersive performance-style productions, which I am pleased to share with our audiences with his examination of identity and gender roles.” To continue reading, please click here.

AAPEX Best New Book 2015 Award goes to Stewart F. Lane for his book, BLACK BROADWAY

BLACK BROADWAY has been designated the Top #1 Hot Release in PERFORMING ARTS books on

Friday, February 6, 2015

W. Tré Davis' ONLY 4U this Monday, 2-9 at Blackboard Reading Series (NYC)

NEXT Blackboard: MONDAY, February 9, 2015 7:30pm 
 the cell - 338 W. 23rd Street - New York, NY 10011 

 ONLY 4 U 
Written by W. Tré Davis 
 Directed by David Mendizábal

David is handling his break up like a champ; 
until he meets his ex for coffee. 
Only 4 You challenges our perception of real and unreal 
as David explores his capacity to grow, forgive, 
and love the person that matters most: himself. 

Donnell E. Smith 
Rocky Vega 
José Joaquin Pérez 
DaWoyne A. Hill

$10.00 Suggested Donation

Purchase tickets in advance here.

~wine served~ 
Reading followed by a 20 mintue talk-back 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Amiri Baraka's DUTCHMAN- Feb 5 thru March 8 (NYC)

Please click image to enlarge.

Ryan Jillian and Michael Alcide

Ryan Jillian                                   Michael Alcide

About the play: The title Dutchman is an allusion to The Dutch East India Company, the most renowned slave ship company of the 17th century, whose flagship for the voyages between West Africa and America, tradition says, was named Flying Dutchman. The literary legend is The Flying Dutchman in which the central character is ever in pursuit of prey that can never be caught. This production will include the music of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. Experimental, allegorical and angry, Dutchman is set on a New York City subway train, where Lula, a young white woman, strikes up a conversation with Clay, a young middle-class black man. As the play unspools, she goads him, with liberal righteousness, into releasing the anger that, as a black man, he must surely be harboring.

Please click here to purchase tickets.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NFT Launches Kickstarter campaign for Amiri Baraka's MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA

Amiri Baraka
Dear NFT friends & supporters, 

This is NFT's Kickstarter campaign for Amiri Baraka's Most Dangerous Man in America (W.E.B. DuBois). Please give it a look and help me by donating. The legacy of Amiri Baraka, who passed one year ago, January 9, is alive and vibrant on stages, in cafes and centers around the world, in the realm of social and traditional media and in the hearts of his family and friends. This month, some of his closest friends of New York City theatre are kick starting an effort to raise funds for the May production of the prolific writer-activist's last play, written in 2011: Most Dangerous Man in America (W.E.B. DuBois). Click the "Kickstarter" button below to see the selection of 200 gifts that we will be sending to all those we donate! 

Friday, January 23, 2015


2014 Fade to Black Play Festival participants

Script submissions will be accepted from Sunday, February 1, 2015 
until Wednesday, April 1, 2015. 

The theme and subject matters of the work is open to the playwright's imagination.

Local Houston directors and actors are encouraged to participate.

Selected playwrights will be contacted no later than Friday, May 1, 2015. 

There is no fee to submit. 

Winner will be awarded a cash prize of $100.00. 

To qualify for consideration, 
the scripts must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Must be an original, unpublished work written by an African American playwright. 
  • Must be no longer than 10 minutes. 
  • Should accommodate a “bare-stage” set requiring only a minimum of removable stage props and require basic lighting and sound cues. 

To submit: 

On the front page of your script include your name, contact information, title of the play as well as any character descriptions. 

Only three (3) scripts are allowed per playwright. 

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Building on the growing success and popularity of our previous years, WMGE, LLC presents its third season of “Fade To Black”, Houston's only short play festival celebrating the new works of African American playwrights.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Auditions for DC Black Theatre Festival (Washington, DC)

Don’t just stand there, become a part of History! 
DC Black Theatre Festival is looking for Actors in all skill levels!!! 

Don’t miss the chance to audition for 15 different playwrights, producers, directors, theatre groups who are all looking for you! This isn’t just a “Call for Actors” it’s a chance of a lifetime. So you have been dreaming about being on stage, this is opportunity you have been waiting for. One Audition, 15 chances… 

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2015 
Time: 11am – 3pm 
Location: THEARC Theatre 
1901 Mississippi Ave, SE 
Washington, DC 20032 

 Male and female actors of all ages. Please submit your headshot and resume to . Please state your preferred time slot between 11am and 3pm. We will make every attempt to schedule as close as possible to your requested time. It is highly recommended that you bring additional headshots and resumes along with you to your audition. 

The DC Drama Department is proud to announce the 6th DC Black Theatre Festival, a 10-days festival celebrating Washington, DC’s thriving theatre community. The DC Black Theatre Festival will bring together a wide array of local and national artists, writers, directors, producers, theatre companies and theatre lovers in what promises to be one of the city’s biggest self-producing black theatre projects ever. See our website for more details