Monday, October 19
FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.
In the tradition of Facing Our Truth: Short Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege and HANDS UP: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments, The New Black Fest (with guest curator, playwright Dominique Morisseau) commissioned five Black women playwrights to participate and dig deeper into the national conversation around Black womanhood and social perceptions of Black femininity, providing Black women a creative platform to personalize these issues. The playwrights include Jocelyn Bioh, Chisa Hutchinson, Lenelle Moise, Nikkole Salter, and Cori Thomas. Directed by Liesl Tommy.
Readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwrights, The New Black Fest’s dynamic Artistic Director Keith Josef Adkins.
Keith Josef Adkins (Artistic Director) is the artistic director of The New Black Fest, an organization dedicated to new and provocative playwriting, films and discussion from the African Diaspora. The New Black Fest recently commissioned Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege, HANDS UP: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments, and the newly-curated UN-TAMED: Hair Body Attitude—Short Plays by Black Women. Samuel French recently published Facing Our Truth in Spring 2015. As a playwright, his plays include The People Before The Park which will premiere at Premiere Stages in September 2015. His play Pitbulls received its world premiere Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Theater, NYC in November 2014. His play Safe House received its world premiere October 2014 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park with a subsequent production at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Winter 2015). His play The Last Saint on Sugar Hill received its New York City premiere in 2013 at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theater in NYC. Other plays include The Final Daze, The Dangerous and Sugar and Needles. Keith is a recent recipient of a 2015 Helen Merrill Mid-Career Playwright Award.
Jocelyn Bioh (Playwright) JOCELYN BIOH is a proud native New Yorker. As a playwright: African Americans (Southern Rep Ruby Prize Finalist 2011) Nollywood Dreams, FOUR, and the libretto for The Ladykiller’s Love Story currently in development with Hi-Arts NYC. B.A in English/Theatre from The Ohio State University, M.F.A in Theatre – Playwriting from Columbia University. Acting credits: Broadway: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Off Broadway: An Octoroon (Soho Rep) SEED (Classical Theater of Harlem) NEIGHBORS (The Public Theater) Regional: BootyCandy, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. TV: “Louie” (FX,) “One Life to Live” (ABC,) CoverGirl Spokesmodel (National Commerical/Print Ads.)
Chisa Hutchinson (Playwright) B.A. Vassar College; M.F.A NYU – Tisch School of the Arts) has happily presented her plays Dirt Rich, She Like Girls, This Is Not the Play, Sex on Sunday, Tunde’s Trumpet, The Subject, Mama’s Gonna Buy You, Somebody’s Daughter, Alondra Was Here and Dead & Breathing at such venues as the Lark Play Development Center, SummerStage, Atlantic Theater Company, Working Man’s Clothes Productions, the BE Company, Partial Comfort Productions, Mad Dog Theater Company, the Wild Project, Rattlestick Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, and the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts, a New York NeoFuturist and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group, and is currently a second-year member of New Dramatists. Chisa has won a GLAAD Award, the John Golden Award for Excellence in Playwriting, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Paul Green Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, and has been a finalist for the highly coveted PoNY Fellowship. A recent foray into screenwriting won her Best Narrative Short at the Sonoma International Film Festival. By day, Chisa writes copy for a retail company. To learn more, visit www.chisahutchinson.com.
Dominique Morisseau (Guest Curator) Playwright/Actress/Poet/Activist, is an alumni of the Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop. Credits include: Skeleton Crew (Sundance; Lark Barebones); Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem/NBT); Sunset Baby (Gate Theater; LAByrinth Theatre); Follow Me To Nellie’s (O’Neill; Premiere Stages). She has produced other original works with the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Penn State University, American Theatre of Harlem and The New Group. Her 3-play cycle, entitled “The Detroit Projects” include Detroit ’67, Paradise Blue (developed with Voice and Vision, Hansberry Project, NYTW, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the Public Theater), and Skeleton Crew. Awards: Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, two-time NAACP Image Award, Primus Prize commendation, Stavis Playwriting Award, Spirit of Detroit Award, U of M Emerging Leader Award, Weissberger Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper New American Play Prize, The Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Award, and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama.
Lenelle Moïse (Playwright) Lenelle Moïse is the author of Haiti Glass (City Lights/ Sister Spit), an internationally-touring performer and a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow. Her two-act comedy Merit won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She also wrote, composed, and co-starred in the critically acclaimed drama Expatriate, which launched Off Broadway at the Culture Project. Lenelle was the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. For more info, visit: http://www.lenellemoise.com
Nikkole Salter (Playwright) OBIE Award-winning actress and writer for the Pulitzer Prize nominated play, IN THE CONTINUUM. Other plays include LINES IN THE DUST which received its world premiere at Luna Stage, CARNAVAL which received its NYC premiere at Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre in Harlem, REPAIRING A NATION which received a NJ premiere production at Crossroads Theatre Company and the co-authored FREEDOM RIDER received its world premiere at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Salter is a 2014 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, a two time Playwright’s of New York (PoNY) Fellowship nominee, is currently working on commissions from Woolly Mammoth, the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill, and was selected to write the screen adaptation of Claude Brown’s New York Times Bestselling novel, Manchild in the Promised Land. She also serves as Executive Director of THE CONTINUUM PROJECT, INC., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that creates innovative artistic programming for community empowerment and enrichment. Their first bi-annual endeavor, The Legacy Program: Residency – an arts education, youth development initiative – launched in 2009 at the William Alexander Middle School in Brooklyn, NY.
Cori Thomas (Playwright) Her plays include: When January Feels Like Summer (World Premiere City Theatre Co., Pittsburgh); Pa’ s Hat (Pillsbury House Theatre, MN); Flight 109, My Secret Language of Wishes (Various theaters and University productions including Mixed Blood, MN); The Princess, The Breast, and, The Lizard; The Unusual Love Life of Bedbugs and Other Creatures. Cori’s plays have been developed and produced at Sundance Theatre Lab, Goodman Theatre, City Theatre Co. (Pittsburgh), Page 73, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Playwrights Horizons, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Going To The River, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, National Black Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Passage Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, New Federal Theatre, New Georges, The Black Rep (St. Louis), The New Black Fest, and Queens Theatre in the Park. Awards and Honors: Edgerton New Play Award, Sundance Theatre Lab, and 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award for Best New Play (When January Feels Like Summer). Cori is a co- founder of The Pa’s Hat Foundation, Inc. an organization focused on helping the former child soldiers of Liberia heal after the long standing civil war through focus on arts education and literacy.