Join us for our virtual program of exciting new plays performed nightly and live-streamed to audiences' computers around the globe.
by BLBW Co-Founder Reginald Edmund
Directed by BLBW Co-Founder Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway
July 8-12, 2020
'Ride Share' follows an young African American Uber Driver as a series of events begins to threaten his very humanity. Accompanied by his dark rider, a specter passenger that steers him forward as he drives in the late night hours. As the trips get farther, the hours grow longer, and the clients more vile, will he finally surrender the wheel to his dark passenger
Reginald Edmund is currently the Founder and Managing Curating Producer for Black Lives Black Words International Project. Inspired by #BlackLivesMatter, this project gives voice to some of the most contemporary political black writers from both the US, Canada, and the UK, asking them to explore the question 'Do Black Lives Matter today?'. In addition, he is a Resident Playwright at Tamasha Theatre in London, England and an Alumni Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Pegasus Theatre-Chicago, and an Artistic Patriot at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, he was also a ‘10-‘11 Many Voice Fellow with the Playwrights’ Center. His play Southbridge was runner up for the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry and Rosa Parks National Playwriting Awards, and most recently named winner of the Southern Playwrights’ Competition, the Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play, and the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award.
By Chisa Hutchinson
Directed by Kyle Haden
July 22-26, 2020
Constance Daley is a well-off black woman who learns some unpleasant things about her husband and, more importantly, about herself, after a horrific car accident leaves him comatose.
Chisa Hutchinson (B.A. Vassar; M.F.A NYU) has presented plays at such venues as the Lark Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, the National Black Theatre, Second Stage Theater and Arch 468 in London. Her most recent play, a radio drama called Proof of Love, can be found on Audible. Chisa has been a member of New Dramatists, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. She’s won a GLAAD Award, a Lilly Award, a Helen Merrill Award, and the Lanford Wilson Award. She is currently premiering her film, The Subject (starring Jason Biggs and Aujanue Ellis), and working on another for Disney.
Malcolm X said, “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
This world does not make space for black women to celebrate the totality of who we are.
So THIS – this show, this theatrical event, this shared space, is about interrogating THAT.
Bending language and reinventing form and investigating the capacity of NOW
and testing digital theatre to speak into the fractals of change happening in this moment.
How does the national awakening intersect with the private moments of metamorphoses happening in quarantine? And what does all of that actually mean for black women?
Those being recognized for the first time, despite how much work they have always done without any recognition….
Those still doing the thankless work and still not getting any recognition…
This is the space,
and for, yet still more grappling
with the harsh reality and inconvenient truths –
that: to be a black woman in America is to reckon with how little respect and how little room our full grace and our full selves are ever given.
Anya Pearson is an award-winning actress/playwright/poet/producer/activist. A finalist for the 2020 George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship and the 2019 National Black Theatre’s I Am Soul Playwriting Residency. The World Premiere of Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, (2/2019) was called “not only a powerful lament, but a brave, epic and steadfast tale of rebirth,” by Willamette Week. “Pearson's creation exists in a completely different galaxy than most theatrical works.” She was the playwright-in-residence at Shaking The Tree Theatre for the ‘18/19 season. She received the $10,000 Problem Play Commission to adapt Measure for Measure (The Measure of Innocence, 3/2020). Her re-imaging of Agamemnon, The Killing Fields, is currently being further developed at Seven Devils Playwriting Conference.
By Dominic Taylor
Directed by Jerrell Henderson
Aug. 24-30, 2020
CELL SURFACE is a play about making a play in Zoom about two amazing African-American scientists, Dr. E.E. Just and Dr. Roger Young. Ernest Everett Just was the first Black graduate of Dartmouth. His graduate assistant, while he was a professor at Howard University, was Dr. Roger Young. She was the first Black woman to get a Ph.D. in science from U Penn.
This play looks at two actors trying to show seven truncated years of a complex relationship. We look at the relationship of these historical figures, how we know them, and how we show them.
Dominic Taylor is a writer-director and scholar of African-American theater and whose work has been seen around the world. The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop have all commissioned him. His play, ’I Wish You Love’, premiered at Penumbra Theatre, and was produced at both The Kennedy Center and Hartford Stage. His published plays include ‘Hype Hero’, ‘Wedding Dance’, ‘Personal History’, and ‘Upcity Service(s)’. His essay “Don’t Call African American Theatre Black Theatre: It’s Like Calling a Dog a Cat” was published by the Massachusetts Review. Taylor is an alumnus member of New Dramatists. He received his bachelor's and master of fine arts degree from Brown University and is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Dramatists Guild. He is the Interim Chair of Theater at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
by Idris Goodwin
Sept. 16-20, 2020
Idris Goodwin is a multidisciplinary arts leader and creative community builder. Across two decades he’s forged a multi-faceted career as an award-winning playwright, Break Beat poet, director, educator, and organizer. He is the new Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.
by Katrina D. RiChard
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Oct. 12-17, 2020
A modern day Afro-Centric adaptation of Euripides' "The Suppliants"
Katrina D. RiChard is a theater artist that has performed on stages across the city of Chicago and the Chicagoland area as well as worked behind the scenes as a writer, producer, and director. Having been born and bred on the South Side of Chicago, the city continues to hold a special place in her heart and one of the primary places she writes about in her plays. Katrina served Chicago Public Schools for over a decade teaching High School Social Science and uses her history background in her writing as well . She is currently working on her MFA in Dramatic Writing at the University of Southern California (USC) where she was recently awarded the Joan Beber Playwriting Award. Her mission is to illuminate marginalized voices, tell stories that have never been told before, and to tell classic stories with fresh perspective.
By Wole Oguntokun
Nov. 2-8th, 2020
David Oluwale was a Nigerian who stowed away on a ship bound to the UK from Lagos in 1949, when he was only 19. Nicknamed “Yankee” on account of his love for all things American, he fell on hard times after a while and soon came to be an inmate of Armley Prison as well as the secure ward of a mental hospital. In 1968 while living in the shop fronts of the high streets of Leeds, he became the frequent target of two senior police officers who took pleasure in making his life a physical, mental and emotional misery. They would beat him, urinate on him, and sometimes forcefully evict him from the city limits. One day, his body was pulled out of the River Aire in Leeds. A young police officer testified against his senior colleagues on the systematic dehumanisation of David and the two were convicted on a series of assaults on the mentally-ill Oluwale. Manslaughter charges were dismissed on account of a lack of direct evidence and we will never be sure if the pair were the uniformed men observed chasing a black man down the bank of the River Aire a week before his body was found. Based on a True Story.
Wole Oguntokun is a Nigerian playwright, stage and film director, as well as a theatre administrator and newspaper columnist. Wole has produced and directed plays by many of Nigeria’s best-known playwrights including Soyinka’s (Kongi’s Harvest, Madmen & Specialists, The Lion and the Jewel, The Swamp Dwellers, Death and the King’s Horseman, The Strong Breed, Childe Internationale, Camwood on the Leaves, The Jero Plays); Osofisan’s Morountodun, Once Upon Four Robbers, The Engagement, The Inspector and the Hero; Professor Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame; Zulu Sofola’s King Emene, Wedlock of the Gods, Wizard of Law, as well as Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Banzi is Dead.
Oguntokun was official consultant to the British Council/Lagos and the crew of the National Theatre in London for the purpose of that National Theatre’s production of Wole Soyinka’s play Death and the King’s Horseman in April and May 2009.