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Antoinette Ellis-Williams And Mary E. Weems Take Top Honors At DUAF

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The festival had a three - week special engagement with free performances for the vaccinated from June 10 to June 26.

Antoinette Ellis-Williams And Mary E. Weems Take Top Honors At DUAF

Downtown Urban Arts Festival has announced the honored plays from its 19th season including Antoinette Ellis-Williams, won Best Play for her solo performance of Scarf Diaries. Mary E. Weems won Best Short Play for Slapped. The festival had a three - week special engagement with free performances for the vaccinated from June 10 to June 26 at The Playhouse Theater at Abrons Art Center in NYC.

The complete list of honored works include:

BEST PLAY

Winner - Scarf Diaries by Antoinette Ellis-Williams; Directed by Darrell Willis

Scarf Diaries is a one-woman play consisting of multi-ethnic intergenerational vignettes/monologues telling the stories of life. If scarves could tell our stories they would speak of these truths.

Featuring: Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Eyesha Marable, Kaiel Maynor, Patrice Sims, Honor Marable, Jonathan Lee, Andrew Darling.

Crew: Bill Lee (Technical Production Consultant), Dr. Maredia Warren (Musical Director/Pianist), Eyesha Marable (Choreographer), Sharon Graddy and Abi-Gayle Natasha Edgar, (Props & Costumes), Abi-Gayle Natasha Edgar (Make-Up Artist)

Che´ Williams (Production Assistant )

Second Place - The Loom by Sheila Duane

Third Place - Say Less by Juan M. Ramirez, Jr.

BEST SHORT PLAY

Winner - Slapped by Mary E. Weems; Directed by Ajene D. Washington

Slapped tells the story of a Black Lives Matter activist, whose parents are civil rights attorneys and an upper middle-class white woman. They get stuck in an elevator and have a conversation, which reveals how each feels about the state of racism in America.

Featuring: Kia Rush, Ilissa Jackson

Second Place - Choices by Allison Whittenberg

Third Place - Jailbird by Sheldon Shaw

AUDIENCE AWARD

Las Lolitas by Alano P. Baez ; Directed by DawN Crandell

Las Lolitas is a tale based in 1954 about a New York city factory worker, Lolita Lebron, who entered the United States Capitol building brandishing arms, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag, shouted "Que Viva Puerto Rico libre!" and began firing. In 2001, a young Puerto Rican woman travels on a NYC subway train headed for a mission to free her people.

Featuring: Iris A Morales, Grace Galu, Peter Hart, Omar Villegas, Chloe Burgos.

Antoinette Ellis-Williams is Chair and Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at New Jersey City University where she teaches: Women, Hip Hop Spoken Word & Social Change; Women & Leadership; Race, Class, Gender.

Mary E. Weems is a poet, playwright, scholar, and author of fourteen books. Weems' plays have been produced and/or published since 1997 including Closure, Crack the Door for some Air, At Last: Celebrating the Lives of Black Women, Hats, and Hey Siri. Weems was awarded a 2015 Cleveland Arts Prize for her full-length drama MEAT. Weems has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

More info about the Downtown Urban Arts Festival, go to duafnyc.com.


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