Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY

Blackboard Plays presented a workshop reading of Camille Darby's Queen Nanny, directed by Miranda D. Haymon, as part of the cell's Third Annual C-MORE Festival at the cell, 338 W. 23rd St. in Chelsea.

The cast featured Will Cobbs as Chris, Toni Ann DeNoble as Melanie and Brenda Denmark as Ida.

Synopsis: When Chris's estranged Jamaican mother Ida shows up on his Brooklyn doorstep after decades of being absent, secrets of the past and present surface forcing this troubled family to make life changing decisions.

Camille Darby (playwright) Born in Jamaica, Ms. Darby migrated to the Bronx at seven years old. She soon discovered that writing was the best way to adjust to American culture. Her first play Mother, May I? written as a high school student at DeWitt Clinton, drew the attention of playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Wasserstein mentored the budding playwright who went on to study theatre at Sarah Lawrence College (B.A. 2005) and earned an M.F.A in Dramatic Writing from New York University's, Tisch (2007). Camille's plays include They Call Her Immortal (HomeBase Theatre Festival 2017), FREE (48 Hours in Harlem Festival 2016), Queen Nanny (New York Stage & Film 2015), The White Peacock (Classical Theatre of Harlem 2012), Exodus (Fire This Time Festival 2011). Ms. Darby is the recipient of the BRIO playwriting award for her full-length play (2008). The play earned a workshop production presented at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (2013). Ms. Darby is a 2016 Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Juilliard School Finalist, 2015 Playwrights Center Jerome Many Voices Fellowship Finalist and a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow.

Blackboard Plays (Artistic Director Garlia Cornelia, Co-Curator Ayo Oneké Cummings) is devoted to Black playwrights throughout the African Diaspora. Since 2008, Blackboard has presented readings every second Monday of the month at the cell, their home in Chelsea where they have been incubated as a resident series.

the cell (Founding Artistic Director Nancy Manocherian, Artistic Director Kira Simring) has partnered with Liberation Theatre Company and Blackboard Plays to produce five new play readings as a part of the cell's annual C-MORE Festival.

The remaining readings presented by Liberation Theatre Company include From Out Beyond My Shame by Shawn Nabors, directed by Christopher Burris on March 23rd at 7:30PM; Restless Native by Germaine Auguste Netzband, directed by Kim Brockington March 25th at 2:30PM; and Quarters, Halves, and the Whole by Nathaniel Blake Johnson, directed by Paul Edwards on March 28th at 7:30PM. These readings are a culmination of the work done through Liberation Theatre's Writing Residency Program. Tickets for these events are free. To reserve seats and more information go to www.thecelltheatre.org.

Since it's inception in 2016, the C-MORE festival has provided playwrights and theatremakers the opportunity to Create MORE work that gives visibility to underrepresented narratives. This year, the cell has granted two companies that have been making immense strides in telling these stories, funding and materials to present their work. Past C-MORE presentations have included a workshop production of The Year of the Bicycle by Joanna Evans, In the Southern Breeze by Jireh Breon Holder, Shoppin' for N.I.G.G.A.S by Garlia Cornelia, The Marks You Leave by Tyler Andrew Jones, Lovely Send Anywhere by Douglas J.Cohen, and Lambs to Slaughter by Khalil Kain.

the cell (Founding Artistic Director Nancy Manocherian and Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works by emerging artists. Founded in 2006, the cell has produced over a dozen critically acclaimed world premiere productions of new plays and musicals over the past 10 years including Sam's Room, Bastard Jones, Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical and more. The cell also features the jazz @ the cell series and has served as a home base for a large community of resident artists and organizations such as Blackboard Reading Series, Artists Without Walls (AWOW), Irish American Writers and Artists (AWOW), Sybarite5, Tribeca New Music, and New York Theatre Barn.

Liberation Theatre Company (Founder and Producing Artistic Director Sandra A. Daley, Associate Producers Spencer Scott Barros and Bernard J. Tarver) is a home for creative emerging black playwrights, providing resources to develop their work, nurturing and inviting them to express themselves in a supportive and focused environment. LTC brings together actors, directors, and playwrights to allow playwrights the room to learn and grow, culminating in their finest work, ready for production.

Photo Credit: Lia Chang

Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY
Playwright Camille Darby

Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY
Playwright Camille Darby

Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY
Brenda Denmark, Will Cobbs, Toni Ann DeNoble, Playwright Camille Darby

Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY
Bernard J. Tarver, Brenda Denmark, Will Cobbs, Toni Ann DeNoble

Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY
Standing: Bernard J. Tarver, Garlia Cornelia Jones-Ly, Kira Simring, Ayo Oneke Cummings, Brian Reager, Miranda Haymon. Seated: Castmembers Brenda Denmark, Will Cobbs and Toni Ann DeNoble

Photo Flash: Will Cobbs, Brenda Denmark And Toni Ann DeNoble In Camille Darby's QUEEN NANNY
Will Cobbs, Lia Chang, Playwright Camille Darby. Photo by Garlia Cornelia



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