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Strand Theater & Two Strikes Announce BROWN SUGAR BAKE-OFF: A BLACK WOMXN VIRTUAL PLAY FESTIVAL

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10-minute plays will be produced for the Oct. 17 festival.

Strand Theater & Two Strikes Announce BROWN SUGAR BAKE-OFF: A BLACK WOMXN VIRTUAL PLAY FESTIVAL

Two women-centric theaters in Baltimore have joined forces for a new festival that celebrates Black womxn voices. Strand Theater Company and the new Two Strikes Theatre Collective announce the ten plays that will be produced in the inaugural Brown Sugar Bake-Off: A Black Womxn Virtual Play Festival. The 10-minute plays that will be produced for the Oct. 17 festival are:

"Black in the Box" by Lisa Whittington (Powder Springs, GA)

"Each One, Teach One" by Naelis Ervin (Waldorf, MD)

"Georgia Rose" by Onyekachi Iwu (Garfield, NJ)

"How to Make Banana Pudding" by Faye McCray (Columbia, MD)

"My Voice" by Celeste Campbell (Stone Mountain, GA)

"Solving for Y" by Robin Turner (Norcross, GA)

"Tea Spilling" by Victoria Palmer (Washington, DC)

"Texturism: a Manageable Lie" by Lauren Davis (Sparks, MD)

"The Middle Pillar" by Boneza Valdez Hanchock (Woodbridge, VA)

"Waste of a Good Wig" by Lisa Hill-Corley (Fairfax, VA)

Black womxn Tristeza Duncan, Aladrian C. Wetzel, Des'ree Brown, Christen Cromwell and Shayla Simmons will direct the festival productions.

About the Festival: Inspired by Paula Vogel's Bake-Offs, the Brown Sugar Bake-Off is an artistic response to systemic racism and the intersectional nature of being a Black womxn. Playwrights who identify as Black womxn were invited to develop 10-minute plays that included five ingredients: A Black womxn protagonist, a wig, a gathering, a sign and brown sugar.

On Aug. 22, Two Strikes and Strand Theater hosted a free virtual writing workshop to teach playwriting basics to new and seasoned writers in preparation for the festival. "Supporting Black female-identifying voices is our primary mission in Two Strikes," said Christen Cromwell, director of play development who co-led the writing workshop. "The Brown Sugar Bake-off grew out of the need to prioritize our stories in a creative way and encourage new writers to develop their craft with a community of artists who look like them."

The Brown Sugar Bake-off received 42 play submissions from twelve different states nationwide. A panel of readers selected ten plays to be included in the October festival. Among the playwrights who submitted, several were first-time writers. "Receiving this kind of positive response is not only exciting, but incredibly encouraging," said Erin Riley, artistic director of Strand Theater Company. "It lets us know the work we are doing is not only necessary but a source of joy and opportunity for artists who deserve representation in our community."

Festival tickets are free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged to support the participating actors, playwrights and directors. The pre-recorded festival will be broadcast Saturday, Oct. 17, 7p.m. on the Strand Theater's YouTube page. A dedicated viewing link will be provided after ticket reservation at the following ticket link. A live interactive Q&A with the playwrights will follow the performances.



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