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Goodman Theatre Partners With Black Lives, Black Words For I AM...FEST In 2019

Black Lives, Black Words International Project is proud to officially launch the 'I AM... Fest', in partnership with Goodman Theatre. This first of its kind international festival, will shine a spotlight on the female voices from across the globe by placing them in the heart of Chicago's vibrant downtown Theatre District at the iconic Goodman Theatre-and culminates with a ten-minute play showcase, including the American premiere of 'The Interrogation of Sandra Bland,' a transcript of the Sandra Bland arrest, by Black British playwright Mojisola Adebayo, directed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and performed by 100 Women of Color.

Taking place on April 27- 29th, 2019, this new festival will introduce audiences to lesser known ground-breaking plays from some of the most exciting international Black female playwrights, offer a series of leadership development workshops, panel discussions with some of the most exciting and innovative creatives, and present an exclusive opportunity for young playwrights to enter our Black Lives, Black Words New Play Competition whereby select high school students can win the chance to have their works presented on the Goodman's Owen Theatre stage, directed by professional theatre directors and actors.

Leading up to the activity taking place at Goodman Theatre we will be offering an education program to local Chicago high schools which will include our internationally acclaimed 'Activism Through Art' writing workshop facilitated by the Founder of BLBW and award-winning playwright, Reginald Edmund.

For more information about the festival or to find out how to get involved, please contact Reginald Edmund at or visit

Reginald Edmund, Founder and Managing Curating Producer at Black Lives, Black Words, commented:

"The I AM...Fest is going to be historic. It will provide exciting artists from around the globe to engage and be a part of a social political movement. Through Black Lives, Black Words we are able to exercise our commitment to providing a platform for the voiceless, address social injustice and comfort, unite and uplift the community. We recognize that everyone's experience and narrative in the diaspora enriches us and deserves to be told on the smallest storefront theatre to the largest of our cultural institutions."

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Executive Director & Creative Producer at Black Lives, Black Words, commented:

"There is no better time to celebrate the talent, vision and leadership of women of color than NOW! The I AM Fest, unapologetically acknowledges that the shoulders that we all stand on, are from women and even more explicitly are from women of color. Through our I AM... fest we aim to increase the visibility of these women who not only connect us to our past, present and future but those who have used their art, voices, tenacity, agency and power to empower, educate, nurture and support their generation and the many generations that will come after them. The I AM fest holds up a mirror to the growing legacy of the women of color who continue the fight for equality, freedom and justice. Needless to say, I am completely thrilled about our partnership with The Goodman Theatre to produce this new and exciting program of work."

David W. Fox, Jr., Goodman Board Chairman commented:

"Goodman Theatre's collaboration with Black Lives, Black Words will be an important Civic event, and beyond the centerpiece of the main performance, the series of conversations, workshops and education components will bring perspective and opportunity for dialogue and new understanding. Through this collaboration, we will have the unique opportunity to shed light on voices that so often go unheard in the theater and share this experience with new audiences. We're thrilled to utilize Goodman Theatre's Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement Center as a venue for forums, workshops and panel discussions among community members, students and lifelong learners. "

Lester N. Coney (Civic Leader), Past Chairman and Life Trustee at The Goodman Theatre, commented:

"I am really thrilled the Goodman is collaborating with Black Lives Black Words "I AM" Festival. The Goodman's commitment to the community as a major cultural organization is exemplary - hosting this major event will illustrate the intersection of arts and activism to empower underrepresented communities, in particular, people of color and women. This is exactly the type of event that should be happening at our major cultural organizations."

Henry Wishcamper, Producer & Artistic Associate of The Goodman Theatre, commented:

"The Goodman is incredibly excited to partner with Black Lives, Black Words and to host their upcoming I Am... Fest. We are planning three days of remarkable performances, panel discussion and readings of new plays that reveal the depth, vitality and power of black writing across the globe. I am thrilled to share this work with the Goodman audience and welcome new people into our building."


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