FRIGID New York Will Present 14th Annual The Fire This Time Festival in January 2023

The festival will run January 16-29, 2023. 

By: Nov. 07, 2022

FRIGID New York Will Present 14th Annual The Fire This Time Festival in January 2023

FRIGID New York will present the 14th Annual The Fire This Time Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003), January 16-29, 2023.

The Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival is dedicated to supporting early career playwrights of African and African-American descent. The 2023 festival will feature the Ten-Minute Play Program along with a kickoff panel discussion and staged readings of full-length plays. Playwrights Cris Eli Blak (Emerging Playwrights Fellowship with The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre), Phillip Gregory Burke (semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting Fellowship), Zachariah Ezer (Address the Body! with Echo Theater Company), Andrea Frierson (two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee), kl (Clubbed Thumb 2022-2023 Early-Career Writers' Group), Steve Harper (Co-Executive Producer for the CW series Stargirl), and Goldie E. Patrick (Breath of Life: A Choreoplay of Black Love" in EST's 38th Marathon of One-Act Plays) will premiere their ten-minute plays as part of the 14th Annual The Fire This Time Festival. Goldie E. Patrick, who is one of the seven featured playwrights, will also direct the Ten-Minute Play Program.

The themes of the plays include an examination of the psychological toll the social justice and hashtag movement has on young Black girls; teens from different backgrounds finding common ground; the documented effects of bias in technology and artificial intelligence against Black women; the cost that Black men pay for not living up to societal expectations of masculinity that is imposed upon them; the debate surrounding music artists taking opportunities away from legitimate actors in the film industry; a couple who are both accomplished concert artists try to balance their relationship and careers in 1970s; and, young adults working in retail in the midwest during the 1980s.

Full programming for the festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tuff by Cris Eli Blak

College fraternity brothers Coach and Goose meet at a bar on the one year anniversary of the passing of Coach's teenage son, who was a student athlete. The conversation quickly turns to one of accountability, reflection, and shame when Goose implies that the death may have been caused by Coach's impossible parental expectations and problematic feelings on the necessity of masculinity when it comes to Black men.

Cris Eli Blak is an emerging Black playwright whose work has garnered him recognition from The Negro Ensemble Company, Kairos Italy Theater, Austin Film Festival, Barrington Stage Company, TEDxBroadway, and Ignition Arts. He is currently the recipient of the Emerging Playwrights Fellowship from The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre and was a resident playwright with Fosters Theatrical Artists Residency, Paterson Performing Arts Development Council and La Lengua Teatro en Español/AlterTheater Ensemble; the recipient of the Michael Bradford Residency from Quick Silver Theatre Company; and was in the inaugural class of fellows for the Black Theatre Coalition. He continues to strive to create work that reflects the world that we live in, with all of its different and diverse colors, creeds and cultures.

He's the First by Phillip Gregory Burke

A random encounter at a library leaves two complete yet curious strangers from different academic worlds the chance to explore their similarities or judge their books by their covers.

American born and classically trained in The United Kingdom of Great Britain, Phillip Gregory Burke's writing chronicles the sociology of the African Diaspora. His saga, "The Suncatchers of Sahel: An Ancestral Tale Told to Today's Griot, Part I: The Crumble Under The Crescent" (Princess Grace Award in Playwriting Fellowship semi-finalist), is the genesis of an epic six cycle play. The second play, "The Suncatchers of Sahel: An Ancestral Tale Told to Today's Griot, Part Two: The Two Twilights," was developed during his residency with The Civilians R&D Group. The third play, "A Holy Her," was recorded with The Parsnip Ship and was a semi-finalist for the Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship Award. Education & Training: MA Classical and Contemporary Text: Acting-The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. BFA Drama & BS Sociology from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs-Syracuse University; Shakespeare's Globe Education-London; The Alexander Gibson School of Opera-Glasgow. Memberships & Residencies: Actors' Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, The New York SAG-AFTRA Film Society, Latinx Playwrights Circle, 2021-2022 Civilians R&D Member, No Gate Theatre Lab, Space Jam Roundabout Theatre Company Residency. His entire body of work is dedicated to the memory of the legendary Sally Ann Jones who made his entire existence possible.

Black Women in Tech by Zachariah Ezer

Two Black women struggle to be seen by each other and the racist smart home they are trapped inside of.

Zachariah Ezer is a playwright whose work animates theoretical quandaries through dramaturgical forms. His plays include "The Freedom Industry" (The Playwrights Center, New York Stage & Film), "Address the Body!" (The University of Texas at Austin, The Echo Theater Company), and "An Unclear World" (Hi-ARTS), among others. Selected awards include The University of Texas' James A. Michener Fellowship, The Playwrights Center's Core Apprenticeship, Hi-ARTS' Critical Breaks Residency, Echo Theater Company's National Young Playwrights Residency, Town Stages' Sokoloff Arts Creative Fellowship, BUFU's EYEDREAM Residency, Wesleyan University's Olin Fellowship, and Best Play at The Woodside Players of Queens Summer Play Festival. His plays have been published by Concord Theatricals/Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, American Blues Theater, New World Theatre, some scripts literary magazine, and Fleas on the Dog. MFA: The University of Texas at Austin (Class of 2023). BA: Wesleyan University.

Houston by Andrea Frierson

It's 1971. Alexander and his wife Shirley, attractive, award-winning concert artists ostensibly headed to Houston, Texas, somehow end up on a rural southern farm in Alabama, causing questions to arise about emotional distance, physical proximity, and authentic partnership.

Two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, Andrea Frierson has performed leading roles on Broadway in: "The Lion King," the original Broadway productions of "Once on This Island," Bring in 'Da Noise/Bring in 'Da Funk," "For Colored Girls," "Marie Christine," and Julie Taymor's "Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass," both at Lincoln Center Theater. Andrea was the author and star of "Me & Ella," which ran at the York Theatre in New York City in 2017. Television appearances include: Quantico", "Pose", "Red Oaks", "Elementary", and the new Amy Poehler & Tracy Oliver series, "Harlem", streaming now on Amazon Prime. Andrea is a Dramatist Guild Fellow, a Library of Congress award-winner (ethnographic research), and a graduate of the Academy for Classical Acting's MFA program. She is currently writing a book about growing up in the classical music world.

For the Dark-Skinned Movie Going People of the World by Steve Harper

Jasmine, a 20 something singer, goes undercover, posing as a maid to confront Karl, a filmmaker, in the hopes of convincing him to hire her. She engages him in a spirited debate about trends in black film casting and what makes a good actor in the hopes of impressing the stoic by-the-book director. For the Dark-Skinned Movie Going People of the World is an incisive comic drama about the serious business of creating art for the masses.

Steve Harper was born in Brooklyn and currently lives in Los Angeles. Full-length plays include: Snow, Black Lives / Blue Lives [with Bill Mesce, Jr.] (The Theater Project, NJ), Urban Rabbit Chronicles (Georgia Southern University), Princeton Theory, and Almost. Readings / workshops: Classical Theatre of Harlem, Vivid Stage, Northwestern, NY Stage & Film. TV: Co-Executive Producer for the CW series Stargirl. He wrote for God Friended Me, Tell Me Your Secrets and American Crime. Web series: SEND ME (2016 Emmy Nomination for Tracie Thoms - Now on YouTube). Steve has appeared on TV, film, theater, commercials and voice overs. His anthology A Few Short Plays to Save the World is out now. Awards: Artistic Achievement Award from the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, the Millennium Telly Award, a MacDowell / NEA Fellowship. Education: Yale, the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard and the Juilliard playwriting program. Twitter: @harpercreates and @yourcreatvlife.

Tower by kl

At a small outpost of Tower Records, tickets are about to go on sale for the upcoming Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain tour. The Tower employees are all ready to open the store, welcome the crowd, and sell tickets, but their manager and the tickets themselves are nowhere to be found.

kl is a Black queer playwright and memoirist from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, now based in Brooklyn. Their play "On Either Side of All the Late Unpleasantness" will receive a workshop production from Possibilities Theatre Company in Chicago this autumn, and they are a member of the Clubbed Thumb 2022-2023 Early-Career Writers' Group. They are an alum of Fresh Ground Pepper's Playground Play Group (2021), HBMG Foundation's National Winter Playwrights Retreat (2020), and the Sewanee Writers' Conference (Tennessee Williams Scholar in Playwriting, 2019). Their work has been developed with/presented by The Black Box Project NYC, The Starfruit Project, The Playground Experiment, Possibilities Theatre Company, Strange Trace Opera Company, and Washington University in St. Louis. She is an affiliated artist with Art Rat Theatre Company's devised theatre project, Fossil. B.A.: Washington University in St. Louis.

#Lakeisha Jefferson by Goldie E. Patrick

In the thick of the Black Lives Matter movement young LaKeisha Jefferson has discovered what she wants to be when she grows up...a hashtag. This chilling 10-minute play throws the complex reality of trying to grow up young, Black, and girl in a world that is determined to hunt you. Her family tries to explain to her the danger of her desire, but can't make sense of their explanation; because, in this world, her wish may make sense?

Goldie E Patrick is a playwright, director, and cultural worker who believes theatre-making and writing to be her tools toward liberation. Motivated to highlight stories that celebrate the dual humanity and divinity of Black people and Black life, Goldie has built community in her hometown of Detroit, MI, parts of West and South Africa and in Washington DC; where she created and ran a grassroots theater company for Black womxn and girls. A graduate of Howard University, Goldie has spent years in the Hip Hop theatre community as a professor, curator, and playwright. Current residencies include New Federal Theatre, 651 Arts, and Kennedy Center's culture caucus. Past opportunities include Hi-Arts "critical breaks", National Black Theatre Soul Series Micro Development Session, and APAP Emerging Artist Residency. Works include, HERstory Love Forever Hip Hop, "Name Calling", "Surrender", "Vote like a Black woman," "Breath of Life." Goldie's play "Breath of Life: A Choreoplay of Black Love" was presented in Ensemble Studio Theatre' 38th Marathon of One-Act Plays. Goldie recently directed "From the Mississippi Delta" at Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut.

The Fire This Time Festival was founded in 2009 by Kelley Girod to provide a platform for playwrights of African and African-American descent to write and produce evocative material for diverse audiences. Since the debut of the first 10-minute play program in 2010, presented in collaboration with FRIGID New York, The Fire This Time Festival has has produced and developed the work of more than 80 playwrights including Katori Hall, Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Antoinette Nwandu, Jocelyn Bioh, korde arrington tuttle, Stacey Rose, Aziza Barnes, C.A. Johnson, Kevin R. Free, Charly Evon Simpson, Angelica Cheri, James Anthony Tyler, Jordan Cooper and Nathan Yungerberg.

The Fire This Time Festival recently collaborated with Center Theatre Group and Watts Village Theater Company to launch the initiative "It's Not A Moment, But A Movement" to amplify Black artists through three virtual events that pair playwrights, visual artists and musicians. The initiative recently included a new play commission for six Black women and non-binary playwrights, among them are TFTT alumni Cynthia G. Robinson, Aziza Barnes, and Roger Q. Mason.

The Fire This Time's first anthology, "25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Rebirth, and Black Theater" edited by Kelley Girod was released by Bloomsbury Publishing in February 2022. The anthology includes plays by Dominique Morisseau, Charly Evon Simpson, Angelica Cheri, Derek Lee McPhatter, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, Tracey Conyer Lee and others.

FRIGID New York's mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work without limit to content, form, or style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and seven annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater.



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