NYC Black Theater Network, Walk Tall Girl Productions/Black Theater Online, Vineyard Theatre Present BLACK PLAYWRIGHTS: THEY SPEAK, WHO LISTENS

Today ChiChi Anyanwu of the NYC Black Theater Network, Marcia Pendelton, President of Walk Tall Girl Productions/Black Theater Online, and the award-winning Vineyard Theatre announced BLACK PLAYWRIGHTS: THEY SPEAK. WHO LISTENS? A Black Theater Fall Preview: Off Broadway Edition. The event is scheduled at Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th Street) on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Four-time Tony Award-winning producer Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Porgy & Bess, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Jitney) will host the program whose purpose is to bring attention to the unprecedented number of plays by black playwrights being produced Off-Broadway this season.

Several theater companies will come together for an evening of conversation, commentary and performance from playwrights, actors, and other artistic personnel. The plays showcased as part of the black theater fall preview will include:

Fireflies by Donja R. Love
Directed by Saheem Ali
Atlantic Theater Company | September 25 - November 11

Travisville by William Jackson Harper
Directed by Steven H. Broadnax III
Ensemble Studio Theatre | October 3 - 28

Good Grief by Ngozi Anyanwu
Directed by Awoye Timpo
Vineyard Theatre | October 11 - November 18

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn BiohDirected by Rebecca Taichman
MCC Theater at The Lucille Lortel Theatre | October 16 - November 25

Dot by Colman Domingo
Directed by Kenny Leon
The Billie Holiday Theatre | October 20 - November 18

Eve's Song by Patricia Ione Lloyd
Directed by Jo Bonney
The Public Theater | October 21 - December 2

HYPEMAN: a break beat play by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Kristan Seemel & Niegel Smith
The Flea Theater | November 10 - December 10

What to Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris
Directed by Whitney White
Movement Theatre Company | November 19 - December 30

Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Signature Theatre | November 19 - December 30

Slave Play by Jeremy Harris
Directed by Robert O'Hara
New York Theatre Workshop | November 19 - December 30

Christmas Carol In Harlem by Shawn Rene Graham
Directed by Steven H. Broadnax III
Classical Theatre of Harlem | November 25 - December 8

(Participants and program subject to change)

The fall preview's title "Black Playwrights: They Speak, Who Listens?" is based on an article written about Black women playwrights by Dr. Barbara Molette, the late playwright, actress, director, scholar,educator and author whose career spanned over five decades. The article, published in 1973 for "Overtures: A Black Theater Annual, 10th Anniversary Edition," was presented in conjunction with the annual AUDELCO Awards (Audience Development Committee). Based in New York City, the AUDELCO Awards honor excellence in black theater.

Black Playwrights: They Speak, Who Listens? A Black Theater Fall Preview: Off Broadway Edition is free. Seating is limited. RSVPs are required. For reservations visit: https://walktallgirlproductions.formstack.com/forms/black_theater_fall_preview_2018

#BlkTheaterFallPreview | #BlkTheater2018 | #BlkTheaterNYC

WHO'S WHO

ChiChi Anyanwu (NYC Black Theatre Network) ChiChi Anyanwu is the founder of the popular social media resource group NYC Black Theatre Network with over 16,000 members and growing. She started off her career working behind the scenes in the world of casting with the Kuntu Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, New Black Fest, ABC/Sony Television, Summer Stage and indie films. She is currently a talent manager at the Cooper Company and a co-producer on the Now Africa: Playwrights Festival. Follow Now Africa on Twitter and Instagram @NowAfricaFest.

Marcia Pendelton is the founder and president of Walk Tall Girl Productions/Black Theater Online. The company, founded in 2000, is a New York-based boutique marketing, audience development and group sales agency for the performing arts, with a special emphasis placed on the theater.The company has provided its expertise in creating diverse audiences for over 25 Broadway shows including the Tony winning productions of Jitney, Fences, and FELA! and numerous Off-Broadway for productions for clients such as The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, and many more. Follow the company on Twitter: @blktheatronline and Instagram: @walktallgirl.

Vineyard Theatre (Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern, Artistic Directors; Suzanne Appel, Managing Director)

Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals by both emerging and established artists. The theater is committed to creating an artistic home for daring and diverse artists and to nurturing their unique voices. For over 35 years the company has sought to produce work that challenges all of us to see ourselves and our world in new ways, and that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do.

The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works; most recently, the world-premiere of David Cale's HARRY CLARKE, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Billy Crudup, which played a sold-out extended run, won a Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, Off Broadway Alliance and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was released as an audio play on Audible; Jordan Harrison's THE AMATEURS, directed by Oliver Butler; and THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE by John Kander and David Thompson, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The Vineyard has also premiered Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's INDECENT, which transferred to Broadway last season, winning two Tony Awards; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Pulitzer Prize finalist GLORIA; DOT by Colman Domingo; Nicky Silver's THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Paula Vogel's HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Lanie Robertson's LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL, Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!; Becky Mode's FULLY COMMITTED; Jenny Schwartz' GOD'S EAR; Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN; Michael Mayer and Peter Lerman's BROOKLYNITE, and many more. The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Susan Stroman Directing Award recognize and support emerging artists with tailored residencies. In addition, the company's education programs serve hundreds of New York City public high school students annually, culminating in the Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with Developing Artists. Vineyard Theatre has been honored with special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for its contribution to the theatre.

Ron Simons is a four-time Tony Award-winning producer, four-time Sundance Film Festival selected producer and actor of stage, film and television. He is the Founder and CEO of SimonSays Entertainment. Simons recently won his 4th Tony Award for the August Wilson hit Broadway show Jitney, under the category "Best Revival of a Play," making him the highest African-American Tony Award winning producer of all time, and cementing him as the leading Broadway producer working today bringing diversity to the stage.

As CEO/President of SimonSays Entertainment, Ron Simons leads the strategic planning and development of theatre and film projects including the critically acclaimed films Night Catches Us, Gun Hill Road, Blue Caprice and Mother of George (all of which premiered at Sundance). His first documentary 25 to Life premiered at the American Black Film Festival where it won Best Documentary. He also produced the Broadway productions of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award for Best Musical), Porgy & Bess (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk, New Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play), and A Streetcar Named Desire (AEA's Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award). Off-Broadway projects include Turn Me Loose, Bedlam's St. Joan and Bedlam's Hamlet Awards (Off Broadway Alliance Award - Best Revival (for Saint Joan) and the Chicago production of 5 Lesbians Eating Quiche which received the FringeNYC Outstanding Production Award. He most recently received the Emerging Producer Award at the 2017 National Black Theatre Festival Opening Gala.

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