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10th Annual FIRE THIS TIME FESTIVAL Features Cutting-Edge And Emerging Black Playwrights

OBIE award-winning The Fire This Time Festival (TFTT) announces today its 10th anniversary festival dates and the lineup of featured playwrights who comprise the centerpiece of the annual 10-minute play program and select readings of new full-length plays.

TFTT is presented in collaboration with Frigid New York. Tickets are $25 for the 10-minute play program directed by Kevin Free. Tickets are only $5 for full-length play readings featuring notable and up-and-coming actors.

The full schedule for the 10th annual The Fire This Time Festival -- a pipeline that has amplified the voices of early career, emerging and under-represented dramatists from the African diaspora, some of whom have received their first professional New York City production through the festival -- has been announced. The cornerstone event of the festival, which runs from January 21, 2019 through February 3, 2019, is a fully produced 10-minute play program featuring the debut of eight short plays by Kendra Augustin, Francisca Da Silveira, Adrienne Dawes, Samantha Godfrey, Garlia Cornelia Jones, Bernard Tarver, York Walker and Kezia Waters.

The 10-minute play cast, who will be portraying various roles throughout the program, includes Broadway performers Virginia Woodruff ("The Color Purple," "Violet," "Leap of Faith") and Dana Costello ("Finding Neverland," "Jekyll and Hyde," "Dave"). Also featured are Tia DeShazor ("Memphis," "Ragtime," "Sweeney Todd"), Phillip Gregory Burke ("Titus Andronicus"), Margaret Ivey ("Measure for Measure," "Mend," "The Niceties"), Jordan Bellow ("The Russian & the Jew," "Raisin In The Sun"), Cherrye Davis ("Trojan Women," "Manna-Hata: The Wonder City," "Hope Speaks"), and Carl Fisk ("You Wouldn't Expect," "Visionary Voices"). The 10-minute play program will feature scenic design by Caitlin Ayer, sound design by Luqman Brown, and lighting design by Sarah Livant.

Festival programming also includes a kickoff panel discussion, and full-length play readings by season 9 playwrights including The Bright Edges of the World, by Shelley Fort, Hedda (A Portrait of a Young Woman) by Sandra A. Daley-Sharif and "This Stretch of Montpelier," by TFTT's Executive Producer and founding playwright Kelley Girod -- which was presented at the 2018 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (PCTF) where it nominated for seven awards by the festival awards including Outstanding Production of a Play -- will receive a special one night only reading.

To amplify this year's festival, The Fire This Time Festival is pleased to announce its newest collaboration and partnership with ALL ARTS (presented by WNET, parent company of New York's PBS stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21). ALL ARTS is WLIW's new public media streaming platform and broadcast channel that offers access to all forms of creative expression from New York and around the world.

Schedule of Events

All events will be held at the Kraine Theater (85 E. 4th St., in New York City) unless otherwise noted. Tickets are available for purchase at

January 21, 2019 at 7pm

From Obama to Trump: The Fire This Time Festival and Ten Significant Years of Telling Black Stories

The Fire This Time Festival was founded in January of 2009, just after the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. The hope that the Black community felt was reflected in the wide diversity of stories on TFTT stage. But as art is a direct commentary on our society, TFTT has tracked some of the most pressing issues of our time through the lens of our insightful playwrights. From an epidemic of LGBTQ suicides, to the death of Trayvon Martin and the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement, to the present realities of gun violence, the necessity of active shooter training, and the urgency of protest under an administration concerned with rolling back the progress Blacks have gained, making Barack Obama's presidency a reality ten years ago.

Join us for an evening with TFTT playwrights -- including founding playwright and Executive Producer Kelley Girod, Jordan E. Cooper ("Ain't No Mo' at The Public Theater) and others -- from the past decade, as we look back on ten years of work from TFTT's journey through the excitement, heartbreaks, and urgency that we all collectively experienced both on the stage, and in real life.

Tuesday, January 22 at 7pm, $5

The Bright Edges of the World - A full length play reading

by Shelley Fort

On a roadtrip across America, Little and Big are tasked with one thing; they need to spread their mother's ashes. Along the way, they encounter family and friends, conjure memories and spirits. The play is full of wishes that will never come true. "The Bright Edges of the World" is an act of letting go.

Wednesday, January 23 at 7pm at Downtown Art, 70 E. 4th Street, $5

This Stretch of Montpelier - A full-length reading (encore) of the play nominated for 7 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards in 2018!

By Kelley Girod

Directed by Andrew Block

On a hot and humid summer day off a lonely stretch of road in Montpelier, Louisiana, the mud is red and mosquitoes circle their prey. Asphyxiated by the weight of the past, haunting memories and secrets bleed into the present. As darkness descends, isolated neighbors -- divided by property lines, race, class and tradition -- reckon with the truth and their uncertain fates as they look for refuge in surprising and unlikely places.

10th Annual 10-Minute Play Program

Directed by Kevin R. Free

Thursday, January 24; Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26th at 7pm, $25

Sisterhood in the Time of the Apocalypse by Kendra Augustin

Two estranged sisters refuse to let anything derail the opportunity to bond with each other -- including the impending apocalypse.

scholarship babies by Francisca Da Silveira

"scholarship babies" is a cutting examination of educational privilege, affirmative action and what it truly means to go from rags to riches in today's society.

RUN.HIDE.FIGHT by Adrienne Dawes

When a disgruntled employee disrupts an emergency preparedness drill, crisis actors Soloway and Linnea find themselves trapped in an all too real scenario of workplace violence.

C.O.G.S by Samantha Godfrey

A young Brooklynite attends a protest rally with her aunt, on a family visit to the "Peach State," but she soon learns how bitter democracy can be in the sweet ole South.

Snapshots by Garlia Cornelia Jones

"Snapshots" reveals the beginnings and endings in the life of one couple over seven years at various meals around the dinner table.

Just Another Saturday in the Park by Bernard Tarver

When two people meet in the park one morning, the past, present, and future of their neighborhood collide.

White Shoes by York Walker

Set in the world of "A Raisin In The Sun," "White Shoes" follows George Murchison as he tries to win back Beneatha's affections after their recent breakup.

Sister by Kezia Waters

A story muddy and rhythmic like the blues provides a window into the relationship between a mystic grandmother, haunted with memories, and her grandson's ambitions. Is love enough?

Sunday, January 27 at 3pm, $5

Hedda (A Portrait of a Young Woman) - A full-length play reading

by Sandra A. Daley-Sharif

Directed by Kira Simring

The eponymous "plain ol' crazy" hellcat of Ibsen's classic play is given a fresh reexamination from playwright Sandra A. Daley-Sharif through music, movement, dueling, and a greek chorus. Tackling emptiness, mental illness, and those flaky friends you used to have in college, "Hedda (a portrait of a young woman)" explores the price of freedom and the story of one woman's journey to find liberation within the confinements of her mind.

Monday, January 28 at 7pm, $5
Hero Complex - A Full length reading by William Watkins

On a dark, stormy night in New York City, a young psychiatrist is taken hostage by a sword wielding vigilante who demands to be cured of his sudden aversion to executing criminals. In order for the Doctor to survive, he must help the Avenger to kill.

Tuesday, January 29 at 7pm, $5

BLANKS - A full length play reading

by Gethsemane Herron

Written In response to the play "Top Girls" by Caryl Churchill, it replaces Lady Nijo, Patient Griselda, etc. with Black women from across history and media; Ruth Younger from "A Raisin in the Sun," Bessie Mears from "Native Son," Tilda/Nightshade/Linda from "The Black Panther" Universe, Margaret Garner from history and opera, and Helen Robinson from "To Kill a Mockingbird." If "Top Girls" asks what sacrifices women must make to be successful in the work world, Herron asks what are the sacrifices Black women make in order to pursue romantic and filial love?

Wednesday, January 30 at 7pm, $5

It's Not a Trip It's a Journey - A full length play reading

by Charly Evon Simpson

Directed by Miranda Haymon

June needs to go on a journey so she convinces three friends to join her on a road trip west. A play about tumbleweed, friendship, being black, and needing to soothe something you don't always have the words for.

Thurs, January 31, at 7pm, $5

Rachel and Maria, Together - Reading of a one act play

by Mona Washington

Featuring Najla Said (actor, playwright and author of 2014 memoir "Looking For Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family," and the Off-Broadway solo show "Palestine")

Can a lifelong friendship between two middle-aged women: African-American Maria, a journalist, and Jewish-American Rachel, a social worker, now living in Israel, survive Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement politics? Set in an ice cream shoppe in a Philadelphia suburb in October 2018, the real-time play explores the inability of our normative ideals to withstand positive realities. Maria has been invited by an Israeli university to speak at a conference, but is undecided about accepting after the BDSM contacts her and requests that she boycott the conference. Rachel has already planned a mini-get together and made plans in Israel in anticipation of Maria's upcoming speaking engagement. A last minute ice cream date before Rachel catches her flight back to Israel moves the women's friendship into uncharted territory. Maria's ardent anti-racism activism, and Rachel's fervent embrace of Zionism clash---over a milkshake and a sundae.

10th annual 10-Minute Play Program

Friday, February 1 at 7pm, $25

Saturday, Feb 2, at 3pm, $5

Brooklyn Patchwork - A full length play reading

By Shamar S. White

Directed by Marshall Mays

When recent Army Veteran, Jade Johnson moves to Brooklyn, New York, she soon discovers that surviving the war was much easier than surviving the new civilian world she's in. As she desperately tries to make it in NYC, her dreams of being a professional musician are in competition with her ailing building super, complicated neighbors, and escalating rent. Eventually, everyone's circumstances in this South Slope apartment collide, leaving Jade to make a decision that could change everything.

10th annual 10-Minute Play Program

Saturday, February 2 at 7pm and Sunday, February 3, at 3pm, $25

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