Dial, Hardy & Goins Win Top Honors At Downtown Urban Theatre Festival

By: May. 10, 2010

The Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF) returned for its 8th Annual season at the Theater for the New City in East Village and featured 12 theatrical works written by Lawrence Dial (Promise Tomorrow Today), William Fowkes (Museum Piece), Dina Laura (Making Moves), Michele Cuomo and Ian Gonzalez Phillips (Piñero Resurrected), James Earl Hardy (Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star), Kash Goins (VII Deadly Sins), Riccardo Costa (The Choice), Mel Nieves (After-Loss), Lina Sarrello ( Waiting for the D), Imran Javaid (Glass), Cesi Davidson (Chakalaka) and Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Breathless).

A highlight of the festival was the theatrical premiere of Lessons on the A Train, directed by the Tony-nominated Reg E. Gaines. Lessons, a new work under development for an off-Broadway run, is an original coming-of-age story about a group of urban teenagers growing up in modern day NYC.

The 2010 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival Awards went to:

BEST PLAY - Promise Tomorrow Today by Lawrence Dial

Starring: Richie McCall, Robert Karma Robinson, James Fauvell and Meredith Autry Holcomb

The backdrop is Alphabet City, Avenue D. Winter 2001-02. A historic hip-hop battle is broadcast on Hot 97: Jay-Z vs. Nas. Soul music plays from a record player. Witness a fractious reunion between a would-be rapper, his reluctant childhood friend, and in between, a troubled young hustler who can't remember where her days went. Lawrence Dial lives in New York's East Village, but grew up in Newburgh, Indiana. A graduate of the University of Evansville, he's been writing and producing plays in New York for six years. His plays have been produced by Slant Theatre Company, as well as featured as part of the Crown Point Festival at the Abrams Art Center.

BEST SHORT - Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star by James Earl Hardy

Starring: Johnathan Cedano

What's it like being the world's most revered and recognizable "homo thug" porn star? During a break on a movie set, Brooklyn born and bred Tiger Tyson bares his soul -- and his skin -- to a reporter. James Earl Hardy is the author of the best-selling B-Boy Blues series. Praised as the first gay hip-hop love story and prominently featured in Spike Lee's Get On The Bus, B-Boy Blues was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. The novel is also taught in African American literature and gay studies courses in colleges and universities across the nation.

BEST AUDIENCE - VII Deadly Sins by Kash Goins

Starring: Shalonda Johnson, Gerard Joseph, Tiffany Barrett, Neil Carr, Charlene R. Grier, Chris Davis, Lee Mekhai, Anthony Harris, Nichelle Patrice, Lenwood Jones, Salina Faison and Maurice Tucker.

A story about a group of college friends who reunite for the first time in 10 years. At the host's brand new home, during a moment of pre-celebration between two of the friends, an unexpected violation occurs prior to the rest of the group's arrival that leads to the revelation and reaction to what has occurred; and what undoubtedly follows. A Delaware resident who was born and raised in South Philly, Kash Goins founded GoKash Productions in 2008 and has mounted two original self-written plays, the 2009 DUTF Best Play winner "VI Degrees" and the comedy "Man, I Shoulda Put A Ring On It!". In 2010, Goins was the Director / Actor / Co- Producer in Aliya Tene's "Tryna Get to Heaven on 15 Cents." At the Wilmington Drama League, he was cast as Gabriel in August Wilson's "Fences" and has worked on the Philadelphia premiere of "Man, I Shoulda Put A Ring On It!"


The Choice by Ricardo Costa (Play)

Chakalaka by Cesi Davidson ( Short)

For more information on DUTF, please visit www.downtownurban.net.