Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Fire This Time Festival Welcomes Four Playwrights to New Works Lab

The Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival welcomes four new playwrights to the third cycle of their New Works Lab, which was created to help playwrights of African and African American descent develop new full-length projects over an eight-month period, which will culminate in public readings in Spring 2018.

The Fire This Time Festival New Works Lab, co-directed by TFTT alum Cynthia Robinson (Dancing on Eggshells; Peola's Passing; When Night Falls) and A.J. Muhammad, aims to foster a nurturing, supportive and collaborative environment where playwrights can share work with their peers and receive constructive feedback during the early stages of developing a new project.

This season The Fire This Time Festival New Works Lab will welcome playwrights Tyrell Bennett (Westchester Community College; Hunter College), Maia Matsushita (NY Madness; Classical Theatre of Harlem's Playwright Playground), Shawn Nabors (Dance Dance Dance with Color Coded Productions; Resident Playwright at Liberation Theatre Company), and T.R. (Terrence) Riggins (Audelco Award winner for Otis and Zora).

Playwright Kelley Nicole Girod founded The Fire This Time Festival in 2009 to provide rising playwrights of African and African American descent a platform to write and develop new work. The festival was conceived as an opportunity for playwrights to write and produce material that reflects diverse perspectives as 21st Century Theater artists.

The first season of TFTT brought together over thirty collaborative performers, directors, and other collaborators to create an amazing evening of short one-act plays. Presented by Horse Trade TheaterGroup over a five-show run in February 2010, the first season of the festival sold out every presentation. Exploring themes from euthanasia, hero-worship, intergenerational conflict, and more, the inaugural season of TFTT presented a dynamic theatrical experience.

Following the success of the first year, TFTT has continued to grow, with input from participating playwrights and other collaborators. The Festival has evolved into an annual January event, expanding upon its core short play presentations to offer panel discussions, staged readings, and other programs. With ongoing momentum, TFTT has quickly become a destination for diverse audiences, producers, and artists seeking new possibilities and opportunities in contemporary theater.

The festival has previously featured the work of notable playwrights such as Radha Blank (40 Year Old Version developed at Sundance Institute; Seed), Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play at MCC Theater; Nollywood Dreams at Cherry Lane Mentor Project), Katori Hall (The Mountaintop; Hurt Village; book writer for Tina: The Musical in London), Jiréh Breon Holder (Too Heavy For Your Pocket at Alliance Theater/Roundabout Theater), Marcus Gardley (The House That Will Not Stand at NYTW; A Wonder in My Soul at Victory Gardens), Dominique Morrisseau (book writer for the musical Ain't Too Proud To Beg: The Life and Times of the Temptations at Berkeley Rep; Paradise Blue at Signature Theater; Pipeline at Lincoln Center Theater; Skeleton Crew at Atlantic Theater Company), Antoinette Nwandu (2017-2018 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award; Colt Coeur 2017-2018 Commissioned Playwright; Breach at Victory Garden; Pass Over at Steppenwolf Theater), and James Anthony Tyler (Dolphins and Sharks at Labyrinth Theater/Finborough Theater in London).

Ngozi Anyanwu's play The Homecoming Queen was developed during the inaugural The Fire This Time Festival New Works Lab and is being produced by Atlantic Theater Company in January 2018. Aziza Barnes' play blks. received a developmental reading during The Fire This Time Festival and is being produced by Steppenwolf Theater. For more about the festival, visit www.firethistimefestival.com.

FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade is a theater development group with a focus on new work that produces a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater every season. FRIGID's Resident Artist Program offers a home to a select group of Independent theater artists, pooling together a great deal of talent and energy. FRIGID New York grew out of the annual FRIGID Festival, the first and only festival of its kind in New York City to offer artists 100% of their box office proceeds, and Horse Trade Theater Group, a self-sustaining theater development and management group.



Related Stories
At 12, TOFA Awards Brim With Historic Firsts Photo
In its 12th year, The Outstanding Filipino American Awards (TOFA), founded by journalist Elton Lugay, were still brimming with historic firsts. From the Carnegie Hall on 56th Street, TOFA’s venue has moved down 13 streets to the Town Hall. TOFA has also launched its newest sets of excellence in leadership awards: the Lifetime Achievement Awards, endorsed by President Joe Biden, and the Global Awards. Remarkably, it was also the first time an incumbent mayor of the city has physically graced a Fil-Am event.

US Open Juniors Champ Alex Eala Joins Roster of Filipino Achievers at the 12th TOFA Awards Photo
The Outstanding Filipinos in America Awards honor the triumph of a 17-year-old Filipino tennis player, Alex Eala, who just won the grand slam juniors singles title at the U.S. Open--a first from any tennis player from the Philippines. Ms. Eala, who is now back to training in California, is conferred the TOFA Global Awards for Sports, given to global Filipinos who made exceptional achievements in their field of endeavor.

New York City Now Back in CDCs High-Risk Category for COVID Spread Photo
All five New York City boroughs of are back in the CDC's high-risk category for COVID community spread. The current strain of the omicron variant of COVID is being called the 'worst version.' 

Broadway’s Mask and Vaccination Policy Continues Through April Photo
The Broadway League announced today that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theatres in New York City will continue to uphold current mask and vaccine requirements through April 30, 2022.


More Hot Stories For You


Theater For The New City Presents ADATheater For The New City Presents ADA
February 7, 2023

Theater for the New City presents ADA by Demetria Daniels from February 16 to March 5, 2023 at the Johnson Theater, 155 First Avenue, New York, 10003.

HOW TO MELT ICE Adds Performance at Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts CenterHOW TO MELT ICE Adds Performance at Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center
February 7, 2023

Maria-Cristina Fusté, Executive Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre Company, and Melody Brooks, Artistic Director of New Perspectives Theatre Company have  announced an additional performance date for How to Melt ICE, a new play written by Amalia Oliva Rojas and directed by Elena Araoz.

AJIJAAK ON TURTLE ISLAND Family Musical to Open at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College This MonthAJIJAAK ON TURTLE ISLAND Family Musical to Open at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College This Month
February 7, 2023

Ajijaak on Turtle Island, a new family musical, will premiere at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College as part of its second national tour.

Max Ehrlich Will Lead an Industry Presentation of BONJOUR MON AMOURMax Ehrlich Will Lead an Industry Presentation of BONJOUR MON AMOUR
February 7, 2023

Bonjour Mon Amour written by Richard Hackley will get an invite-only industry presentation on February 16. It will be directed by Jamibeth Margolis, with musical direction by Andrew Wheeler.

Company of Fools to Present First Annual Virtual Play Festival THE DARE TO FAIL FESTCompany of Fools to Present First Annual Virtual Play Festival THE DARE TO FAIL FEST
February 6, 2023

Company of Fools will present its first annual virtual play festival. The Dare to Fail Fest! (DTFFest) is comprised of five 10-minute plays (out of over 50 submissions) selected by a CoF committee.