Playwrights' Festival

original works written by Black & Indigenous People of Color

A collaboration with the African American Playwrights Group

The Matthews Playhouse of Performing Arts and the African American Playwrights Group (AAPG) have joined forces to collaborate and expand the Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) presence in the Matthews area within the performing arts. We are excited about this collaboration and the bridging of theatrical cultures in Matthews and Charlotte.

Matthews Playhouse is a community based non-profit theatre committed to enriching the lives of children, adults, and families by inviting them to participate in the world of performing arts and education. As a part of this commitment, we are collaborating with the African American Playwrights Group to produce original works written by Black & Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) artists to be performed as a part of 2022-2023 season at Matthews Playhouse. 

 

The African American Playwrights Group, created by founder Vickie L. Evans, is a collaboration of African-American playwrights whose mission is to produce quality and excellent theater works in our communities and abroad. Working from the guidelines of the AAPG’s “Playwrights on Parade” event, we are very excited to incorporate this project into our season and establish new relationships with community members.

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2023 Play Submissions

Now in its second year, the Playwrights' Festival is an initiative to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Charlotte Theatre community by highlighting original works by Black & Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). The Playwright’s Festival follows Evans’ model from AAPG’s Playwrights on Parade festival, which she held in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The selected playwrights will adapt their script to a 20-minute "preview" version that will be rehearsed and performed as a staged reading in front of an audience and a new panel of judges on Saturday April 30th at 2:00pm. This event is free and open to the public.

 

“We are committed to what we are doing—to provide an environment for BIPOC artists to feel safe, encouraged and supported to tell their stories,” says Matthews Playhouse Production Manager, Cassie Prodan. “It was difficult to narrow down such close competition, but we are thrilled to see such vision in these initial play submissions!”

 

The judges will score the staged readings, and the play that receives the highest score from the panel will be incorporated into the 2022-23 Matthews Playhouse season and produced as a full length show in August 2022.

 

Last season, the Matthews Playhouse was honored to produce Greenwood, an original play about the 1921 Tulsa massacre written by our first-ever Playwright’s Festival finalist, Coolidge Harris II. “I am determined to let America know about this once thriving African-American community destroyed for no reason at all,” said Harris of his original piece. “My hope is that this play will inspire people to learn more about this massacre, to honor those lives lost in it.”

 

The African American Playwrights Group is a collaboration of African-American playwrights, whose mission is to produce quality and excellent theater works in our communities and abroad. It is a privilege to incorporate the Playwrights Festival into our season and establish new relationships with community members.