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Announcing Semi-Finalists for BIPOC Playwrights Festival!

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Staged Reading Performances to Take Place on Saturday April 30th at 2:00pm at The Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts.

The Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts is delighted to announce the semi-finalists of the 2022 BIPOC Playwrights Festival, a collaboration between The Matthews Playhouse and the African American Playwrights Group. A panel of judges, including African American Playwrights Group founder Vickie Evans, reviewed this year’s Playwrights Festival submissions and selected the following works to be featured in the April 30th staged reading:

Kenyatt Godbolt Nose Wide Open

Donald S. Hall Benefit of the Doubt

Crystal Joseph Who's That Woman in My Bed?

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. These staged readings, 3 in total, will be judged by an independent panel of guest artists: Dr. Corliss Hayes, Vickie Evans, Sidney Horton and Elizabeth Flax, all of whom are well known regional artists in their own right, on Saturday April 30th at 2:00pm. This event is free and open to the public - click here to reserve seats.

Production Photo from "Greenwood" by Coolidge Harris II

“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.

Content Advisory: These performances contain mature themes and situations, adult language (including profanity) and the use of a racial slur.


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