Black playwrights get a voice with competition collaboration Festival at Matthews Playhouse

The following article was Published Thursday, January 14, 2021

in the Charlotte Post by Ashley Mahoney

The Matthews Playhouse of Performing Arts is collaborating with the African American Playwrights Group to ensure that Black voices are being heard.

Together they are presenting the Playwright’s Festival, which will highlight original works written by Black Indigenous People of Color. Submissions are due on Jan. 31, and should include a cover letter and a 10-page selection of the chosen piece.

A panel of judges, including African American Playwrights Group founder Vickie Evans, will review submitted works. Four will be chosen for staged readings on April 10 as one-act presentations for an audience and panel of judges. The winning submission will be incorporated into the 2021-22 Matthews Playhouse season as either a one-act or full-length play the weekend of Sept. 10-12.

While the hope is to be able to proceed in April with in-person attendance and production, there’s a backup plan in place to stage the readings virtually.

“The climate in 2020 made us take a look at our relationships in our communities, even the theater community to say, ‘what can we do to bridge that racial gap that we may not be aware of?’” Evans said.