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Matthews Playhouse & African American Playwrights Group Searching for New Plays

The 2023 BIPOC Playwrights’ Festival is Accepting New and Original Works through February 28, 2023 - Submission Fee Has Been Waived

Matthews, NC (February 21, 2023) - Time is running out for local playwrights to submit their work to the 2023 BIPOC Playwrights' Festival, a collaboration between Matthews Playhouse and the African American Playwrights Group (AAPG). Now in its third year, the Playwrights' Festival is an initiative to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the theatre community by highlighting original works by Black & Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). The selected playwrights will adapt their script into a 20-minute "preview" version to be performed as a staged reading and adjudicated by a panel of local theatre professionals. The play that receives the highest score from the panel will be produced as a full length show at the Matthews Playhouse as part of their 2023-2024 season. The staged readings will be free and open to the public and will take place at a later date this spring.

The BIPOC Playwrights Festival began in 2021, when AAPG partnered with Matthews Playhouse to produce the first-of-its-kind event. Playwright Coolidge Harris II, won the event for his play, Greenwood, and was produced as a full-length play at Matthews Playhouse in the fall of 2021. Local playwright Kenyatt Godbolt won the 2nd annual Playwrights Festival for his play, A House is Not a Home, which was produced in August of 2022 as part of the Matthews Playhouse mainstage season.

The BIPOC Playwright’s Festival follows AAPG founder Vickie Evans’ model from ‘Playwrights on Parade festival’, which was presented in 2014, 2016 and 2018. 'It is a privilege to incorporate the Playwrights Festival into our season and establish new relationships with community members,’ says Evans. ‘There is an enormous amount of talent in this community and it is a pleasure to give these playwrights a chance to see their work come to life on stage.’

“This collaboration and the bridging of theatrical cultures in Matthews and Charlotte means a great deal to us,” says Matthews Playhouse Executive Director Sarah Baumgardner.

Interested playwrights may visit to learn more and how to submit. The submission deadline is February 28, 2023 and all submission fees will be waived. Submissions should include a cover letter and a 10-page selection of the chosen piece. This abbreviated version of the piece will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Out of all the submissions, four (4) will be chosen to continue to the next stage of the selection process. Questions about the submission process may be directed to

About African American Playwrights Group (AAPG)

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. Visit to learn more.

About Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts

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. The theatre produces an annual mainstage season as well as the Matthews Playhouse School of Theatre, Summer Camps and many other special events. Visit to learn more.


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