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Meet the Semi-Finalists for the 2023 Playwrights’ Festival!

These Four African American Playwrights Will Advance to Semi-Final Round of the 2023 Playwrights’ Festival and Showcase Original Works on Saturday, May 27th

Upon receiving 16 play submissions from all over the region, four playwrights of color will advance to the semi-final round of the 2023 Playwrights' Festival, a collaboration between Matthews Playhouse and the African American Playwrights Group (AAPG), will advance to the semi-final round. The annual festival, now in its third year, is an initiative to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the theatre community by highlighting original works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

The following playwrights will adapt their scripts into a 20-minute "preview" version to be performed as a staged reading and adjudicated by a panel of local theatre professionals on Saturday, May 27, 2023 @ 11a.m. at ​Comedy Arts Theater of Charlotte (CATCh).

TaMara Goode - Reflections

Donald Hall - Black Chip, White Chip

Alethea McCollin - Pastor Willie

Rory Sheriff - Speak Easy

The May 27th Staged Readings are free and open to the public, donations to support the Playwrights Festival and other DEI initiatives will be accepted. The semi-finalist that receives the highest score from the panel will have their work produced as a full-length play at Matthews Playhouse as part of the 2023-2024 season, September 22-24, 2023.

Meet TaMara E. Goode, Author of Reflections

An Indianapolis native, TaMara E. Goode is a proud mother and grandmother who is blessed to be walking in her purpose as a poet, author, playwright, screenwriter, actress, director, visual artist and aspiring stand up comedian. She has been blessed to have performed in an assortment of productions and events throughout the Midwest; where she uses all of her artistic and creative platforms to bring laughter, love and encouragement to others.

A community activist and mental health advocate, TaMara created and co-founded Project W.I.N.G.S (We Inspire Nurture Guide Support) Mental - Spiritual health and wellness ministry with other survivors and members of Scott United Methodist Church of Indianapolis, Indiana. Serving as President and lead workshop/support group facilitator from 2017-2022. She is the author of the novel "Timeless: Through the Eyes of a Poet" and the former head screenwriter of the series "The Rhythm of Love" adapted from the novella by Author Hsanni Scott.

Meet Donald Hall, Author of Black Chip, White Chip

In addition to being a playwright, Donald Hall is a husband, father and family man with two grown children (25 and 21). Donald started writing plays at the LA Actor’s Theater in Hollywood in the 1980s and then at the Public Theater in NYC in the 90s before moving down to Charlotte in 1998. In addition to Black Chip, White Chip, Donald has written other full-length multi-racial melodramas including An African-American Artist in Amsterdam, The Itsy Bitsy Blues, Mean Green, The Reckoning, and Benefit of the Doubt- a finalist in the 2022 Playwright's Festival. Donald notes that The Reckoning, was written about the Financial Crash of 2008 and was the precursor to Black Chip, White Chip. After months of writing and re-writing the play, he unveiled the new version of Black Chip, White Chip at a staged reading at the VAPA center in uptown Charlotte last February. Donald says he is now looking forward to more exposure through the 2023 Playwright's Festival. For more information about Donald Hall and his work, please visit

Alethea McCollin, Author of Pastor Willie

Alethea McCollin is a playwright/producer/director, and former Virginia State University

instructor. She has authored nineteen plays including Pastor Willie, The Stilettos

Monologues, Styx and Gunz, and Renaming Shaim, three screenplays, and one children’s book – The Cloud Catcher. She has produced her work in various cities nationally.

Alethea is the founder of Orange Stilettos Productions, llc, and serves on the board of

directors of James Rivers Writers. Alethea is a member of Dramatists Guild, Virginia Screenwriters’ Forum, and the Richmond Playwrights’ Forum. She holds an MA in English, and a BS in Economics and Law. Alethea is an unabashed shoe addict. She’s also a passionate gardener, and loves to bake, though

she says, she still hasn’t mastered either pastime. Learn more by visiting

Meet Rory Sheriff, Author of Speak Easy

Rory D. Sheriff’s writing journey began with an ear for fine literature and a love for bringing people together. Penning and performing works of poetry and spoken word, he eventually donned the title of “author,” with the release of his first novel, Get’n Serious: My Addiction. The ensuing cult following from women’s’ book clubs around the country prompted the sequels, Yadira’s Sky and Get’n Serious Too: Donta’s Inferno. In 2013, Rory wrote the screenplay, Be a Lion, after challenging himself with the question, “What happened after Dorothy returned to Harlem?” at the end of the 1978 hit, The Wiz. The screenplay vision didn’t pan out, but Be a Lion, the musical, and the entertainment company, Brand New Sheriff Productions, were born.

Nine seasons later, Rory went on to pen six stage plays, three short films, and is on track to produce all ten of August Wilson’s American century cycle of plays. His most recent award was Metrolina Theatre Associations 2022 “Theatre Person of the Year.” BNS Productions has become the premiere and Charlotte’s only repertory African American theatre company. Rory earned multiple accolades as a Playwright, Producer and Director. BNS Productions is known for productions that are relevant, thought provoking and necessary. Their purpose is to represent Black Excellence, and to educate and raise awareness on the social and cultural issues that make up the African American experience.

You can watch these semi-finalists showcase their original work at the Playwrights' Festival Staged Readings at 11 am on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at ​Comedy Arts Theater of Charlotte (CATCh). Seating is general admission, please arrive at least 1/2 hour before the event begins as seating will be on a first arrival basis and we cannot always guarantee seating.

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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