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Playwrights Festival Spotlight: Donald S. Hall

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Don’t Miss the 2022 Playwrights Festival on Saturday, April 30th at 2:00 pm at the Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts! The event is free and open to the public.

Staged readings for the 2022 Playwrights Festival, a collaboration between The Matthews Playhouse and the African American Playwrights Group (AAPG), are coming up Saturday, April 30th at 2pm! Now in its second year, the Playwrights Festival is an initiative to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Matthews as well as the Charlotte Theater community by highlighting original works by Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). In this post, we’re spotlighting one of our Playwright’s Festival semi-finalist and author of Benefit of the Doubt, Donald S. Hall.

Donald got the playwriting bug when he volunteered to work at the Actor’s Theater in Hollywood, CA back in the 1980s. “They presented a multi-racial version of ‘Macbeth’ which was phenomenal,” he says. “The lead was a 6 '6” black man named Danny Glover, and Lady Macbeth was a six-foot blond. They had incredible chemistry and I saw that show about a dozen times. And I was hooked."

Donald’s playwriting aspirations were put on hold to start a family, but in 2010 “the bug” hit him once again, which prompted him to write Mean Green, an original play about a missing banknote worth ten million dollars and the black mailroom supervisor who gets accused of taking it. Donald is also the author of Black Chip, White Chip, a melodrama about greed, corruption and the financial crash of 2008. In 2017, Donald eventually connected with a supportive playwright’s group called “Sips and Scripts'' which inspired him to finish Benefit of the Doubt, which has been featured in staged readings in Raleigh, Durham and in Charlotte. “After all of this activity, this play is ready to go,” he says. “It’s a very timely play that could attract a broad audience of young and old; black and white; New Yorkers versus Charlotteans. It’s a winner. Check it out and let me know what you think.”

A 20 minute staged reading version of Benefit of the Doubt 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 @ Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts. 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. The event is free and open to the public.

The African American Playwrights Group, founded by Vickie Evans, 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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