Tag Archives: women playwrights

Happy Birthday Danai Gurira!

Wait, whose birthday is it? Danai Gurira, from “The Walking Dead” and “Black Panther”:

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On my research journey, I am documenting and inserting any significant absence of information on women in theatre. See, not only is Gurira an amazing and versatile actress, she is also a playwright.  Her play, “Eclipse” was the first play to premiere on Broadway with an all female and black cast and creative team. (Yes, after all these years, we are still creating “firsts” for black people!) The play is set in war-torn Liberia and focuses on three women who are living as sex slaves to a rebel commander, and is about how they deal with this difficult situation. The play was inspired by a photograph of female fighters and their tale of survival.

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And as you can see the play starred the beautiful and talented, Lupita Nyong’o.

So today I salute Danai Gurira and encourage you to learn more about her and buy tickets to “Eclipse” if it comes to your city. I saw a production of it here in Atlanta and the story creates suspense and chills!

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Stunning! Danai Gurira

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Happy Birthday to playwright, Judi Ann Mason!

I dared to pursue my passion of studying theatre at Grambling State University. One of the first plays produced upon me entering was, “Livin’ Fat” by Judi Ann Mason. The theatre director so often bragged on how this play was written by his “class mate” and how she had written it while still attending Grambling. I didn’t think much of the playwright after the production until years later and I was living in Los Angeles.

One day I was watching the tv show, “Different World” and the writer credit for that episode read, Judi Ann Mason. It was then I found out she was more than a playwright born, raised and educated in the south. She was an award winning writer and a trailblazer for black writers in Hollywood.

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The play, “Livin Fat” was produced off Broadway in 1976 by the Negro Ensemble Company, and won a comedy award sponsored by the Kennedy Center and television producer Norman Lear. Lear then hired her as a writer for the series “Good Times” and she went on to write for “Sanford”, “A Different World”, “Beverly Hills 90210” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Judi Ann Mason, was one of the first female African-American sitcom writers in Hollywood and one of the youngest television writers of any race or either sex. As I am researching for my studies, re-discovering black women playwrights is imperative on my path. So today, we honor Judi Ann Mason! We remember you and thank you!

Back to my roots, Theatre

I am still floating on a cloud where dreams come true…

My art interest started in theatre, as an actress, back in elementary school.  That interest eventually led to writing, in several genres, and performance in poetry or oral tradition of interpretation.  I wrote, produced and directed a one act play in Los Angeles a few years back and I did the same for a one woman show in which I portrayed, Afeni Shakur, the ex-black panther and mother to the late Tupac Shakur.  Anyone can be a playwright by simply writing a play.  My goal had always been to be contacted by a theatre company and sent a contract to collect for Royalty Fee’s.  That finally happened to me in August 2015 and it has been a surreal journey up until the other night when I was handed the tickets and program to the production of my play, Hope’s Return.

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A few years back, I read an article on LaVena Johnson.  An African American soldier who had just graduated from high school in Missouri and enlisted into the army. After only serving eight weeks in Balad, Iraq, Johnson became the first woman to die in Afghanistan or Iraq from the state of Missouri.  Her family was notified that her death was ruled a suicide from a gun shot wound to the right side of her head with a M-16 rifle. Upon her family viewing the body, the gunshot was on the left side of her head along with a black eye, broken nose, several missing teeth, scratches and teeth marks on her upper body, her back and right hand burned, her vaginal area bruised and lacerated and lye had been poured into her vagina.  The Army ruled her death a suicide in 2005.

Continue reading Back to my roots, Theatre

here she is…

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My play, Hope’s Return, comes to life this week. A dream come true, sincerely   😆

Saturday is “Meet The Playwright” and it can’t get here soon enough! I am officially a professional playwright. Dreams don’t expire!

Just As I Thought

I hear stories. Feel the emotions. And if I’m lucky enough, or chosen. I’m selected to be the writer from the ethos to tell the story.

Sometimes they come as poems, prose, short stories, plays or novels.

I received an email yesterday that the play I had been working on late last year and early this year, will finally get its day on the stage next month.

“Hope’s Return” will make her debut at a major theatre festival. BEYOND THRILLED!

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so keep writing. submit with confidence. and then let it go…