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New-Play Program ‘A Different Myth’ Seeks Black Writers

The new program from Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective and the American Myth Center will commission plays about Black life.

ASHEVILLE, N.C.: Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective and the American Myth Center (AMC) are soliciting applications from Black playwrights for the new-works development series A Different Myth. The goal of the new program is to tell Black stories by Black writers for Black actors.

“While Different Strokes welcomes performers, playwrights, and audiences of all ethnicities and racial identities, we absolutely must acknowledge and correct the ever-apparent lack of diversity and unequivocal under-representation of BIPOC playwrights in our industry,” Different Strokes managing artistic director Stephanie Hickling Beckman said in a statement. “It is for that reason that this call is specifically for Black and African American playwrights with a desire to craft a story about the joys of our Black experiences.”

Added AMC co-founder Aaron Snook in a statement: “The whole of the Asheville community is not being represented on our stages, and I share responsibility for that. This is an effort to pool our resources and attack this problem at its roots.”

A Different Myth will offer playwrights a chance to develop their work with experienced mentors, directors, actors, and eventually audiences. The program defines “emerging” playwrights as anyone whose goal is to write a play, whether they have before or not. The application will require a work sample, and the program will include a commission for the playwright, actor stipends, and other production-related funds, as well as for the cost of rehearsal spaces and the theatre rental. The program offers rolling submissions with no deadline, and more information can be found on each organization’s website.

Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective is committed to making theatre, building community, facilitating awareness, and changing the world one play at a time through thought-provoking theatre. The American Myth Center is a performing arts organization whose mission is to curate stories that spark necessary conversations within the community and to create new theatrical pieces.

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