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Fire This Time Fest to Release Methuen Anthology

The new book will include 25 short plays by early-career Black playwrights.

Kelley Nicole Girod.

NEW YORK CITY: On March 10, The Fire This Time Festival will release the anthology 25 Plays From The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resilience, Rebirth and Black Theatre. The book, published by Methuen Drama, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, contains 25 10-minute plays originally produced by the eponymous festival, which features emerging and early-career playwrights from the African diaspora. 

The anthology covers the Black experience in the U.S. from 2009 to the present day. Edited and curated by Kelley Nicole Girod, it divides the plays into seven thematic sections concerning multifaceted aspects of the Black experience, such as beauty standards and self-acceptance in Black America and addressing gentrification in historically Black neighborhoods. The volume features work by Katori Hall, Derek Lee McPhatter, Antoinette Nwandu, Roger Q. Mason, Dominique Morisseau, Francisca Da Silveira, Tracey Conyer Lee, C.A. Johnson, William Watkins, Jordan E. Cooper, Natyna Bean, Dennis A. Allen, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, Bernard Tarver, Cyrus Aaron, Camille Darby, Marcus Gardley, Charly Evon Simpson, Kendra Augustin, Samantha Godfrey, Jonathan Payne, Tyler English-Beckwith, Fredrica Baily, Angelica Cheri, and Josh Wilder.

The Obie-winning The Fire This Time Festival was founded in 2009 by Girod to provide a platform for playwrights of African and African American descent to write and produce evocative material for diverse audiences. Since the debut of its first 10-minute play program in 2010, presented in collaboration with FRIGID New York, the festival has produced and developed the work of more than 80 playwrights. It recently collaborated with Center Theatre Group and Watts Village Theater Company to launch the initiative “It’s Not a Moment, But a Movement,” aimed at amplifying Black artists through three virtual events pairing playwrights, visual artists, and musicians during 2021.  

While serving as the executive director of The Fire This Time, Girod has also held the positions of producing director at the Billie Holliday, a historic Black theatre in Brooklyn, as well as programming associate at New York City’s Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, and was recently named director of New Works at the Apollo Theater. She was Atlantic Theater’s 2019 Launch Commission Playwright and Sheen Center’s 2020 fellow, and was nominated for the Paul Robeson Award.

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