NEW YORK CITY: Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) has announced a partnership with Black Broadway Men, Inc. (BBM) for the latter organization’s 2023 playwriting initiative. The partnership will allow BTC fellows and apprentices to work on BBM’s upcoming reading of The Final Verses of the Prophet and Wiz by Cris Eli Blak.
“We are so proud to be participating with BBM on this playwriting initiative,” BTC co-founder T. Oliver Reid said in a statement. “We know that the changes we need to see in our industry cannot be made by one person nor organization alone, and we are thrilled to have found an intersection in the work of these two organizations.”
The BBM Playwriting Initiative provides male-identifying Black playwrights between the ages of 18-35 the opportunity to experience a full rehearsal and final 29-hour reading of their work. Blak, a former BTC fellow, will work with a writer and mentor from BBM in preparation for the reading this May.
“We are thrilled to work in association with Black Theatre Coalition to uplift our BBM Playwriting Initiative to provide the platform and voice for the voiceless,” BBM president Anthony Wayne said in a statement. “We are pleased to connect with BTC, as they provide extensive resources that will help raise the bar for our work. We can’t wait to uplift the work of Cris Eli Blak and many more to come.”
The new partnership will allow BTC fellows and apprentices to take on the roles of producers, general managers, and company managers for the reading of The Final Verses of the Prophet and Wiz.
Blak is an emerging Black playwright, freestyle rapper, and spoken word poet from Houston. He is dedicated to telling stories that connect to obstacles he has overcome, focusing on themes like homelessness, poverty, mental health, and masculinity. He is currently an artist in residence at the State University of New York Oswego.
Black Broadway Men, Inc. celebrates, motivates, and educates Black men of the Broadway and theatre communities by creating unity with each other, finding strength through educational opportunities, and embracing the legacy of those who have come before and those who will come after.
Formed in 2020 to eliminate racial inequities in American theatre, the Black Theatre Coalition currently has more than 50 fellows placed throughout the industry. Fellows receive mentorship from Black professionals in the industry and have the opportunity to put their skills into practice at BTC Pop Up events.
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