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Rudy Bamenga, Olga El, Jerrica D. White, and Anthony T. Goss.

Four Playwrights Receive Liberation Theatre Company Writing Residencies

The program offers playwrights dramaturgical and career support over a 10-month period, with the aim completing a draft of an original full-length play.

NEW YORK CITY: Liberation Theatre Company (LTC) has selected four emerging playwrights to join their Writing Residency Program for 2023-24. This year’s new residents include Rudy Bamenga, Olga El, Anthony T. Goss, and Jerrica D. White.

“We are excited by the opportunity to work with this year’s group of playwrights,” said LTC producing artistic director Sandra A. Daley-Sharif in a statement. “All four of them have only recently started their careers but view this residency as a chance to focus on their writing in the company of people who will understand and support them. To provide a supportive, nurturing yet challenging environment for Black playwrights has been our objective since Year One of the program.”

Launched in 2017 with support from the New York State Council on the Arts to further LTC’s mission as a home for emerging Black playwrights, the Writing Residency Program offers playwrights dramaturgical and career support over a 10-month period beginning in May, during which time they will be required to complete the first draft of an original full-length play, with opportunities for readings in spring 2024.

“What makes us doubly proud is the ability to continue to offer this residency,” continued Daley-Sharif in a statement. “In the past few years since the pandemic began, we’ve all seen resources for playwrights disappear. Organizations have closed doors and programs have ended, making the already solitary act of writing for the theatre that much harder. We serve a unique population—early career Black playwrights—who are searching for a place to fit in. We provide that place.”

Residents will meet monthly as a group with LTC staff to share work in progress and offer each other feedback. They will also have access to theatre events around New York, to dialogue with working professional theatre artists, to a writers’ retreat, and to directors and professional actors for table reads and an end-of-residency reading. Each writer will receive an honorarium upon successful completion of the program.

Rudy Bamenga is a French-born, NYC-based writer, performer, and storyteller who traces his descent from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is his hope and goal as an artist to share stories of the human condition that reflect underrepresented journeys still not fully seen in this ever-evolving world.

Olga El is an award-winning emerging playwright who aims to inspire change on the level of the personal, communal, and beyond that will ultimately lead to a more just, compassionate, and healthy society. Movement, particularly martial arts, aerial arts, and dances from all over Africa and the Diaspora, is seamlessly interwoven into her work.

Anthony T. Goss is a New York City-based actor/writer from Boston. He grew up playing basketball but upon graduating from college transitioned from athlete to artist. He has written films that have screened at festivals, and recently his short film The Exception was a finalist in the Ida B. Wells Disrupting the Master Narrative Fund.

Jerrica D. White aims to create space to experience freedom through storytelling. She examines the spectrum of Blackness with a focus on family dynamics, relationships, love, and mental health. She is a disrupter and through her words, aims to bring her audience into cycles of self-love, healing, greater faith, and joy.

Liberation Theatre Company was established in 2009 with the mission to create a home for emerging Black playwrights to develop their work and express themselves artistically in a supportive and focused environment.

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