NEW YORK CITY: Harlem9 has named the playwrights who will participate in the 12th annual 48Hours in…Harlem Festival, in which six short plays will be created over the span of 48 hours and performed live for two performances on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the National Dance Institute. This year’s playwrights are Andrea Ambam, Christin Eve Cato, Julienne Hairston, Johnny G. Lloyd, a.k. payne, and M.D. Schaffer. The participating directors and actors will be selected and cast over the course of the summer.
Since starting the series in 2011, the Harlem9 collective has produced a number of 48Hours in… festivals, including 48Hours in…El Bronx with Pregones / PRTT, 48Hours in…Detroit with Detroit Public Theatre, 48Hours in…Dallas with Shades of Brown Theatre, and 48Hours in…Holy Ground in Winston-Salem at the National Black Theatre Festival in partnership with NC Black Rep. Each of these brings together six playwrights, six directors, and 18 actors to devise short plays based on a central theme. The 12th annual Harlem edition asks playwrights to create 10-minute plays inspired by Black linguistic appropriation, i.e., words that have been adopted and made their way into the mainstream culture: woke, Karen, ghosted, salty, bougie, and lit.
Andrea Ambam is a performance artist and writer whose roots sprout from Cameroon. Andrea is a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, a Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) Artist-In-Residence, and the programming manager at Level Forward where she hosts the Anthem Award-winning podcast, More To Talk About.
Christin Eve Cato is a playwright, dramaturg, and performing artist from the Bronx. She is affiliated with NYC theatre companies Pregones/PRTT, INTAR Theatre, and the Latinx Playwrights Circle. Recent productions include Sancocho, American Made, and an audio play journey, The Mayor of Hell’s Kitchen Presents: A Time Traveling Journey Through NYC’s Wild West.
Julienne Hairston was born in Kenitra, Morocco. She lives and writes in New Rochelle, N.Y. She has written for Our Men Productions and the Mission Herald. Her plays have been featured in Hunter’s Playwrights festival; Project Y’s Racey Play Festival; The Fire This Time Festival; and more. She was commissioned to write for WIT The Hrosthwitha Project 2017. She is the founder of Lift as You Climb, Inc, a theatre company dedicated to inspire and lift African American children through the experience of live theatre, in Westchester County.
Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. As a playwright, his work has been produced at The Tank, The Corkscrew Festival, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, and has been developed at JAG Productions, 59E59, Dixon Place, Judson Memorial Church, and more. Some of his recent works include Alexander Moments Before with Theater In Quarantine; Or, An Astronaut Play at The Tank, and Patience at Second Stage Theater. He is the director of artistic development for The Tank and producing director of InVersion Theatre.
a.k. Payne is a playwright, artist-theorist, and theatremaker with roots in Pittsburgh. Their work has been finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, winner of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, and 3x semi-finalist for the O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. She is the current recipient of the Kemp Powers Commission Fund for Black Playwrights and Atlantic Theater Company‘s Judith Champion Launch Commission. Their work has been developed with the New Harmony Project, Great Plains Theater Conference, and Manhattan Theatre Club’s Groundworks Lab.
M.D. Schaffer is a non-binary Ashkenazi African American writer, choreographer, librettist, and lyricist born in Houston and residing in New York City. Their previous works include Southern Seeds: An Americana Story with the Ensemble Theatre’s New Voices Fest, The Last Days of Victor Greymore with Emerging Artist Festival, A Rodeo Clown with the Obsidian Theatre Festival, and Drapteomania: A Negro Carol with the We Will Dream Festival.
Harlem9 is a collaborative producing organization composed of a group of Black theatre professionals from various backgrounds whose mission is to produce together, exploring the past, present, and future of Black culture, celebrating its rich and diverse history of storytelling. The producers that comprise Harlem9 are Bryan E. Glover, Garlia Cornelia Jones, Eric Lockley, Jonathan McCrory, and Liberation
Theatre Company (Sandra A. Daley-Sharif and Spencer Scott Barros).
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