Black Women Playwrights’ Group to Hold Conference 9/4
SOURCE: Broadway world
For nineteen years, Washington D.C.’s Black Women Playwrights’ Group (BWPG) has been a “shelter-in-place” support and advocacy system for playwrights in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In collaboration with Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts, on September 4-7, 2008, BWPG will convene ‘Whisper. Laugh. Shout. Tell the Story: 1st National Meeting for Women of Color Writing Drama’. Lynn Nottage, winner of the MacArthur Genius Award in playwriting, is a featured speaker. Scholars and professionals in the field will also be present to make this first national conference a memorable and worthwhile event.
The meeting will be historic. For the first time, women of color who are writing for the stage, film, television, and radio will gather in a nurturing environment that aims to support them in establishing prolific, consistent careers writing dramatic literature that illuminates the human condition.
The conference, which dovetails with the University’s year-long focus on gender, diversity, and new initiatives in the American theater, will take place at the newly renovated Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The four-day meeting will include a staged reading, an awards dinner, workshops, and small group discussions that center on the playwrights’ experiences.
Participants will range from emerging to established artists, expressing their artistic vision in a plethora of forms and genres. BWPG’s mission with this conference is to illuminate the diversity of the experience of being female and of color in America – yet acknowledging the many cultural commonalities.
As theatres across the country cry out for new works for the American literary canon, BWPG’s nurturing of emerging playwrights over the past two decades has positioned us to be part of the solution. This first national conference will introduce opportunities to a vastly broader group of women writers, and the theatres who want to be future showcases for their work.
BWPG President Karen L.B. Evans tells the BWPG story this way: “This summer, I stood in the bank and two black women were at the teller windows in front of me. I saw only their backs. One was in her fifties, with perfectly coiffed silvery hair, a raw silk outfit, lime green pants, and tiny jewels on her mules. Next to her was a woman in her twenties, with dread locks down her back, well-worn cowboy
boots, jeans with a chain belt, and a small purse with a shoulder strap. On the purse was the Harley Davidson emblem. I thought to myself, ‘Here’s a story. Here’s BWPG standing in line right in front of me.'”