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Personal Statement

Theatre defines cultures and leaves an indelible footprint on civilizations. We know as much about the ancient Greeks through their theatre legacy as we do through almost every other means. Play development is the first step in guiding a theatre work toward production worthiness. My commitment as founder and artistic director of The Playwrights’ Inn Project is to provide African-American men and women playwrights with a process that develops their theatrical vision, particularly when the focus of that vision extends to subjects outside the box. The Project’s play development model includes public readings of the works in progress before both European and American audiences.

My professional life spans a forty year acting career that began in the New York theatre and went on to include feature films, and numerous television appearances. I am a published essayist and a produced playwright. As a rookie playwright, I struggled solo over early drafts of the book, music and lyrics of my first play, an original musical. A director guided me through a process I learned is play development that called for extensive re-writes to fine tune my ultimately produced work. Access to this process was and remains limited for African-American men and women theatre authors. The Playwrights’ Inn Project’s mission is to increase availability to this essential collaborative discipline.

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