NewYorkRep’s anti-racism short-play festival ‘CivilWrights’ debuts this Sunday

To honor Martin Luther King Day, NewYorkRep, in association with Tony-nominated producer Rashad V. Chambers and Five Ohm Productions, is responding to the national crisis of systemic racism with CivilWrights, a new ten-minute virtual play series. For the anti-racism event, livestreaming on Sunday, January 17, on FiveOhm.TV, four playwrights of color have written short works about how racism impacts their lives. The plays will be followed by a Town Hall-style talk-back, to foster conversations about equality and to create more inclusive theater in America, in keeping with NewYorkRep’s mission, “Illuminate. Inspire. Change.”

The festival, presented as the first in a series, will feature a range of subjects, perspectives, and content within BIPOC realities, to explore the current and ongoing political and social climate around all forms of racism. “I am honored to co-produce this series with NewYorkRep,” said Chambers. “I have always admired the organization’s mission statement to inspire and compel social change. Our country and industry are in a place of awakening and I am grateful that we can not only create opportunities for BIPOC writers and directors, but also be catalysts for awareness and action.”

The Sunday line-up is:

N%##&R of the Month (or Feeding the Beast) by Akin Sawalu, directed by Kevin R. Free, featuring Scott Ahearn, Madsie “Rachel” Flynn, Gabriel Lawrence, and Namakula Mu – On a Zoom call at the progressive Reid Foundation, three co-workers – two Black and one white – argue with each other and their white boss about which social issue is most deserving of homepage coverage in the next newsletter, and why.

Those Wishing by James Anthony Tyler, directed by Stevie Walker-Webb, featuring Ebony Marshall-Oliver, and Jacob Daniel Smith – A Black mother and her son consider the best course of action, in light of the rash of recent shootings and deaths at the hands of police, to locate his younger brother, who’s been missing for three days.

Where we Ren Dara Santiago, directed by Bobby Roman, featuring Jared Wayne Gladly and TJ Weaver – The existential nature of identity, relationships, and life becomes the topic of conversation of two folks chillin’ over a recreational vice of choice.

Animals – The Last Days of Amy Cooper by Jerome A. Parker, featuring James Edward Becton, David Gowe, and Jessica Myrh – Worlds, eras, and spirits collide on Memorial Day 2020, when a bird watcher’s peaceful commune with nature is suddenly disrupted.

CivilWrights streams live on Sunday, January 17, at 7 pm, on FiveOhm.TV. Viewing is free to all with registration.


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