African-American Collective Theater (ACT) begins its 29th consecutive season with readings of Screen/Plays—12 original short plays by Founding Artistic Director Alan Sharpe. The latest installment of ACT’s annual Black LGBTQ+ Theater Showcase, Screen/Plays will be read online by a cast of 32 area actors on Sunday, May 30, 2021, at 7 pm ET, during DC Black Pride Weekend.
The event, which has become a spring tradition over the decade, is presented annually to further ACT’s mission to produce and present theater and film projects that center and increase visibility for the African American LGBTQ+ Community.
“After nearly 30 years, we wanted keep our momentum going and not disappoint our audience,” explains Sharpe. “So last spring, like many other arts groups, ACT made the pivot to online performances. We learned a lot in the process and our efforts were enthusiastically received. Now, despite the impact of increasing vaccinations and the loosening of restrictions for public events, it seemed most prudent to continue with the festival online this year while we wait to see how the pandemic situations unfolds for the future.”
Suggested donations begin at $10 to support the mission and ongoing work of ACT, but festival screenings are free—with advance registration via Eventbrite required. Registrants will receive a private link for the May 30th performances via e-mail, the weekend of the event.
To register and/or to donate, click here.
Alan Sharpe recently became inaugural recipient of the Alan Sharpe Award, an honor initiated by the Center for Black Equity and DC Black Pride to recognize cultural contributions to the LGBT+ Community. Sharpe began creating LGBTQ-themed projects in 1970 as a freshman film student at Boston University. An on-campus theater company he co-founded while there evolved into African-American Collective Theater (ACT) after his move to DC in 1976.
In the early ’90s, African-American Collective Theater revised its original mission from Black theater in general to focus solely on LGBTQ themes and subject matter. During the subsequent three decades, as an HIV+ artist, Sharpe has written and directed over 120 plays, short films, and a web series—all showcasing the mosaic of LGBTQ life and culture in the Black community.
In addition to ACT, Sharpe is proud to be a charter member of the Brave Soul Collective (BSC), for which he has also written an ongoing series of plays, as well as a member of the African-American Playwrights’ Exchange (APEX), Urban Playwrights United (UPU), the NPX New Play Exchange, and the Dramatists’ Guild. His short play “Bedtime Story” was featured in Houston’s 2019 “Fade-to-Black” Play Festival.
Sharpe is recipient of a 2018–19 Artist’s Fellowship in Theater from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and one of six artists selected to participate in the 2019 “Playwrights’ Arena” program at Arena Stage.
Meet the Cast of Screen/Plays