A reflection on Shoppin’

Friday, November 19, 2010

One week ago from tonight was Shoppin’ for N.I.G.G.A.S

It’s over!…. It’s over 😦

I definitely do not see what happened last week as the end of the play or the workshopping.

I was very happy with the evening over all and appreciate all the help we had.  Blackboard is really growing and the support from the community is really wonderful 🙂  We had a lovely surprise as well, actor, Nicole Ari Parker, friend of Director, LA Williams attended the talkback.

In thinking and talking with people about the evening, some people were wondering how satisfied I was with the talk-back, especially after the discussion moved away from the play.  I was completely satisfied because one of the reasons I went to school for the MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies, and then went on to complete the MFA in Playwrighting was because I was interested in writing plays about the Black Community that would produce discussions about what was happening within the community, and friday’s talk-back did exactly that!  I was completely satisfied.  The play was 30 mintues and that was deliberate.  I would like to introduce theatre to audiences who have not had the access and I always thought it best to start with something shorter.

I could really talk more about the workshop production, but I don’t want to be too long winded – the director, LA Williams did more than I could have imagined and I couldn’t have asked for a better cast.  Everything with Shoppin’ has just “arrived”, as if magically.  This has been a blessed production.  The cast is the same cast from the first reading at a Blackboard Community Evening – November 2008.

Blackboard is the realization of the plan I had going into graduate school! WHOO HOO!

NEXT INSTALLMENT:  I will be working on the 2nd “sketch” if you will, of the piece as it was called on Friday, concerning Black Men.

Thanks again for all the support!

🙂

Garlia

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About blackboardplays

Familiar with the collectives for poets and other Black writers that had been created over the years and slightly envious of that sense of community, I became curious about a similar place for playwrights. I wanted to see Black playwrights, actors and directors excited over each others work and supporting each other. I was longing for a “home” as a Black playwright and wanted to see other Black artists in that home, not to be exclusive, but because there was a void. I was also eager to find other Black playwrights who shared a passion for the craft of storytelling. The stories of the Black community are diverse and are often hidden behind the blockbuster stereotyped versions. The non-artistic Black community, not involved in the writing of these stories, is yearning to see themselves in our stories and it is apart of my life’s work to ensure that happens. the cell is any artists’ dream: a new space that supports you as you grow, committed to new work and the art. This allows the writer to focus on the craft - to focus on their story. Nancy Manocherian and Kira Simring welcomed this idea with open arms and instantly became apart of what we later called “Blackboard Reading Series”. Every reading will conclude a twenty minute talk-back with the audience. Dialogue with the community is essential to what we want to do with the series. As we grow, there may be more readings a month, play festivals and of course productions. We want to nurture and develop new black playwrights for this generation! Thank You! Garlia Cornelia Jones Founder, Blackboard Reading Series
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