Encore Michigan

Black and Brown Theatre’s ‘Our Voices’ 11/8

News October 28, 2019 Encore Staff

DETROIT, Micxh.–Black and Brown Theatre’s Our Voices program teaches interested community members how to write and direct their own short play. Some of the playwrights have written plays before, but may have not received formal training. Others are writing a play for the first time, though some have had experience in poetry or fiction.

Black and Brown Theatre hired actors from their free database of over 100 theatre artists of color in Southeast Michigan to visit the playwrights during the class sessions so that they could workshop their pieces by hearing actors read their drafts at various points. The theatre company also provided local professional directors who served as mentors to the playwrights who were able to have complete control of their stories.

The presentation was made possible by funding support from Park Players, the oldest community theatre in Detroit, who is currently housed out of the Redford Theatre, a historic Detroit theatre that provides entertainment for the Detroit area community including movie nights and an iconic visit from EGOT winner Rita Moreno in 2013.

Park Players also provided technical support including costume and prop design mentorship from local prop and costume designer Katy Schoetzow who helped the playwrights find the perfect design elements to bring their visions to life.

Playwright Patti Ortner said, “…it is making my writing better. More quality, less quantity. 

I even sat down and wrote another skit today.  The bug bit me and isn’t letting go.  I love it.  I feel alive again.”

The program has also enabled actors to try writing which opens new doors and is becoming a trend in Hollywood with actresses like Issa Rae creating roles for herself and others as well. Sasha Johnson was an actress in the summer session of Our Voices and has now transitioned to writing for this session. “I’ve gotten plenty of experience acting, writing, and directing, thanks to Black and Brown,” said Johnson.

Our Voices: New Plays by Detroit Area Playwrights performs Friday November 8, 2019 at The Historic Redford Theater (17360 Lahser Rd, Detroit, MI 48219). Doors open at 6:30pm. Performances begin at 7:00pm. Free and open to the public

For more information, please visit www.blackandbrowntheatre.org or email the staff at info@blackandbrowntheatre.org and follow Black and Brown Theatre on social media @bandbtheatre on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Week of 11/27/2023

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