Keynote Speaker: Louisiana Arts Summit

I am so thrilled to share that I will be one of the keynote speakers for the Louisiana Arts Summit in Baton Rouge in October!  This will be my first time as a keynote speaker and because I have a dream of giving a TED talk, this will certainly not be my last.

The summit will take place from October 4th - 8th.  This will be my first time in Baton Rouge, and I am looking forward to the creative connections and spending time with a very dear friend, who recommended me for this keynote in fact 💜.

I have been working on my speech, and in addition to speaking to open up the summit, I will be on a few panels as well!  If you are in the area, please click the Register Here button below to learn more about the summit and attend.

Photo Aug 23 2023, 10 50 58 PM

Other Keynote Speakers include: T. Lang and Claire Rice.  There was a lovely piece about the 3 of us in Country Roads, that you can read here.



Looking forward to gathering and sharing our dreams for now and the future.

Thanks for reading!

Tickets on Sale – 12th Annual “48Hours in…™Harlem” – Sunday, August 27, 2023 – 7pm and 9:30pm EST!

It's that time of year again!  the 12th Annual "48Hours in...™Harlem" will take place two weeks from today on Sunday, August 27, 2023.  We will have two performances at the National Dance Institute in Harlem.  Don't miss the 7pm or the 9:30pm EST shows of 6 new 10-minute plays by these 6 incredible writers:

Top Row:
Andrea Ambam
Christin Eve Cato
Julienne Hairston

Bottom Row:
Johnny G. Lloyd
a.k. payne
M.D. Schaffer


Tickets are on sale now via our website - HERE. 

They are $25 online and $30 CASH ONLY at the door!  Make sure to visit the above link to our website for the address and to learn more about this incredible Obie Award Winning collective that I have been part of since we began in 2010.

I only know a couple of this year's directors, but look forward to welcoming,

Top Row:
Christopher D. Betts
Tyrone Davis
Kelly GreenLight

Bottom Row:
Benton Greene
Ava Novak
Kirya Traber

Last but certainly not least are the actors!  We would not be able to put these new plays out into the world without them.  Make sure you stay tuned to our website and Instagram Feed to see their headshots!

Toree Alexandre

Murphy Lorenzo Applin Jr.

Taylor A. Blackman*

Maya Carter

Kayla Coleman*

Brittany Davis

Marchael Giles

Kara Green

Gerrard James*

Christopher B. Portley

Morgen McKynzie

AhDream Smith*

Booker Vance*

Imani Pearl Williams*

Justin K. Winley


* these Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association*


Looking forward to seeing you there -

now GET THOSE TICKETS! 🙂 (click HEre!)

PLAYWRIGHTS: Submit to the 4th Annual Obsidian Theatre Festival


It's been a busy summer full of professional and personal high and low, but I am energized by my work supporting Black artists around the country!  The Obsidian Theatre Festival, in my hometown of Detroit, MI is one of the things that keeps me going these days.  The 3rd Annual festival was this past June, and while we finish the prep for the streaming of this year's festival, we are gearing up for the 4th Annual Obsidian Theatre Festival with submissions opening much earlier this year!

Stay tuned to this space, for more details, but Playwrights - mark your calendars for our Submission period that runs from Tuesday, August 15, 2023 until Friday, September 22, 2023

We are so excited to open up submissions for Playwrights, submitting plays for our main stage and for Composer, Lyricists and Book Writers or their teams for our Musical Theatre Showcase.

Full details and submission guidelines will be available following our Tuesday, August 15th announcement and Press Release, but I look forward to sharing it all with you and getting to know your work (or that of a friend or colleague of yours).

For further details, visit the Obsidian Submission page, HERE!

In the News: LinkedIn and WDET – Detroit

Hi again!

Sharing some interviews I've had over the last month or so.

1st up, I was on the LinkedIn News podcast, Hello Monday with Jessi Hempl.  My friend, Sarah Storm, who has been a consist support of my work for years now is a podcast producer there.  I was on another podcast she produced for the Dramatists Guild a few years ago, "TALKBACK".  The episode was on collaborating with a marketing Department 🙂 

This Hello Monday episode was special because it's not often I get to speak about my parenting journey outside of my own festival.  I got very emotional a couple times and we chatted for such a long time.  The episode has several parenting perspectives.  It is a really nice listen and I was honored to actually be asked to participate.

You can check out the weekly newsletter that Hello Monday posts on LinkedIn Here.  This one focuses on "Balancing Career Ambition and Parenting: Real Stories and Expert Advice" and includes the episode that I was on.

LISTEN to our HELLO MONDAY Episode: "Parenting: Getting Timing Right" HERE!

Next up... John and I did an interview for the 3rd Annual Obsidian Theatre Festival on WDET's Culture Shift!   We have both been on the show before, but this was the first time in conversation with the Culture Shift team, Ryan Patrick Hooper and Tia Graham, together.

My first time on the show was in 2019 with Courtney Burkett of Detroit Public Theatre for Harlem9's Inaugural "48Hours in...™Detroit" - You can listen to that episode HERE !

John has been on CultureShift several times, but if you're curious about the growth from the Inaugural Obsidian Theatre Festival, you can listen to his interview with Ryan HERE from 2020.

John Sloan III, Co-Executive Producer and Producing Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Festival; Garlia Cornelia Jones, Senior Creative Producer, Obsidian Theatre Festival (me 😉 )

Anyway, a few weeks ago, on May 23, 2023, I connected via zoom while John visited the local studio.  There is something so meaningful about conversation that has to do with doing work in Detroit.  One of the things I promised myself as a teenager was to comeback to Detroit to work.  I didn't know what that would look like, but I can tell you that the last several years have been spent doing ex

actly that - building an artistic community in Detroit alongside my artistic community in New York.   I am fortunate to support artists and artistic endeavors in both markets and this conversation was a bit of a full circle moment in that regard.

LISTEN to our Conversation with Tia Graham on WDET's Culture Shift HERE

... and if you're in Detroit... Make sure that you reserve your FREE tickets for our festival today!  It is not to be missed!


We've got 4 days of plays, a musical theatre showcase and a cabaret!

Hope to see you there, and thanks for reading!

Feeling Grateful: Did you know that I host a Podcast… at The Public… Are you Listening?

Hey there - Happy Monday...

I'm gonna get a little sentimental for a moment…
I was updating the description for the podcast with the New Media Associate, and when I added some of the guests we’ve had this year to the description, I got really emotional… and tired… lol

We have been so deeply in go mode, but being able to write this list when a year ago at this time, we didn’t have this podcast the way we have it now at The Public, and I was newly promoted and Line Producing the Gala…. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this season would bring forth a description like this…

This season, The Public Theater’s Podcast came back!  Get a behind-the-scenes look and investigate process with our artists and staff.  This season’s guests included: Suzan-Lori Parks, Robert O’Hara, Delfeayo Marsalis, Oskar Eustis (Final Episode that drops on the 15th) and Tony Award nominees: Emilio Sosa, Nikki Crawford and Saheem Ali… and more!

Listen, wherever you find your podcasts or at Square

Public Square 2.0 is Hosted by Garlia Cornelia Jones, Director, Innovation and New Media
The podcast is only one portion of Innovation and New Media - but I am really proud of this work and these episodes (Currently 16 - will be 17 after June 15th) and how we are sharing our mission beyond the theatres so many New Yorkers know and love.  It has been my goal to invite new audiences in by sharing what we are doing - even in conversation in a digital way.

If you are reading this post and you haven't yet done so, I hope that you will take a moment to connect with the podcast and this season's episodes.
Share them if you enjoy them and please leave us a review or a rating.

I am incredibly grateful to the team that puts this podcast together.  Here is a photo from our Pilot episode featuring Suzan-Lori Parks and the retiring Production Executive, Ruth Sternberg.  There's not many projects I do without John (and Amber, but she is not pictured here), these days.  When I knew I wanted to do a podcast, I called John - we were already working on Obsidian Theatre Festival, and the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival, and it was important to have a Bipoc and growing production team in Ghostlight Creative Productions.  We also co-wrote a song for the #24hourViralMusicals in 2021... but I could write a book on all that later.  Anyway, Artistic Partnerships like this are rare and I do not take them for granted.

Since I'm in a bit of a sentimental and mushy mood, I'll pause for now...

(Left to Right) Emily White, New Media Associate; Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulizter Prize Winning Playwright, Writer-In-Residence at The Public; Justin K. Sloan, Audio Producer (Ghostlight Creative Productions); Garlia Cornelia Jones, Host and EP; and John Sloan III, Producer and Video Editor (Ghostlight Creative Productions).


As we get ready to end this season on the 15th, I will spend some time re-capping each episode here, including the links, behind-the-scenes photos and the video episode.

For now, the best way to take it all in, is by clicking this link HERE:


Supporting Obsidian and Black Theatre in Detroit (a childhood dream!)

Hey Everyone!

Life has been busy busy these days... but really... how is that new....?

I turned 40 two days ago... (Stay Tuned for that full newsletter).  It was a beautiful day, and if you follow me on social media or receive my newsletter - you will get the full update!

In this moment, I'm posting to share the GoFundMe Campaign that we just launched for the Obsidian Theatre Festival.  

When I was a kid, I always knew that I wanted to be part of a theatre community in Detroit.  I didn't know exactly that looked like... but over the last few years, I have been able to be part of some fantastic projects that do just that.

Since that first season in 2021, OTF has created a space for Black artists in the city of Detroit, and across the country. Based in Detroit, a cradle of Artistic creativity, Obsidian builds an innovative space – one that allows for audiences and artists alike to celebrate the diversity of Blackness.  

There is no “singular, monolithic Black experience”. Every story deserves to be told.  And the barriers we break down from learning about each other create new pathways – ones where compassion meets understanding, and “community” becomes more than a buzzword. 

Over the course of one weekend we present original plays, musicals, cabaret performances, and panel discussions.  All of this is done at no cost to the artists or audience.  

That’s right.  Once accepted, the new pieces are produced entirely by OTF.  We hire the directors and the actors, build the sets, and everything in between.  From Thursday through Sunday, there are 12 individual performances, multiple opportunities for audience participation.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, each and every piece we produce is filmed and streamed on our website.  So, just in case you can’t make it to Detroit, you can still participate and catch all of this amazing work.

And, we don’t charge the audiences anything either.  Our gift to the community.

But free to the community, isn’t cheap for us.  

Each year we hire over 100 artists (90%+ identify as BIPOC), and we need your help to make sure we can continue to support this community.  

We are so close to our goal, and this last $25k is vital to making sure we can produce our 3rd Annual season. 

In 2021, we were doing something new at a time when gathering for the theatre in person was nearly impossible.  Now, we need your help to make sure we can continue to overcome impossibility.  

Check out the video for a message from our Producing AD, John Sloan III.  Give what you can and then share this campaign with your friends, family, frenemies, …the guy at your corner store.  

Thank you for helping us bring Black Stories to this New Stage.