Black Organizations to Support during Black History Month… and every day of the year!

I've been keeping pretty busy lately.  My projects have a world all their own.  It's why I formed 55AP last Fall, but more on that another time...

Supporting me on Patreon as the hub of all of this work - I consistently create space for Black artists and my own writing, but creative time as a parent requires your children to be occupied or sleep to be at a minimum.  The balance between all of that is real.

There is truly something for everyone as it relates to Black creatives on this list:

From Blackboard Plays, the reading series I've been running for nearly 14 years at this point, to Harlem9, the OBIE Award winning producing collaborative that is responsible for "48Hours in...™Harlem" "48Hours in...™El Bronx", "48Hours in...™Holy Ground", "48Hours in...™Detroit", and "48Hours in...™Dallas"... to name a few...  PLUS the anthologies we publish that include the work we have been producing over the years.

#BMPFest exists to make space for Black Parent Playwrights to tell the stories of Black Families.  We are so nuanced and rarely are we able to live in those complexities - rarely are we invited to tell those stories.  Our Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival, makes the space for that!

Obsidian Theatre Festival is a Black Theatre Festival in Detroit.  I am currently their Creative Producer and it was an important project to add to my already busy roster because it is in my hometown of Detroit and I will find any reason to create at home and support artists and aspiring artists in Detroit because I was once a high schooler who thought hard about a journey back to Detroit that didn't involve Detroit because I desired a more diverse set of opportunities and to be in New York for a while.

All of these projects have Black artists in common and today and everyday!



#BMPFest Submissions are Open: Black Playwrights with Families!

This is my first post in quite some time.  I'm trying to do better about posting to my blog.  It used to be a thing I did pretty often and then LIFE HAPPENED... more like... divorce, new job, pandemic and moving... lots of blog posts in there and my Patrons have been receiving the behind the scenes over views, so if you're interested in joining my community!  I'd love to have you.

But this post is about #BMPFest... 

... and where should I begin...?

Well, it's gonna take a couple posts to catch up maybe... but also maybe not... #BMPFest is the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival I co-created with Rachel Spencer Hewitt of PAAL (Parenting Artist Advocacy League).

You can read more about it in this Instagram Post!

The 1st Annual #BMPFest was between May and June of 2021.  We featured 4 new plays by Black Parent Playwrights.   Check out the one of our press releases here!  

Here's a Playlist of Trailers, interviews, intros and our panel from the 1st Annual #BMPFest!

This year, we are looking at the Fall of 2022, but before we get there, we need the plays, right...?

So... SUBMISSIONS opened January 1st and we want to make sure that you spread the word.  I'm including the notice below!  If you are a Black Playwright with a Family - that includes if you are a caregiver, then you are invited.  We are interested in telling the stories of Black mothers, fathers and non-binary Parents and Caregivers!

Blackboard Plays and Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) partner to uplift the experiences of Black Parenthood. The Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival was established to tell stories from and about Black artists with families.


Since 2008, Blackboard Plays has been devoted to Black Playwrights throughout the African Diaspora.  Blackboard Reading Series was incubated at Nancy Manocherian's the cell in Chelsea's Manhattan as a resident series for 10 years before Blackboard made its home in The Mary Rodgers Room at The Dramatists Guild in 2018.  Feature Readings and Community Nights are two ways that Blackboard supports the development of new work by Black Playwrights.  Blackboard was founded by Garlia Cornelia Jones.

Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) is a national advocacy organization serving as a resource hub, community, and solutions generator for caregivers in the performing arts and media and the institutions who support them. PAAL created the first all-gender, all-discipline national PAAL Childcare Grants for individuals and institutions. PAAL has participated internationally in think tanks, on panels, and facilitated workshops on parenting in the arts at multiple gatherings, including the national TCG conferences, BroadwayCon, Actors Equity AssociationProfessional Association of Canadian Theatres, and the first national conversation on caregiving in the Latinx community at the Latinx Theatre Commons Annual Convening, Miami in Motion, in 2019. PAAL commits to anti-racist roots in structure, practice, policy, principle, and production, through Vertical 50/50, centering support on BIPOC artists, and gathering resources for active anti-racism in caregiver support.


PAAL and Blackboard established #BMPFest to showcase the creative output of Black parent playwrights. They issued an open call in October 2020 for writers who identify as Black parents or caregivers to submit up to 10 pages of work that they would develop into a one-act.


The Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival (#BMPFest) is seeking new plays by Black Parent and caregiver playwrights for its upcoming theatre festival in the Fall of 2022.

#BMPFest is open to those that identify as Black parents and caregivers.

#BMPFest is seeking stories centering the Black parenting and caregiving experience.

This includes, but is not limited to stories from artists with family responsibilities.

PAAL and Blackboard are transgender and non-binary affirming spaces. All language referencing "mother," "parent," "dad," "caregiver," and their derivatives include and refer to any individual who identifies with them.


March 1st, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST


Please submit up to 10 pages MAX of a play that you would develop into a One-Act (30 - 45 minutes.)

Ten (10) Semi-Finalists will have a feature digital (zoom) reading as part of Blackboard Plays’  ‘21-22 Season.

Four (4) Finalists will develop their One-Act centering on the Black parenting and caregiving experience to premiere digitally during the Fall of 2022.

  • If you are chosen as one of our ten (10) semi-finalists, we will request the full script for review.
  • Diverse Gender representation will be prioritized in the review and selection process.
  • Each produced play will have digital production elements and an assigned director.

Although we ask for a sample of 10-pages, this is not a 10-minute play festival. . Video Submissions will not be accepted.


The Final four (4) plays will be produced virtually.

Pending partner theatre preferences, we will consider a hybrid presentation.

Vaccination will be required for all participants of in-person productions


Each of the four (4) Finalists will be paid a stipend of $1,000. USD, as well as a $500. USD Caregiver Reimbursement Stipend per artist.


Question: What if my play has already had a reading or what if it has been produced somewhere else.  Can I still submit it?

While we encourage new work we also support the developmental process.  If your piece is in development, has had a reading, or been produced at smaller theatres then send it along.


C-MORE @ the cell 2018 : THREE Readings left! Ends March 28th

It is upon us!  The 3rd Annual C-MORE Festival!

March 18 – 28, 2018

the cell

How am I involved in this?  

I’m one of the producers! (Blackboard Plays is the organization I founded in 2008… yup.. almost 10 year anniversary!)

Here’s some official information…

Nancy Manocherian’s the cell (Artistic Director Kira Simring) in Chelsea, New York City has partnered with Liberation Theatre Company and Blackboard Plays to produce five new play readings as a part of the cell’s annual C-MORE Festival.

We’ve got 3 readings left!

Friday, March 23rd at 7:30PM

From Out Beyond My Shame by Shawn Nabors

directed by Christopher Burris

 Sunday, March 25th at 2:30PM

Restless Native by Germaine Netzband

directed by Kim Brockington

Wednesday, March 28th at 7:30PM

Quarters, Halves, and the Whole by Nathaniel Johnson

These readings are a culmination of the work done through Liberation Theatre’s Writing Residency Program.

 Tickets for these events are free.

We began the festival with a reading of Our Father by Liz Morgan directed by Mary Hodges on Sunday, March 18th at 2:30PM.

The second reading was from Blackboard Plays. Queen Nanny by Camille Darby directed by Miranda D. Haymon on Monday, March 19th at 7:30PM.  

Check it out on Broadway World HERE

A little more about C-MORE

Since it’s inception in 2016, the C-MORE festival has provided playwrights and theatremakers of color the opportunity to present work that they are passionate about and create visibility for underrepresented narratives.  This year, the cell has granted two companies that have been making immense strides in telling these stories, funding and materials to present their work.  Past C-MORE presentations have included a workshop production of The Year of the Bicycle by Joanna Evans, In the Southern Breeze by Jireh Breon Holder, Shoppin’ for N.I.G.G.A.S by Garlia Cornelia, The Marks You Leave by Tyler Andrew Jones, Lovely Send Anywhere by Douglas J.Cohen, and Lambs to Slaughter by Khalil Kain.

the cell (Founding Artistic Director Nancy Manocherian and Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works by emerging artists.  Founded in 2006, the cell has produced over a dozen critically acclaimed world premiere productions of new plays and musicals over the past 10 years including Sam’s Room, Bastard Jones, Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical and more.  The cell also features the jazz @ the cell series and has served as a home base for a large community of resident artists and organizations such as Blackboard Reading Series, Artists Without Walls (AWOW), Irish American Writers and Artists (AWOW), Sybarite5, Tribeca New Music, and New York Theatre Barn.

ABOUT Liberation Theatre Company

(Founder and Producing Artistic Director Sandra A. Daley) is a home for creative emerging black playwrights, providing resources to develop their work, nurturing and inviting them to express themselves in a supportive and focused environment. LTC brings together actors, directors, and playwrights to allow playwrights the room to learn and grow, culminating in their finest work, ready for production.

ABOUT Blackboard Plays

(Artistic Director Garlia Cornelia, Co-Curator Oneké Cummings) is devoted to Black playwrights throughout the African Diaspora. Since 2008 Blackboard has presented readings every second Monday of the month at the cell our home in Chelsea where we have been incubated as a resident series.