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!)

The Artist-Parent-Parent-Artist Balance…

parent-artistbalanceIn a January blog for The Public Theatre, J.Julian Christopher touched on his experience as an artist making ends meet through freelance work and then balancing his creative life once attaining a position in Academia (a wish for many artists not wanting a “9 to 5”).

He wrote about his regimen for maintaining that “work-creative life” balance that so many artists struggle with. At the end of his post, he stated that a relationship would only make that more difficult… I chuckled when I read that as it rang more than true! (especially as I sit here in the dark finishing this blog on my phone).

Where does your creativity come in when one’s life is both parent and artist…. wait … did I just say that? Being a parent is one of the most creative things to happen to a person – if you are already an artist, it only adds to your creativity…in my opinion. BUT – Where does one find TIME to be creative as a parent balancing “life” when your livelihood cannot always be determined by your art.

The Washington Post published an article last week about work-life balance for single people – and feeling guilty for having to find pet care vs. childcare, for example.  Balance affects everyone. It’s real.

Personally, I often feel like my mind is going to explode from thinking before being able to accomplish anything (Procrastination / Over-thought). I lie awake lost in the minutia of motherhood and wife-dom, writing bits of dialogue / monologues on my iPhone. I am habitually nocturnal (… perhaps genes have something to do with it as well) and struggle between going to bed and getting up early or staying up late… (and still getting up early-ish).

Long gone are the days of wallowing in one’s own problems before others…my own little family puts things in perspective. When someone is tugging at your trousers /skirt while your cooking, it’s hard to think about the lunch date I should make with friends.

My husband’s more structured IT background has led him to marvel at the often inconsistent manner in which I behave. There are days I know exactly what to do first and other days … Not so much. Being a mother and wife is my first priority and it only helps my creativity, but knowing where creativity comes in is the challenge.

I tend to do some of my best thinking in the middle of the night!  I have wild dreams of red carpets and magazine articles (I can’t even believe I’m telling you this).  I’ve finished multiple plays and am writing in Paris (I would elaborate on Paris – but that is an entirely different blog post / novel… but let’s just say… no… I can’t… LATER).  By now, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that I’m either scattered, unorganized, or just plain ol’messy.  I would venture to say that I’m a little scattered – but that it aids in my creativity…

Getting back on track and away from my tangent…

  • I work in the middle of the night because everyone is asleep.  The house is silent and I can focus.
  • The iPhone has some great apps that I purchased early on because I knew in the beginning I wouldn’t be able to sit at my computer a lot (especially while nursing).  I use “Write2” and things upload to my dropbox, so it make is very easy.  I also have, for example, the wordpress app for my blogs (yes – I have two others…).
  • I do the shopping I can on-line… / have apps that are more than helpful and they ship the next day.

With that said, I would definitely recommend using the technology around you to aid in your creative / parent life.  I know there are more apps out there and if I discover them, I will share!

So has any of this helped me…yes, a little…  I produce with a group – Harlem9 – we have an annual 48 Hour Play festival in Harlem, I still run my reading series for Black Playwrights “Blackboard Reading Series” at the cell, where I worked before having my daughter and am now still involved through the series and as a resident artist…., I had a short play in a play festival in November “The Decision Fest” and was part of an online film festival encouraging people to vote (and I won one of the prizes).

ok… so maybe I’m being a little hard on myself… but since I have this image of where I want to be and where I am, I still work hard on the balance.  I can’t JUST write or work all day… there’s a baby to take care of, a husband, a house… I’m balancing, I am… the artist in me wants to sit, do yoga and write; the mother in me want to go to every mom and me-class available; the wife in me, wants to make the best french cuisine possible in a dress, apron and full make-up…  they’re all extremes… so the thing about balance is doing a little bit of each extreme in order to fulfill those parts of one’s life.

And then one day, you’re kids will have all grown up and you’ll have this other life to figure out…  🙂

But I can’t even think about that now!

Brownface – AAPAC and The Roundabout Theatre Company

I received an email this morning with the letter below and find it appropriate to discuss / post here.

I do not agree with Blackface and certainly do not agree with”Brownface” to depict Asian Americans. It seems that with the diverse acting pool in the city, The Roundabout would have found a way to use it.

As a playwright, I can respect the way a play is written and understand staying true to the script, however, we are no longer in the 19th century — people of color have more than a great deal of rights (we are all equal), so why do the play at all??

It could be a matter of personal taste and most likely a matter of subscribers…. this is the type of play they will attend, this is the type of play that puts The Roundabout as much in the black as possible.

I am a theatre artist, a producer, a woman of color…. I might understand why this play was chosen, but I don’t have to like it.

If I get the chance to attend a performance, I will surely report back.

For now, read below and be your own judge.


AAPAC Opposes Brownface in Roundabout Broadway Production

After seeing The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and receiving numerous complaints about the use of brownface in the production, AAPAC feels it is necessary to release the following public statement:

We were deeply disappointed to see white actors impersonating characters of South Asian descent complete with brown grease paint, appropriation of costumes and dance movements and relying on stereotypes in place of characterization. The obvious talents of the actors notwithstanding, the use of brownface had the effect of being extremely surreal and alienating, as if a joke was being told that was not intended for the Asian American community to hear.

We understand that the racism inherent in this musical is a reflection of the social mores within 19th century British panto and Music Hall traditions. Director Scott Ellis was being true to tradition, historical precedent, and to the story itself.

However, we would assert that if these characters came from the British colonies of Jamaica or Cameroon, and not the British colony of Ceylon (now present day Sri Lanka), blackface would never have been utilized in the same casual way. Today, you would never see a white actor in blackface playing the title role in “Othello” with the excuse of, “oh, well, that’s what was done in Shakespeare’s day.” We wonder why minstrelsy is acceptable when it comes to Asians?

The Roundabout production seems to show little awareness of the long history of Asian impersonation we are trying to put behind us or how racial politics and demographics have changed even in the 28 years since this show first premiered. There were a myriad of ways Mr. Ellis could have handled this issue with more sensitivity. For one, he could have hired actors of actual South Asian descent. Or, if he wanted to preserve white actors in these roles, the use of brownface would have been more ironic or satirical had the entire ensemble been cast multi-culturally. This would have been particularly effective since Hispanic-American star Chita Rivera was already in the cast. However, we have heard from quite a few members of the Asian acting community, including those with major Broadway credits, that requests from their representatives to secure an audition were denied.

The Roundabout Theatre Company does not have a good record when it comes to inclusive casting. Last year, we released a report looking at the percentages of actors of color hired at 16 of the top not-for-profit theatre companies in New York City over a five year span. The Roundabout made our list of the five theatre companies least likely to hire actors of color. In fact, they ranked second to lowest.

We are reaching out to the Roundabout to engage in closed-door discussions about these issues and are hopeful that they will accept our invitation. We are certain that their record does not reflect a conscious policy of exclusion and we hope that by bringing these issues to a more conscious level, the Roundabout can become an ally in an industry-wide commitment to more inclusive casting.

In the meantime, if you feel as strongly as we do, it would be very helpful if you take two minutes to send Artistic Director Todd Haimes a short missive via their FB page:

Until there is conscious attention given to these issues throughout the industry, opportunities for American actors of Asian descent–and all actors of color– will never be truly equal.

Yours in Solidarity,

The AAPAC Steering Committee

Pun Bandhu, Cindy Cheung, Kimiye Corwin, Angel Desai, Siho Ellsmore, Christine Toy Johnson, Peter Kim, Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Nancy Kim Parsons, Kenneth Lee, Allan Mangaser, Eileen Rivera


View the Letter in Original Format

AAPAC on Faceook

AAPAC = Asian American Performers Action Coalition