The Fire This Time Festival

The Fire This Time Festival was founded in 2009 by playwright Kelley Nicole Girod to provide a platform for early career playwrights of African and African American descent. Since its founding, the Festival has produced the plays of dozens of emerging writers whose works explore a wide range of themes and perspectives. The Festival also supports actors, directors, and technical personnel to help seed the pipeline with diverse talent and amplify underrepresented voices in theater in New York and beyond.

The Fire This Time playwrights have gone on to have their plays produced in cities across the United States and work as writers in film and television. The Fire This Time Festival has evolved into an annual January event and continues to grow, expanding upon its core short play presentations to offer panel discussions, staged readings, a playwright’s lab and other programs. The Festival has become a destination for diverse audiences, producers, and artists seeking new possibilities and opportunities in contemporary theater.

We are thrilled to have Zhailon Levingston (Chicken & Biscuits) as our 2022 festival director! Mr. Levingston will be directing the world premieres of six short plays written by Black artists.

 The 2022 festival will run from January 17th through February 6th and will feature the following works:

Wildest Dreams by Agyeiwaa Asante
For over 187 years Maybelle and Jimmy Dale have haunted the Mason plantation, a now popular tourist attraction and event venue. Tired of their time on this plane, they wonder what it’ll take to get them to the other side.

Red Red Wine by Rachel Herron
Somm was well on her way to becoming the first Black female Master Sommelier in the world, but she gave it all up to produce her own wine label. Now she’s enlisted the help of her mentee, Mel, to help grow the brand; the only question is whether Mel will still be on board once she learns the secret ingredient in their bestselling red.

Gurlfriend (Black is Black) by Fedna Jacquet
Two black girls drinking wine and living their best lives. #BlackGurlMagic #UnapologeticAF. We get to see them—jokes and bruises on display. By leaving the world outside, these best friends are able to bond in a fresh and delightful way…until the ever-shrinking classification of blackness threatens to exclude one of them.

Wookiees in The Wilderness by Marcus Scott
Bishop and Smokey are best pals. Smokey will do anything for Bishop, who is in the midst of recovering from a recent trauma. Bishop will do anything for Smokey including going out to the mountainside wilderness of the Lake of the Ozarks to prepare him for his upcoming Wilderness Survival test for the Eagle Scouts. But as the sundown begins and night falls upon them, the boys are reminded to truly be prepared for anything.

Mount Sinai by Phillip Christian Smith
Gladys and Minerva, casual chemo friends, discuss life, the south, children, and the handsome cancer patient in Room A.

By the way… by Lisa Rosetta Strum
Two best friends have been quarantined for the past month. When one of the friends reveals their true feelings for the other, perceptions, prejudices and fears get exposed and a friendship could be changed forever.

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