Alumni Spotlight: Roger Q. Mason

The OBIE Award winning The Fire This Time Festival (TFTT) is launching its inaugural Alumni Spotlight -- a new initiative to amplify the work of talented TFTT playwrights who have not yet a major Off-Broadway production -- with a presentation of a collection of plays and spoken word performance by Roger Q. Mason. The Alumni Spotlight will premiere on The Fire This Time Festival’s website, The Fire This Time’s Youtube channel and the Facebook pages of The Fire This Time and FRIGID New York. The Alumni Spotlight event will also serve as a fundraiser for TFTT.

Wayne Brady, Pierre Jean Gonzalez (“Hamilton,” “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”), artist and activist Ianne Fields Stewart (“The Bold Type,” “The Feels,” “Messiah”), Adam Hyndman (“Hadestown,” “Once On This Island”), and Roger Q. Mason will star. The plays will be directed Taibi Magar (“Blue Ridge,” “The Great Leap,” “Is God Is”), June Carryl (“The Life and Death Of”), Larry Powell (“The Brothers Size” at USC, creator of the webseries “The Gaze: No Homo”) and Zhailon Levingston (“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”, “Chickens & Biscuits,” “A Burning Church”).

The evening will be punctuated with appearances by Pulitzer winning playwright Lynn Nottage; award winning playwright, director and actor Kevin R. Free (“Is He Dead,” “Night of the Living N-Word”); and L Lee Morgan (“A Strange Loop”) who will be offering words in celebration of Mason. Immediately following the presentation, there will be a talkback with Mason.

About the Plays

The program will consist of the short play “Hard Palate”; excerpts from Mason’s full-length works “The Duat,” and  “The White Dress”; and a new short spoken word piece “He Needed Help” written and performed by Mason. 

The Duat

A former FBI COINTELPRO informant, now deceased (played by Brady), wrestles with personal and civic demons in the Egyptian afterlife. Taibai Magar directs.

Hard Palate

In this New York Innovative Theatre Award nominated short play, two black gay men's hookup unleashes a flood of fears, shames, and - ultimately - unapologetic queer loving freedom. Zhailon Levingston directs. Travis Coles, Pierre Jean Gonzalez, and Gillian Williams star.

He Needed Help

Writer/performer Roger Q. Mason shares a new work, created specifically for The Fire This Time Festival's Alumni Spotlight, based upon his/their experience battling food addiction, body dysmorphia, and familial trauma growing up in Los Angeles, CA. Larry Powell Directs.

The White Dress

A finalist for the Screencraft Play Award and Lark Playwrights' Week, The White Dress is a genderqueer coming-of-age story for the they/them generation. In the excerpted scene, Jonathan (Adam Hyndman) and Winnie (Ianne Fields Stewart) explore the liberating majesty of life outside the gender binary. June Carryl directs.

About Roger Q Mason

Roger Q. Mason (he/they) is an award-winning writer, performer and educator known for using history's lens to highlight the biases that separate rather than unite us. Mason's playwriting has been seen on Broadway at Circle in the Square (Circle Reading Series); Off/Off-Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, The Fire This Time Festival, New Group, American Theatre of Actors, Flea Theatre, and Access Theater; and regionally at McCarter Theatre, Victory Gardens, Chicago Dramatists, Steep Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse, EST/LA, Son of Semele, and Skylight Theatre. Mason is an honoree of the Kilroys List; the recipient of the Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award and the Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Producers Award; and a finalist for the Geffen Writers' Room, Lark Playwright's Week and the Screencraft Play Award. Mason's films have screened at Outshine Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival. They've been recognized by the AT&T Film Award and Atlanta International Film Festival. He/they hold degrees from Princeton University, Middlebury College, and Northwestern University.

About TFTT

The Fire This Time Festival was founded in 2009 by Kelley Girod to provide a platform for playwrights of African and African-American descent to write and produce evocative material for diverse audiences. Since the debut of the first 10-minute play program in 2010, presented in collaboration with FRIGID New York, The Fire This Time Festival has expanded into an annual theater festival which includes a flagship 10-minute play program, staged readings, workshop productions and other programming. Over 80 playwrights whose work has been produced and developed by The Fire This Time Festival over the past 11 seasons include Katori Hall, Dominique Morisseau, Marcus Gardley, Jordan E. Cooper; Antoinette Nwandu, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Jocelyn Bioh, Ngozi Anyanwu, korde arrington tuttle, Stacey Rose, Aziza Barnes, C.A. Johnson, Kevin R. Free, Charly Evon Simpson; Gethsemane Herron, Angelica Cheri, Kevin R. Free, James Anthony Tyler, Nathan Yungerberg, and Radha Blank.

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