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Philadelphia: Sitting Down with Teresa Miller and Caitlin Cieri

As Ben Franklin said, “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.”

When Philadelphia playwrights can’t find support, they create it. To understand why, I sat down with Teresa Miller, Founder of Jouska Playworks, Philadelphia’s new African American collective, and Caitlin Cieri, President of the 27-year-old Philadelphia Dramatists Center (PDC).

  • Teresa Miller, Jouska Playworks Founder
    Teresa Miller, Jouska Playworks Founder
  • Caitlin Cieri, Philadelphia Dramatists Center President
    Caitlin Cieri, Philadelphia Dramatists Center President

MARJORIE BICKNELL:  Teresa, why Jouska Playworks?

TERESA MILLER:  I was finishing at the Foundry and wondering, “What’s next? We didn’t have a Black playwrights’ group, and I thought, “Start one of your own!” I ran it by Keenya Jackson and Quinn Eli, and they were on board instantly. So, I’m the founder and they are the co-founders. 

MB:  Caitlin, how did you become PDC president?

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Marjorie Bicknell
Marjorie Bicknell

(1949-2023) received the Joseph Jefferson Award and the John Gassner Memorial Playwrighting Award, won the TNTPops! New Play Contest, and was nominated for the Weissberger Prize. She is published by Dramatic Publishing, Heartland Plays, and ARTemis Arts. She is the founder of Playwrights Alliance of PA, Marathon Acts, and was president emeritus of Philadelphia Dramatists Center.