TFTT Announces Fourth Cycle of New Works Lab
Headshots of Antu Yacob, William Watkins & Shamar S. White
(L to R) Antu Yacob, William Watkins, and Shamar S. White

The Fire This Time Festival (TFTT) is excited to announce the three dramatists who have been selected to participate in the fourth cycle of their New Works Lab Program: DG member Shamar S. White, William Watkins, and Antu Yacob. The playwrights will meet monthly beginning in October 2021 to share their work in development and the Lab will culminate in staged readings of the work that are scheduled to be held in June 2022.

The New Works Lab is co-directed by educator, playwright, and DG member Cynthia G. Robinson (Freedom Summer, Dancing On Eggshells) and TFTT producer A.J. Muhammad. First established in 2015 as TFTT Writer’s Group, the New Works Lab has a mission of giving Black playwrights from the TFTT community the opportunity to incubate and develop new work in a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment. Previous New Works Lab members include Ngozi Anyanwu, Liz Morgan, Khalil Kain, Shawn Nabors, Christine Jean Chambers, Edgar Chisholm, Maia Matsushita, T.R. Riggins, Danielle Davenport, and Tyrell Bennett. The fourth cycle of the lab is the recipient of generous support from the Black Seed Fund.  

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 ten-minute play program in 2010, presented in collaboration with FRIGID New York, The Fire This Time Festival has produced and developed the work of more than 90 playwrights including Katori Hall, Dominique Morisseau, Marcus Gardley, Radha Blank, Antoinette Nwandu, Jocelyn Bioh, korde arrington tuttle, Stacey Rose, Aziza Barnes, C.A. Johnson, Kevin R. Free, Charly Evon Simpson, Angelica Chéri, James Anthony Tyler, Jordan Cooper, and Nathan Yungerberg. The Fire This Time Festival recently collaborated with Center Theatre Group and Watts Village Theater Company to launch the initiative “It’s Not A Moment, But A Movement” to amplify Black artists through three virtual events that pair playwrights, visual artists and musicians during 2021.