In March/April of 2021, we produced a new online reading series that featured four plays representing a diverse range of Black voices. Those plays included: Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids by Vincent Terrell Durham, directed by Rondrell McCormick; Baton, written by Deneen Reynolds-Knott, directed by Dexter Singleton. Mud Row by Dominique Morriseau, directed by Patricia McGregor; and The Great Kahn by Michael Gene Sullivan, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg. Each of these plays were followed by provocative conversations around the themes, elements, and experiences sparked by these artists.
The 2021 Play Reading Series was curated by director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg and REP Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager Danielle Ward, with additional curation by dramaturg Kimberly King and REP Artistic Associate and host of We Are Listening Ahmed Dents. The series was produced by then REP Associate Producer & Casting Director Kim Heil and National New Play Network Producer-in-Residence Rebecca Myers.
Black Voices Reading Series
Dates: Mondays in March/April 2022
Location: Online through San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego REP’s Black Voices Reading Series Overview San Diego Repertory Theatre is proud to announce open submissions to the 2022 Black Voices Reading Series, a series of four new play readings representing a diverse range of Black voices. Through this series, San Diego REP seeks to find plays that fit the San Diego REP mission, provide space for Black stories and theatre artists that spotlight the broad range of today’s Black experience, and create an opportunity for discussion around the various topics explored in each play. Past selections include work by Dominique Morisseau, Vincent Terrell Durham, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, and Michael Gene Sullivan. The Great Khan, a piece by Sullivan from the 2021 Black Voices Reading Series, is being produced by San Diego REP in 2022. The reading series will take place in a virtual format to reach a global audience as well as to allow artistic directors, literary managers, and producers accessibility to view new work for their theatres.
Four scripts from playwrights nationwide will be selected by a panel of curators comprised of local and national theatre professionals. Each play will each be rehearsed over the course of one week, resulting in an online public reading on Monday evening. Readings will be rehearsed in Feb/March 2022; combined rehearsal and performance will not exceed 15 hours.
This open call for submissions is only open to self-identifying Black playwrights living in San Diego County. Plays must be unpublished and/or not have more than one professional production at the time of submission. University productions or other non-professional workshops/productions will not disqualify a script. At this time, only full length (at least 80 minutes), non-musicals, with cast size between two and nine will be considered. We are seeking work that is ready for a full production. Adaptations are allowed as long as the playwright holds rights. Plays with music will be considered as resources allow (cast-size less eight and under, piano only). Submissions are limited to one script per playwright.
A curation committee will choose the four plays for this series from a pool of select scripts from playwrights across the nation as well as local submissions. This year the lead curator, who will help bring new plays to the table and then lead our selection process is Alexis Williams a former literary agent and current Associate Artistic Director of Playwright’s Realm. San Diego Rep Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager Danielle Ward will also be joined by San Diego REP Director of Venue Experience and Artistic Associate Ahmed Dents, San Diego Black Artist Collective member and performing artist Zach King, and Boston-based producer, director, and actor Jasmine Brooks as part of the curation team. Selection will be based upon:
Alignment with San Diego Repertory Theatre's mission to produce intimate, provocative, inclusive theatre through vivid and theatrical works that nourish progressive political and social values;
Artistic merit—including quality, impact, purpose, and aesthetics of the play;
Robust conversations for today’s audiences that can be sparked from the play.
All applicants must complete the following two steps:
1. Submit a cover letter with:
Your name, email address, and phone number
A one paragraph synopsis of the script â—‹ Number of actors required
Please list any prior development work, production history, or awards for this play
Playwright biography (100 word limit)
2. Send your script with a clear cast list to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the Email Subject Line: 2022 Black Voices Reading Series Submission, Your Name, Script Title All entries must be emailed by: Friday, October 1, 2021 by 12:59 PST
Hard copies will not be accepted. PDF documents are strongly recommended to avoid formatting discrepancies. Selected playwrights will be notified via email by Dec 31, 2021.
If you have any questions, please email Danielle Ward at: email@example.com
About San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Repertory Theatre produces intimate, provocative, inclusive theatre. San Diego REP promotes an interconnected community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. Since 1976, San Diego REP has produced 60 world premieres, 91 main stage productions by playwrights who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, 68 works by playwrights who are female identifying. San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, visit www.sdrep.org.