WHERE AND WHEN
Friday, October 9, 2020, at 8:00 PM
Presented by The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc.
Free, suggested donation $15
Reservations: https://zoom.us/93538469749/ Meeting ID: 935 3846 9749
Runs :90 including performances and judging
Info: www.necinc.org, 212 582-5860
Photos of playwrights in the competition: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ciwFPebMhNxuBHUj6
NEW YORK — On Friday, October 9 at 8:00 PM, The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. (NEC) will live stream the second installment of its NEC Zoom Short Play Series, “This World Was Made for All Men–And Women,” a ten-minute play competition to be live-streamed from Contra Studios, 122 W. 26th Street, Manhattan. The studio will function as a sound stage for a three-camera shoot with four fully staged plays and three readings that were written expressly for this competition. At the end of the night, a panel of judges will announce the winning play, whose playwright will receive a cash prize. There will be no live audience, but online viewing is free and unlimited and viewers will be able to vote for their favorite play on Zoom. The host will be Obie-winning actor Yvette Ganier. Admission is free; suggested donation is $15 and audiences can watch at the following Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube links:
Meeting ID: 935 3846 9749
Facebook Live: The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc.
A recorded version will subsequently be preserved on NEC’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK1So8PDmUrhwsgHdvhqyfQ/videos), where the company’s last competition is now available.
This competition is a successor to an evening of five-minute plays that NEC presented on July 17. The idea of a virtual short play competition originated in a Zoom meeting last Spring when Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer brought together Karen Brown, NEC’s Executive Artistic Director, and Clayton Banks, CEO and co-founder of Silicon Harlem. Banks was eager to help a nonprofit improve its digital presence and suggested a five-minute play competition for NEC in which all the competing plays would be staged with social distancing and the entire evening would strictly adhere to all Covid-19 guidelines. Carried on the Silicon Harlem platform, the competition combines onstage staging with off-site streaming. The concept of the first competition has been expanded for this round by the addition of audience voting on Zoom.
The play contestants are: “Counting Pedestals” by Carlos Jerome, directed by Marishka Phillips; “The Moors” by Cris Eli Blak, directed by Marcus Naylor; “Rite of Passage” by Devin Porter, directed by Marcus Naylor; and “I Love You But…” by Christine Hsu, directed by Karen A. Brown.
The readings are “Chantel’s Dilemma” by Chima Chikazunga, directed by Marcus Naylor; “The Privilege is All Mine” by Roderick Shepard, directed by TBA, “Apocalypse Then” by Tony Domaille, directed by TBA and “Diplomacy: The Art of Thinking Before You Speak” by Oscar Sanders, directed by Lauren Marissa Smith.
The plays to be presented were chosen from the submissions by a committee of seven people that included four directors, a producer, a dramaturg, and an actor. Submissions were required to be in line with NEC’s mission of presenting live theater by and/or about Black people to a culturally diverse audience that is often underserved by the theatrical community. The theme is, “This world was made for all men and women.” Submissions were required to explore aspects of the human condition including race, inequality, and equality, politics/political climate, compassion, courage, death and dying, honesty, loyalty, perseverance, family love, strife, generational issues, the benefits of hard work, the power of love, passion, relationships, dignity, etc. Each submission was required to contain a full thematic structure or arc, including a beginning, middle, and end, and to be limited to one to three characters and one set (interior or exterior). Touching in the play is forbidden. Covid-19 can be used as a backdrop or initial inciting incident, but cannot be the main theme or overriding idea guiding the work.
The winner will be judged by the panel of Ralph McCain, Marjorie Moon, and Clayton Banks and the judges will take into account audience input on Zoom.
Stage Manager is Karimah. Digital Tech Coordinator is Jessica Prince. Digital/Livestream Support is by Joly McFie. Production Designer is Patrice Davidson. NEC Zoom Coordinator is Michelle Baldwin. Associate Producers/Production Zoom Directors are Clayton Banks and Cynthia Kitt.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 AT 8:00 PM
NEC will present “Laugh Through The Pandemic & Break The Tension!,” its third Comedy Zoom, hosted by Gil “Gil T” Tucker, with Natasha Calloway-Adams, Julie Baez, Henry Clay aka WWBC, Tim Wynn, and Kool Bubba Ice. To attend, go to:
Meeting ID: 225 960 4067 Password: NEC.2020 Donations ($15 suggested) through Venmo: TheNegroEnsembleCompany-Inc, PayPal: email@example.com or Cashapp: NECcashnow.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30 AT 8:00 PM
NEC will present its third Poetry Zoom, hosted by Daniel Carlton (lineup TBA). Reservations info TBA.
Photos of the playwrights in the Ten Minute Play Competition are available at https://photos.app.goo.gl/ciwFPebMhNxuBHUj6