Black Women Playwrights' Group Celebrates 17 Years of Advocacy for Playwrights of Color

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Black Women Playwrights’ Group celebrates 17th Anniversary with a collaboration with Asian American youth at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center, and Annual Staged Reading at the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C.

The Black Women Playwrights’ Group (BWPG), a service and advocacy group for playwrights of color, is celebrating its 17th year with a flurry of readings to focus on the work of its members and voices of color within the community. The celebration will culminate on June 19th and 20th 7:30 p.m., with the 17th Annual Staged Reading, Everyday Gumbo at the Studio Theatre. This year's dramatic works cover a variety of themes. Two of the seven plays featured focus on characters caught up in Hurricane Katrina, thus inspiring the name of the evening, Everyday Gumbo. On a lighter note, Lois A. Wiley gives a humorous look at a young woman passenger who finds herself in a moment of crisis, sitting next to an outspoken older woman, as the plane dips, drops, and rolls. The Studio Theatre is located at 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. Tickets are available at BoxOfficeTickets. Patrons may either call 1-800-494.8497 or visit

With its offices based in Chinatown, BWPG has established an exciting community outreach program with Asian American youth at Jefferson Junior High School. Karen L. B. Evans has worked with students to bring their work to life. As a result of this partnership, the students work will be performed by professional actors at the newly opened Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, on June 14th. This program, The Chinatown Project, focuses on the immigrant experience. The event is free, and open to the public. The performance will be followed by a brief reception.

The plays featured in the staged reading are new works created by group members during 2005-2006. The amazing excerpts will have audiences laughing, crying and reflecting, as the extraordinary and ordinary are served up in one delectable dish. The showcase includes the following pieces: Miles to Go by Pamela Armstrong deVreeze; Spectator Sport by e. christi Cunningham; The Workout by Debbie Minter Jackson; The Last Bus Ride by Maria Jones; Marie by Debra Mims; Listening to Momma by Debra Rose; and The Plane Truth by Lois A. Wiley.

The Black Women Playwrights’ Group was founded in 1989. Members range from the very young writer to those who have been nationally recognized for the excellence of their work. The purpose of the organization is to support, promote and refine the work of its members. BWPG offers a unique opportunity for members to work as a collective moving each other to higher levels of expression.

Black Women Playwrights' Group is funded by The Gwendolyn and Morris Cafritz Foundation, Chevy Chase Bank, Citibank, The Dreyfus Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Washington Post, and The Weissberg Foundation. To find out more about the Black Women Playwrights Group go to or call 202.315.1321.

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Pat Thornton
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