Explore culture without exploiting culture

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Theater Now, an artist services organization dedicated to supporting musical theater writers, continues its industry Q&A series with an online panel discussion on Exploring Culture Without Exploiting Culture on March 8 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all interested parties. Reservations are possible at www.tnny.org/industryqaseries.

The free series aims to “remove the information gatekeeping that often slows the career progress of early-career writers, those who lack industry contacts or financial resources to overcome the hurdles that may stand in their way.” Colleen Harris, CEO of Theater Now. “This month’s theme was developed by our DEI committee as one that will be valuable to writers who are committed to telling diverse stories in thoughtful ways.”

At the March 8 event, panelists will be Kim Euell, Humaira Ghilzaiand Martine Kei Green-Rogers in conversation, followed by a Q&A with the online companions.

Kim Euell is a playwright, dramaturge and arts educator passionate about promoting socially relevant new plays. She directed theater development programs at the Center Theater Group Mark Taper Forumthe Tony Award winner Hartford Stage Company, San Jose Repertory Theater and The Robey Theater Company, where she was Playwright in Residence of the California Arts Council. She has served as director of The Taper’s New America Playwrights Festival and Juneteenth Festival of New Plays. She also worked as a new theater dramaturge The Sundance Institute‘s Theater Lab and the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Voices!, the play development program she founded at Hartford Stage to encourage new plays by underrepresented writers, recently spawned the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Water By The Spoonful. She has edited Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy for TCG Publications, the first anthology devoted solely to theater informed by spoken-word poetry and hip-hop aesthetics (with Robert Alexander). She has published articles and reviews in American Theater Magazine, The African American Review, and The Oakland Tribune.

Humaira Ghilzai is an author, speaker and cultural advisor for Afghanistan. She focuses on projects that create positive social change. She co-founded the Afghan Friends Network and initiated the town twinning between Hayward, California and Ghazni, Afghanistan, where she has done extensive work to improve education for girls, boys and women. She is a sought-after culture expert who has worked with notable professional theatres, authors, playwrights and artists over the past decade, using her extensive knowledge of the Afghan people, culture, religion and history to bring authenticity to her creative work after Afghanistan and in the Islamic world. Ghilzai is currently working on her own new work PILGRIMAGE, the KITE RUNNER – Broadway, HEARTLAND – off-Broadway, SELLING KABUL, Seattle Republic, Little America television series and is producing its own television series. She shares Afghan culture and cuisine through her blog Afghan Culture Unveiled and her Youtube channel. She tells the wonders of Afghanistan through stories about the rich culture, delicious food and her family’s traditions.

Martine Kei Green-Rogers received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Theater and Drama. Prior to attending UW-Madison, she received her BA in Theater from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in Theater History and Criticism from Catholic University of America. Her dramaturgical work includes productions with the Louisville Orchestra, Classical Theater Company, Court Theater (Chicago, IL), Pioneer Memorial Theater, CATCO (Columbus, OH), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), New Play Madison Repertory Theater Festival and the WI Wrights New Play Festival. Her publications include the article “Talkbacks for ‘Sensitive Subject Matter’ Productions: The Theory and Practice” in the Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, “A New Noble Kinsmen: The Play On! Project and Making New Plays Out of Old” in Theater History Studies and “The Dramaturgy of Black Culture: The Productions of the Court Theater of August Wilson‘s Century Cycle” in On Dramaturgy: Unpacking Diversity and Inclusion, Case Studies From the Field. She was also the adaptor of the Kennedy Center world premiere of Jason Reynolds’ Long Way Down.

Green-Rogers is a Fellowship Associate for the playwright center in Minneapolis for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons. She is acting dean for the Liberal Arts Department at UNCSA. Her research interests include violence in African American theater, African diaspora theater, gender and race in American theater, and issues of sustainability in theater. She is a proud member of the Association for Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) and past President of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA).

Theater Now is an artist services organization dedicated to the development, production, release, and distribution of short- and long-form musicals, providing ongoing support to writers and their work to nurture voices and forms that push the boundaries of musical theater. Theater Now bridges the gap between early readings and fully produced theatrical performances by offering staged and performed developmental productions for plays that are ready to be on their feet. They strive for continuity and growth in their production process, collaborating with artists to develop stories through song and dialogue and focusing on their potential audience. For more information visit tnny.org.

Theater now offers writers free online industry Q&A: explore culture without exploiting culture

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