The New Georgia Woman Project: Black Women Speak
Amplifying the Stories and Voices of Black Women
Horizon Theatre announces the launch of the nationally recognized New Georgia Woman Project: Black Women Speak (BWS) program to develop plays that will amplify the voices of African-American women. BWS is a groundbreaking initiative to create works of and by Black women and for all, inspired by conversations with real Black women of Georgia through “Coffee Chats” on Zoom. Horizon through Black Women Speak has commissioned a cohort of nine Black female playwrights to create new plays to bring to the stage the stories, lives, and concerns of Black women.
Horizon is thrilled to share our BWS Artist Playwright Artist Cohort of four playwrights developing plays for Black Women Speak including Candrice Jones, AriDy Nox, A’ndrea J. Wilson, and Shay Youngblood. The BWS Emerging Playwrights Collective of five playwrights includes Tramaine Brathwaite, Amina McIntyre, Chiwuzo Ife Okwumabua, Kelundra Smith, Dana Stringer.
“The past, present, and future of Black America cannot be told without referencing Atlanta and its people. We have political power, culture, wealth, higher education, and a proud history as the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement. The cultural upheaval of 2020 has stirred many powerful images of Black women and their impact on the landscape of America. We must not miss the opportunity to use our art to give voice to these times.“
—MARGUERITE HANNAH, ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC PRODUCER
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
BLACK WOMEN SPEAK DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Led by Horizon’s Associate Artistic Producer Marguerite Hannah, Horizon’s BWS team has gathered to date over 150 Black women in and from the Atlanta metro area and across the south to join Horizon for a series of small group conversations or Coffee Chats. Conducted via Zoom, Coffee Chats have brought together Black women to meet, share life stories, engage, and grow in community with one another. They include women from various backgrounds, including career professionals and business owners, physicians, educators, community activists, stay-at mothers, and retirees. In turn, these chats are inspiring nine playwrights to create new scripts featuring dynamic Black female characters to expand the canon of work by Black women writers.
Anyone nationwide interested in the project is encouraged to sign up to receive updates by filling out the first page of our BWS survey HERE. Black women of Georgia can fill out as much of the survey as they like and request to join us for a Coffee Chat.
The New Georgia Woman Project: Black Women Speak is sponsored in part by the Bridge Program of the National New Play Network (NNPN) and an Innovation and Exploration Fund Grant from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. National New Play Network is an alliance of professional theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays. Horizon is one of only 18 theaters in the country awarded funding by NNPN’s Inaugural Bridge Program. The newly established Bridge Program supports NNPN Member Theaters “as they develop, produce, and/or extend the life of a new play by, for, about, and with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artist and audience communities.
We are honored to partner with the City of Alpharetta and Alpharetta Arts Center to reach audiences in the North Fulton area for Coffee Chats and with upcoming readings.
HEAR A READING OF BLACK WOMEN SPEAK!
Readings of excerpts from the works in development for Black Women Speak will be held virtually and in person at the Alpharetta Arts Center October 29-30, 2021, and at Horizon November 5-7, 2021.
More details and reservation/watch information will be announced in October. Development and public readings of the BWS full-length plays will begin in 2022, and production of selected BWS plays will begin as part of Horizon’s 39th season in 2023.
“Why Black Women Speak? Theatre is the griot, the living archive of a people’s traditions and spirit. We will ask questions that inspire stories with that call. There are not enough plays by and about Black women. We will build on that library of stories. So we ask, in Atlanta today, who is the Black women? What gives her joy? What gives her hope? What tests her patience? How does she live? Is she part of a revolution? Or is she an evolution of a long tradition?”
PRODUCTION & CREATIVE TEAM