Onstage @ Weeksville

 

Weeksville Heritage Center presents ONSTAGE, a theater program featuring artists and institutions creating vehicles that will guide us through the 21st century.

 

Get ready for our 2019 season!

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Saturday, April 6th

Our Dinner Playreading Series Returns!

Get ready to excite your senses as Weeksville Heritage Center hosts New Black Fest for a staged reading of three plays.

Playreading: 8PM

Hoochie Mama by Nambi E. Kelley

Watermelon Tropes, A One-Act Play by Sandra A. Daley- Sharif

Conveyor Belt by Nathan James

Following the playreading, participate in a Community Conversation with playwrights, actors, director, Russell G. Jones, and panelist, A.J. Muhammad, librarian from the Schomburg Center of Research in Black Culture - moderated by NBF Founder, playwright and screenwriter, Keith Josef Adkins.

Ticket Prices:

$10 - Playreading

More about our Playwrights

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Nambi E. Kelley

Award winning actress/playwright, Kelley has performed across the country, including many shows at the Goodman Theatre & Steppenwolf Theatre, has been seen on several television shows, including Elementary, Person of Interest, Madam Secretary, Chicago PD, Chicago Justice, and has toured internationally. Most recently she appeared in MacArthur Genius Awardee Dominique Morisseau's Pipeline in the lead role (City Theatre), the critically acclaimed Off Broadway two-hander production of Kunstler (59 E. 59) and Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre). Kelley just made her directorial debut at TheatreWorks Colorado Springs, the first African-American female to helm a production in their over 40 year history. Also an accomplished playwright, Nambi is currently serving in residence at New Victory Theatre and is a fellow at The Dramatists Foundation in New York City. Kelley served as playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre in New York, was a recipient of the 2018-19 Writers Alliance Grants from the Dramatists Guild Foundation, a finalist for the Francesca Primus Award, The Kevin Spacey Foundation Award, and is working on an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Jazz which is slated for several regional productions in coming seasons. Her adaptation of Native Son (Sam French) was the highest grossing production in Court Theatre's 60 year history, has enjoyed productions across the country, most notably, at Yale Repertory Theatre, and will premiere in NYC in 2019. Nambi is working on several commissions, including commissions from Marin Theatre Company, Court Theatre, North Carolina Rep, American Blues Theater (proud ensemble member), and is also in development with several television and film projects. www.nambikelley.com

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Nathan James

Nathan is a proud native of Pittsburgh, and began his career with Kuntu Repertory Theater.  He will be appearing as Xavier in the upcoming feature film, We Are Unsatisfied, starring Billy Crystal, and Ben Schwartz late 2018.  Nathan’s one man play, Growing Pains, has been produced at The August Wilson Center for African American Culture, The Billie Holiday Theater, and has appeared in play festivals such as The Cultural Conversations Festival at Penn State University, and The United Solo Theater Festival on Theatre Row, NYC.  He won 1st place at Amateur Night at the Apollo with an original poem, Death of Swag.  Nathan is one of seven playwrights of The New Black Fest’s HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments (Seven ten minute plays following the shooting of Mike Brown).  Hands Up appeared in American Theater Magazine, and most recently has been published with Samuel French, Inc.  Nathan received an A.U.D.E.L.C.O Award for Best Supporting Actor 2014, and he is the recipient of the August Wilson Center Playwriting Fellowship 2013.

Some of Nathan’s theater credits include: Off-Broadway: Travisville (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Playing with Fire (Gene Frankel Theatre), Black Angels Over Tuskegee (St. Luke's Theatre).  NY: Maid’s Door (Billy Holiday Theatre), Growing Pains-One man show (Billy Holiday Theatre).  Regional: Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Pittsburgh City Theatre.  

Film/TV: Madam Secretary (CBS), Shades of Blue (NBC), Quantico (ABC), The Wire (HBO), Blindspot (NBC), VINYL (HBO), Person of Interest (CBS), The Interestings (Amazon), Blue Bloods (CBS), The Path (Hulu), Pain Within (Sundance Film Festival), Service to Man (STARZ), We Are Unsatisfied (opposite Billy Crystal--Post-production).

He has been commissioned to write poems for some of America’s most notable black pioneers such as Mae Jemison, Diddy (Vote or Die campaign), Roy Ayers, and Angela Davis.  Nathan received his B.A. in Africana Studies the University of Pittsburgh, and an MFA in acting from Penn State University.

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Sandra A. Daley-Sharif

Sandra is an Afro-Caribbean artist, living in Harlem. She has earned her merits over twenty years as an OBIE Award winning producer, award winning playwright, director, actress, and dramaturg. She is a 2015 recipient of the Josephine Abady Award. She is pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College under the mentorship of Master-Artists-in-Residence ANNIE BAKER, ADAM BOCK, KRISTINA SATTER, CHRISTINE SCARFUTO, MARIA STRIAR, BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS, plus GREGORY MOSHER. Not one, but two of her plays made it to the Kilroys List 2017.

Sandra’s stories are committed to TRUTH. Two people revealing themselves honestly.

Most recently, The Fire This Time presented a reading of her full-length play Hedda: A Portrait of a (Young) Woman and a production of her short play  Anonymous, which was also produced by the EstroGenius Festival 2018. Sandra’s play Straddling the Edge is a Barbour Award finalist and was recently workshopped at the cell theatre, directed by Kira Simring. Les Fréres is a 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist and a 2017 Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist. She received a SPACE on Ryder Farm Creative Residency, where she began her new play The Island Bull’s Wife. It is now complete, under the mentorship of Adam Bock. She was named a NYFA Fellowship Finalist for Playwriting. Her short play Man in the Moon was developed and presented by The Exquisite Corpse Company; Shirley and Iris was presented at the Going to the River Festival 2016 at EST, and Jake was produced at New Perspectives Theater, and most recently at Silver Spring Stage. Her choreo-poem Genesis was presented May 2017 at 50in50:Writing Women Into Existence, curated by Dominique Morisseau. And, her play Los Samaritanos about life at the Mexican border is being considered for development at the Arizona Theatre and being reviewed in the semi final round, for a week-long development at Women in Arizona Theatre.

Sandra’s short film Take Flight was recently featured at this year’s Everybody Digital Film Festival and Dreams Deferred, which she wrote/directed/produced, was featured in the 2017 African American Women in Cinema Film Festival.

Sandra is a member of Beehive Dramaturgy Studio, founded to make skilled dramaturgy accessible to any playwright, director, composer, producer, or other theater practitioner.

The Mothers Of The Movements [M.O.M.S.]: The Black Woman: She Does Exist    will  re-center our foremothers who organized, marched, recruited, campaigned, made meals, coordinated direct action efforts, fostered community, and laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights and the Black Arts Movements. We have asked black women art- activists to look at and reimagine three seminal texts from the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements:  "The Black Woman: She Does Exist" by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer & reimagined by Chisa Hutchinson  "Address at the Hattiesburg Freedom Day Rally" by Ella Baker & reimagined by Mfoniso Udofia  "The SNCC Position Paper" by Anonymous Women & reimagined by Staceyann Chinn  “I’m A Preservationist” by Dr. Joan Maynard, National Trust for Historic Preservation, pub March/April 1979  The newly commissioned works were created by the next generation of vital Black women voices; writers  Mfoniso Udofia, Chisa Hutchinson, and Staceyann Chin . Seeking to strengthen the bonds between past and present, and in addition to the newly commissioned work, NBT has gathered pioneering Black women legends of the theater community to perform the original seminal texts.   The production will be directed by  Jonathan McCory, Artistic Director of The National Black Theatre    Saturday, March 16, 2019 6-9PM   The  show  will take place from  6:00-7:30 PM  and the  Community TalkBack/Reception  will take place from  7:30-8:30 PM . Tickets are $10 per seat!

The Mothers Of The Movements [M.O.M.S.]: The Black Woman: She Does Exist will re-center our foremothers who organized, marched, recruited, campaigned, made meals, coordinated direct action efforts, fostered community, and laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights and the Black Arts Movements. We have asked black women art- activists to look at and reimagine three seminal texts from the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements:

"The Black Woman: She Does Exist" by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer & reimagined by Chisa Hutchinson

"Address at the Hattiesburg Freedom Day Rally" by Ella Baker & reimagined by Mfoniso Udofia

"The SNCC Position Paper" by Anonymous Women & reimagined by Staceyann Chinn

“I’m A Preservationist” by Dr. Joan Maynard, National Trust for Historic Preservation, pub March/April 1979

The newly commissioned works were created by the next generation of vital Black women voices; writers Mfoniso Udofia, Chisa Hutchinson, and Staceyann Chin. Seeking to strengthen the bonds between past and present, and in addition to the newly commissioned work, NBT has gathered pioneering Black women legends of the theater community to perform the original seminal texts.


The production will be directed by Jonathan McCory, Artistic Director of The National Black Theatre

Saturday, March 16, 2019 6-9PM

The show will take place from 6:00-7:30 PM and the Community TalkBack/Reception will take place from 7:30-8:30 PM. Tickets are $10 per seat!

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The Weeksville Heritage Center is excited to announce the return of Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation to the Onstage @ Weeksville theater series, with The HBCU Show, February 13 - 15, 2019!

The HBCU Show follows six adolescents from Brooklyn, NY, growing up with adversities and trying to live up to the society around them. The play recounts their personal stories and the learning experiences of participating in a Historically Black College & University Tour. The HBCU Show also tells the real life story of how Michael Kofi Hooper, took children from Brooklyn to HBCU’s all over the country. The goal of the tour was to show the determination of Black people to survive in America. Written by Kofi Osei Williams,  Executive Director of Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, The HBCU Show is the perfect way to expose your students to institutions of higher learning.

February 13-15

School performances will be held at Weeksville Heritage Center at 10:30am and 12:30pm. Tickets are $10 per student; 30 students max per educator; 1-2 chaperones per group. All Educators who book tickets for the show will receive a **50% discount to return to Weeksville Heritage Center for a Guided Tour of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses and an Art Workshop of their choosing. Please contact (zenzele@weeksvillesociety.org) for more details.

February 16

Bring the whole family to the community show on Saturday evening, February 16th at 6PM. Tickets are $10 per seat.


2018 Season


Architects of Self

Chelsea D. Harrison gives us "The Guide To Getting What's Yours"  More information →

Architects of Pride

Join us for this special dinner theater experience in collaboration with New Black Fest. More information →

 

Architects of the Future

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Join us for an insightful and provocative evening with Obie award winning playwright Dominique Morisseau,  More information →

 

Architects of Creativity

Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation amplifies the voices of youth across the diaspora through hip-hop.  More information →