Member Spotlight: Sharon Wallace, ICWP Secretary
Playwriting/Theater is important to me because of the influence it can have on a community. Plays written by African American women represent the trials and tribulations of these women which may be interpreted as motivating to triumph over impediments of gender and racial oppression. So questions of identity, self-love, sexual exploitation, and race have been at the center of plays by Black women playwrights. These plays by Black female playwrights have given a mighty voice to Black women characters who recognize and validate themselves. Theater provides Black women playwrights a platform to develop Black female characters that resemble actual African American women who are refining Black womanhood. By liberating African American characters from stereotypical images, Black female playwrights write plays that provide an authentic representation of African American culture. Black women dramatists incorporate the struggle for civil rights and gender equality into literary activism; their plays not only give power to African American women, but lay the foundation for enduring social and political change.
Sharon Wallace is a full-time instructor of English Composition at Wayne County Community College District and an adjunct professor at Lawrence Technological University. She earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts at Wayne County Community College District, a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marygrove College, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in English from The University of Detroit Mercy, a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in Playwriting from Goddard College and a Ph. D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a designated emphasis in Humanities and Culture from Union Institute & University.
Her research interest include Black women dramatists and literary activist theory, critical social theory, cultural studies, as well as theater and literature studies.
Sharon Wallace’s current research investigates how plays written by African American women represent the trials and tribulations of these women which may be interpreted as motivating to triumph over impediments of gender and racial oppressions. In her own struggle for civil rights and gender equality through literary activism, she has learned how playwriting not only gives power to African American women, but lays the foundation for enduring social and political change.
Wallace is also a playwright and poet. She is a board member and board secretary for the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Her poetry and book reviews have appeared in numerous online journals including SNReview, Pitkin Review, Pitkin in Progress, Howling Wolf #11, Maxis Review, Peeling Vidalias 15 Women and one Man, and the Journal of Pan African Studies.
Sharon Wallace studied dramatic arts in New York City at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, HB Studio (Greenwich Village) and The National Black Theatre in Harlem, NY.
Welcome New Members
Emile Adams, USA
Mary Beth Smith, USA
Mary Beth Smith, Playwright and Lyricist, won the Peter Honegger Best One-Act Play award for Keep A-Breast, a play that offers insight into her bizarre experiences surviving breast cancer. Keep A-Breast was performed at The Firehouse Center for the Arts 2014 New Works Festival in Newburyport, MA.
Currently, she’s collaborating with Ethan Silver-Wheeler on a new musical called Home. Her other plays include:
An Hour at Sea was commissioned and performed by The Cape Ann (“The Annie”) Theatre in Gloucester, MA
Don’t Make a Sound appeared in Marblehead Little Theatre’s TNT (Totally New Theater) 2017 New Play Festival, in Marblehead, MA. The song, “I Didn’t Think of You Much” from Home, was also performed.
Dick and Jane appeared in the TNT 2016 New Play Festival. The song, “I Didn’t Think of You Much” from Home, was also performed.
Getting the Axe appeared in the TNT 2015 New Play Festival. The song, “You’re Home” from Home, was also performed.
Buddhists in the Basement appeared in Pigs Do Fly's Fifty Plus Production at the Empire Stage, Fort Lauderdale, FL; TNT 2013 New Play Festival; and the Warner International Playwrights Festival at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT
The Experiment was performed at the Fire Dog Theatre, Arlington, MA
The Mouse was performed at the Fire Dog Theatre, Arlington, MA
Weights and Measures was performed at the Universal Theatre, Provincetown, MA
Galileo’s Dowry was performed at the Universal Theatre, Provincetown, MA
Mirror Mirror Off the Wall was performed at the TNT 2013 New Play Festival and the Gloucester Writers Center new play series in Gloucester, MA
For the past 4 years, Mary Beth participated in Random Acts at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, Massachusetts. For 12 hours, she partnered with a complete stranger to write Pretty Things in 2013, Open Mike in 2014 and Osso Buco in 2016.
Now Playing & Coming Soon
If you have a play or a reading between February 1 – February 28, please email Amy (email@example.com) before January 15 and it will be featured in the NOW PLAYING column of the February newsletter. Any play or reading in March will appear in the COMING SOON column.
The Melting Pot, a remix for the stage by Carol S. Lashof, will receive a staged reading in Oakland, California on January 20, 2018, by Those Women Productions, Oakland, CA.
Performances 4 pm and 8 pm at the Temescal Art Center, 511 48th St, Oakland. Tickets are free but advance reservations are strongly recommended as the venue is small: https://themeltingpot.brownpapertickets.com/
God Bless Phyllis Schlafly by Amy Drake, Jan. 26-28, 2018, Columbus (OH) Conservative Theater Festival, The Shedd Theater, Columbus, OH For more information visit http://conservativefestivaloh.com/
Revelation by Shirley Barrie, will be produced in Shifting Spaces, a program of 3 one-act plays by Those Women Productions at Live Oak Theatre, Berkeley CA from March 23 - April 8, 2018http://www.liveoaktheater.org/
Queen Marie by Shirley Barrie, directed by Rosemary Doyle, will be produced at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto, April 13 - 28, 2018 as the finale of the theatre's 100th anniversary season. Visit www.alumnaetheatre.com for ticket information.
Articles of Interest
Curated by Mona Curtis
Review of 2017 by Victoria Sadler. The lot for female playwrights worsens
Women Playwrights Lead 2018 Humana Festival World Premieres
Five out of the six world-premiere plays selected are written or created by female theatre makers.
Yours for innovative, engaging, and equitable theater.
The image used in this newsletter is the work of kareni, Rüştü Bozkuşof Turkey and was downloaded from Pixabay on December 25, 2017.