A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, a week long “workshop and showcase featuring the work of student and professional Black and Latino playwrights, conducted by professional guest directors and artists.”
I sat in on the workshop that Judy Tate taught on 10-minute plays and got the chance to see Inda Craig-Galvan‘s “Black Super Hero Magic Mama”. Both of those experiences slayed my life (does anyone use that term anymore?).
In the workshop, I sat right by the Keynote speaker, actress, writer and performer Regina Taylor and got to hear her writing. She is a dynamic writer whose words and delivery breathe life into the page.
But here she was learning from Judy Tate just like me.
That goes to show that even established artists are all about gaining more knowledge. Each person in the workshop had the opportunity to have their piece read and critiqued by the group. That sounds nerve-wrecking but Tate created an atmosphere of constructive criticism and love. I learned so much from hearing the work of my fellow playwrights and hearing Judy Tate speak on what we need to include in our plays.
I ended up sharing my piece Pop-Buelo and I got a some great feedback from Ms. Tate that shaped the rewrites of my work.
After the workshop, my best friend and I continued on to the Black Super Hero Magic Mama reading where we sat in awe of Inda Craig-Galvan’s creativity. She covered a mother’s journey with police brutality and how she turned inward to cope by making her self into super hero. Wow! Just wow! The audience feedback was phenomenal. I saw tears, laughter and a range of emotions.
But that’s what good writing does. It brings to the stage real emotions from real characters and it’s so real that you believe it’s real.
I finally met her in person and I was able to tell her how awesome she is! I also got to see an actor that I have yet to work with in action. Malik’ James is the truth.
We went home still talking about the play.
Weeks ago, I interviewed Eugene Lee about the Black and Latino Playwrights Conference and his work. All I can say is thank you for creating this festival. It services the Black, Brown and Afrolatino people who need roles and spaces to tell their stories.
This space means so much to me because my dear late professor Stephen Gerald told me to go years ago. I am glad that I got the chance to attend.
Check out the Black Latino Playwrights Conferene on the Texas State Website.