Theater groups announce ‘Consequences,’ beckon BIPOC creatives

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Award-winning writer York Walker. (Courtesy of York Walker/Harlem9)

By AFRO Staff

Harlem9, Harlem Stage, and The Lucille Lortel Theatre (co-producers) proudly announce “CONSEQUENCES” – an inaugural, commissioned writers’ development and digital programming series for BIPOC creatives.  The first thematic installment of CONSEQUENCES is to demonstrate how the consequences of elections impact the writer, their community, or their country, given the current and constantly changing cultural, social, and political landscape. The open call for submissions for the next installment of the Consequences anthology series will be announced in the coming months.

In a joint statement, the co-producers said, “In an unprecedented time in our country, three performing arts institutions, Harlem9, Harlem Stage, and The Lucille Lortel Theatre, have come together to empower BIPOC creatives in the United States to help reflect the nation we see unfolding in front of us. Through newly commissioned, original works showcased in an accessible digital programming series, this inaugural collaboration will provide a storytelling platform for BIPOC artists whose work continues to be sorely undervalued – and underrepresented – in the arts. Whether online, on the stage, or through other artistic mediums, we will continue to honor our organizations’ founding missions to create opportunities to elevate the voices that must be heard, champion the stories that must be told, and serve diverse audiences.”

To kick off the CONSEQUENCES series, writer York Walker will premiere his original work online on Jan. 25.  Titled, Asé, Walker’s piece examines racial sensitivity in the workplace during the Trump era, in the midst of the 2020 election.  It focuses on the tension that builds between a White executive and her Black assistant, and how “diversity trainings” are being used as a cure, a fix all, rather than to address deeper systemic challenges and racial injustices.

Applications will be accepted beginning Jan. 6, for original digital works (15 minutes in length or less) by those authorized to work in the U.S. (18+ years of age), with a submission deadline of Feb. 8. Female identifying, LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming applicants are highly encouraged. If selected, writers will receive a commissioning fee. The development of the digital work will follow the Harlem9 methodology, and the selected writers will work directly with an assigned member of the Harlem9 team. 

The selected writers will be announced on March 1, with their piece premiering on YouTube as a free, online presentation in April 2021 and May 2021, respectively. (Exact premiere dates, to be announced.)

For full eligibility information, FAQs, application requirements, and to submit original work for CONSEQUENCES, please visit www.lortel.org/consequences.