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The Lineup for New Griots ’21

Plowshares Chooses All-Female Writers for Play Festival 

DETROIT – Continuing its’ Reopening Season slate of programming, Plowshares Theatre Company is proud to fulfill its mission to develop new plays by African American writers by choosing three new plays for the New Griots Play Development Program . The winners are Brothermine by Karen Chilton; Nothing to Lose by Denise J. Hart, and Crack the Door for Some Air by Mary Weems.

Each play will receive a live-streamed staged reading as part of Plowshares’ New Griots ’21 Play Festival, June 18 through June 20. All performances will be held at Marygrove Theatre and streamed online. Performance times are 7:00 PM Friday through Sunday. The stream will be available on the Plowshares website, Facebook and YouTube.

New Griots ‘21 Play Festival Schedule

June 18 – Brothermine by Karen Chilton

BROTHERMINE explores the issues of trauma and mental illness through the fraught relationship of two brothers, one the caretaker/nurturer, the other – the recipient of that care. It is a play that questions: What is our responsibility to each other? And how are matters of the heart reconciled, when the love you need takes on a different shape and form than the love you’re able to give. 

June 19 – Nothing to Lose by Denise J. Hart

Set six months after Hurricane Katrina, Nothing to Lose features two 13-year-old male cousins that end up dead following a gang initiation gone wrong. TV newscaster Stephen Campbell struggles to come to terms with his inability to prevent the deaths. Campbell had been a mentor to one of the youth, but his efforts to be a role model seem to have been in vain. The tragedy awakens Campbell’s conflicting views and threatens to tear apart what he treasures the most – his family.

June 20 – Crack the Door for Some Air by Mary Weems

Crack the Door for Some Air explores the unjust reality of police brutality against Black women. It is the story of Tamara, a young Black woman who encounters the police while caring for her sick mother. A neighbor calls them to investigate a non-emergency situation and things don’t go as planned. 

The New Griots Play Development Program provides Plowshares with an opportunity to encourage and nurture promising new works from emerging and established playwrights. The winners this year are examples of the vibrant talent in Black Theatre today. Each writer was chosen by Plowshares Theatre Company as a dynamic voice needing to be heard The Festival is sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Performances will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by the play’s director. In this way, audience members have an opportunity to provide comments to assist in the further development of the play.

Leave a comment

  1. How do you get to watch your staged readings? Would like to stream tonight’s performance, but there is no information on how to view. Is there a link to be provided to view it?

    1. It has been a very crazy week.

      We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, artists, and associates very seriously. That’s why we are still broadcasting our work online and live-streaming programming. That means we are relying more on technical solutions to share our work with you.

      Unfortunately, technical issues have forced us to postpone the entire festival. On top of trying to meet that challenge, we found out that two of our people recently tested positive for COVID.

      To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to temporarily delay this weekend’s events to protect and care for those who work with us.

      We are in the process of rescheduling this event for August. We won’t know for a few days. As soon as we do you will be notified.

      I am so sorry for this delay. I am frustrated to get this close and have to postpone this event. I hope you understand.

      We will miss seeing you this weekend, but we’re still moving forward on our Road to Reopening. You can also find us on our social media channels to keep updated.


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