The second annual NOW AFRICA Playwrights Festival, spotlighting work of playwrights from all around the continent, kicks off October 22 at Tisch.

NOW Africa

In cooperation with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Center for Art & Public Policy, the Tisch Institute of Performing Arts at NYU, the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at NYU, and the National Black Theatre, NOW AFRICA – a group of New York based African writers, actors, producers and community activists – will present its second annual playwrights festival, conceived to showcase and raise awareness of dramatic works by African writers.

NOW AFRICA was conceptualized by Mfoniso Udofia and produced with ChiChi Anyanwu, Ngozi Anyanwu and Erin Cherry. Educational Theatre Specialist Gwendolen Hardwick, Tisch NYU Art & Public Policy Chair Kathy Engel, Marketing Consultant Zakeya Monique and Financial Consultant Kim Holten round out the NOW AFRICA team. Over the span of three days, the NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival will explore the theme, Africa and Her Children: Bridging the Continental Divide. The goal of the festival is to introduce New York City to the masters of African dramatic literature and spotlight selected African writers.

“I hope over the course of the three days, the dramatic and academic community can come together to discuss how our related African Diasporas can see into each other,” said Udofia. “Perhaps we can actually begin healing and building bridges of understanding.”

The schedule for the NOW AFRICA Festival will be as follows:

Saturday, October 22 at 7pm, 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor, Room 503, NY, NY: Discussion of Zipporah Gene’s article “Black People Please Stop Appropriating African Clothing and Tribal Music” moderated by Mfoniso Udofia and featuring, Dr. Awam Ampka, Gwendolen Hardwick and Dr. Marta Moreno Vega. This discussion is followed by dramatic excerpts from across the African Diaspora that tackle this year’s festival theme.

Sunday, October 23 at 7:30pm, NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Black-box Theatre, 715 Broadway, 2nd floor NY, NY: Performance of When We Left followed by a talk back with playwright NSangou Njikam, Ngozi Anyanwu and Dr. Awam Ampka.

Monday, October 24 at 7pm, National Black Theater, 2031 5th Ave, 3rd floor, NY, NY: Performances of work by playwrights [Dennis A. Allen II, Kemiyondo Coutinho, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Velina Hasu Houston, Rogers Otieno, among others] commissioned to write love plays in which members from the African Diaspora meet, dialogue, and choose to unite.

Tickets are free for all events, though seating is limited. Please RSVP on Eventbrite:

To support NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival donations are currently being accepted through Fractured Atlas. All donations are tax deductible.

The Department of Art and Public Policy at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts examines the politics that make art and the politics that art makes, enabling artists and those engaged in intellectual and institutional domains of art to enhance and elaborate the value and significance of their creative endeavors through intensive study, reflection, and engagement with the university and the world. The Department’s Center for Art and Public Policy is its public face, a bridge between the department, the university and the greater community. For more information on programs and events, please visit our website.


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