The Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence
This annual award was established to honor past member and playwright, Bob Pickering, and to provide a vehicle for playwrights to see their works produced. Over 30 plays have been produced over since 1984. $200 is awarded for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.
Full length, unproduced plays and musicals. Children’s plays accepted. Unable to return without a self-addressed stamped envelope.
The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville will accept 10-minute play submissions to be considered for production in “Summer Shortcuts VIII.”
Eight plays will be selected for two weekends of performances, Thursdays through Sundays from Aug. 16 to 26. All performances will take place at 960 Main St. in Margaretville, New York.
Family-friendly comedies and dramas, no more than 10 minutes in length on any subject or theme, and of any style or genre are welcome, according to a media release. The Open Eye is a “black box-type” theater seating 75. The company is especially interested in plays by Catskill Mountains and New York state playwrights, and in plays with good roles for senior adults and young teens.
What’s On Tom? Productions now invites playwrights, both established and emerging, to submit original 15 minute plays, with a maximum cast of three, on the theme FAKE.
Scripts most suited for our new production will be chosen by our reading panel, and be performed at The Red Door Theatre in Thomastown, Kilkenny and Billy Byrnes, Kilkenny City in autumn of 2018
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** GERTRUDE JEANNETTE ***
Gertrude Jeannette, Actor, Director and Cabdriver, Dies at 103
Ms. Jeannette never wanted to act, she said, but was pushed into the theater.
With the money she earned driving, she had set out to correct her childhood stammer by enrolling in the one speech class she could find, at the American Negro Theater, housed in the basement of what is today the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
Acting instruction was part of the curriculum, and she studied alongside Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. She was quickly singled out for her stage presence and cast in her first Broadway production, “Lost in the Stars,” which had its premiere at the Music Box Theater in 1949.
Playbill Vault: Gertrude Jeanette
A Good Life - Gertrude Jeanette
A short documentary about legendary black theater actress Gertrude Jeanette (November 28, 1914 – April 4, 2018).
American Negro Theater
The American Negro Theater (ANT) was formed in Harlem on June 5, 1940, by writer Abram Hill and actor Frederick O'Neal. The group was founded by the influence of the purposes of the Negro Unit of the Federal Theatre Project in Harlem. It produced 19 plays before closing in 1949. Designed as a community theater group, performances were held in Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 1942, ANT began its Studio Theatre training program for beginning actors. Graduates include Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.
The Harlem Artist’s De¬vel¬op¬ment League Es¬pe¬cially for You, a.k.a. The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Play¬ers, is a non-profit 501©(3) the¬ater or¬ga¬ni¬za¬tion, es¬tab¬lished in 1980 in the Harlem com¬mu¬nity by Ms. Gertrude Jeannette.
Cur¬rently we present three ma¬jor the¬atri¬cal pro¬duc¬tions per year, un¬der the Eq¬uity Show-case Code, that are both in¬for¬ma¬tive and en¬ter¬tain¬ing.
Nothing But a Man
Nothing But a Man is a 1964 American independent drama film starring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln, and directed by Michael Roemer, who also co-wrote the film with Robert M. Young. The film tells the story of Duff Anderson, an African-American railroad worker in the early 1960s who tries to maintain his respect in a racist small town near Birmingham, Alabama, after he marries the local preacher's daughter. In addition to dealing with oppression and discrimination, Anderson must also come to terms with his troubled relationship with his own father, a drunk who abandoned and rejected him.
Although it was not widely seen upon release due to difficulties in finding distribution, the film is now generally considered to be an important example of neorealistic American cinema. In 1993, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Entire movie on Youtube
New York Daily News
November 30, 2000
Fifty years ago, playwright Gertrude Jeannette and actor Engle Conrow teamed up to put on Jeannette's play, "This Way Forward.
" Not much has changed. The two are at it again this year with a reprise of the play at St. Philip's Community Center on W. 133rd St., seven blocks from the original production. "This Way Forward" chronicles a black community in the Depression-era South as it struggles to expand its one-room schoolhouse. Then and now, Conrow plays Mr. Henderson, the superintendent of schools and the only white character. "Fifty years is a long time," says Conrow, whose son was born about the time "This Way Forward" made its debut. "It's haunting. It doesn't matter if you're a plumber back in the same place screwing pipes together. It's still haunting doing the job you did before.
When he was 26, Conrow needed a lot of makeup for the part. Today, well . . . not so much. Though he hastens to point out that "compared to Gertrude, I'm nothing.
Jeannette, or Ms. G, as admirers call her, turned 86 on Tuesday. In 1950, she played the main female character in the play, but today, arthritis prevents her from acting except in commercials. You can see her in ads for Lipton Seasonings and for Procrit. Instead, she directs, rising out of her chair only "when they start getting on my nerves.
Though Jeannette grew up in Arkansas, she got most of her theater training in New York; she moved here in 1933 as the bride of prizefighter Joe Jeannette. She soon signed up for directing classes with Lee Strasberg and acting classes costing $85 every six weeks. The only problem was how to pay for them. Jeannette soon had a solution: She became New York City's first female cab driver. Her husband had to read about it in the papers - she wasn't about to tell him. Jeannette started playwriting at the New School, where her teacher suggested, "Write about something you know. Think back to your childhood.
And she did. She thought back to summers spent on the 365-acre farm her father owned outside Little Rock. Jeannette and her siblings used to curl up under the porch and listen to the women talk as they did their quilting. Jeannette didn't understand much of what was being said then, but it came together later in "This Way Forward.
“I started writing about women, strong women, that I knew that no one would be ashamed to play.”
– Gertrude Jeannette