As Long Wharf Theatre prepares for the September premiere of their 2020/21 season One City, Many Stages, their summer offerings continue to underline a commitment to emergent programming that breaks traditional barriers to storytelling. The newly announced Black Trans Women at the Center: An Evening of Short Plays is a celebration of Black trans talent and experience. The event is underscored by three works that offer distinct glimpses into the lived experiences of the Black trans community—creating an intersection of art and activism that remains at the heart of LWT’s dynamic season of offstage theatre making.

The murders of Brayla Stone, Tony McDade, Merci Mack, Dominque “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Nina Pop, Layleen Polanco, and many others has prompted a #BlackTransLivesMatter movement that calls for heightened attention to the grossly underreported rates of anti-transgender violence that is often discounted in the context of the larger fight against systemic racism. Since joining LWT, artistic director Jacob G. Padrón has made sure that the predominantly and historically white theatre uses its platform to lift up demands for full equality for all members of the Black community. Black Trans Women is a vital illustration of theatre that affirms and prioritizes Black trans people.

Black Trans Women is LWT’s most recent centering of creative work that challenges systems of oppression, as the theatre acknowledges the fact that when it comes to undoing racism and transphobia, in the words of Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi—the event’s coproducer and director of Sunshine—“a world free of oppression is possible, but not without Black trans people.”

Black Trans Women: An Evening of Short Plays is a three-part event that features free, livestreamed readings airing Wednesday, August 5 at 8PM EST.

Curator & Associate Producer: Dane Figueroa Edidi
Line Producer: Joey Reyes
Community Partnerships + Literary Associate: Cheyenne Barboza
Artistic Producer: Hope Chávez

SUNSHINE by Douglas Lyons (Beau, Chicken and Biscuits)
Featuring Angelica Ross (Pose, King Ester) as Sunshine
Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) as Ericka
Martin BATS Bradford (King Ester, Tales from the Hood 2) as Ramon
Dramaturgy and Direction by Dane Figueroa Edidi (Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem, For Black Trans Girls…)

THINGS UNKNOWN by Dezi Bing
Featuring L Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop) as Marsha/Riley
Samy Nour Figaredo (Into the Woods) as Samuel.
Directed by Paige Hernandez-Funn
Assistant Directed by Tourmaline
Dramaturgy by Dane Figueroa Edidi

YOU WILL NEVAAA ENTER OUR HIGH HOLY LAND OF BLACKNESS (HIYA) by Cece Suazo
Featuring Ianne Fields Stewart (The Feels, The Bold Type) as Cheyanne
Tamara M. Williams (Pose, The Garden Left Behind) as Delicious, and Jaime Cepero (Smash, Francois & The Rebels) as Marco
Direction and Dramaturgy by Dane Figueroa Edidi