In preparation for the upcoming reading of NOMS DE GUERRE, I connected with Rep Stage's Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg Lisa A. Wilde about the reading series and their programming around the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which includes Dominique Morisseau's Sunset Baby and Catherine Filloux's Selma 65. Click here to learn more about the reading and please enjoy this wonderful interview.
We have been presenting staged readings at Rep Stage on and off for the past twelve years and as Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg, I have been the curator for these readings. We have been fairly flexible and fluid about them, wanting to be able to respond to the specific nature and opportunities of each season, artists we are working with and the larger artistic community. We often work with artists who are involved in our current production, themes that the Arts and Humanities division at Howard Community College is focused on, or topics that seem timely. Some years we have used a resident acting company and presented a reading matched with each production ad some years, like this one our selections have been more “a la carte.” But the focus remains the same: to provide the students and our community members to experience dramatic scripts with a focus on the writing, to allow artists to hear their work in front of an audience, and to provide insight into the creative process.
This year, one of our new Co-Artistic directors, Suzanne Beal, wanted to present a series on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. We had already programmed Dominique Morrisseau’s play Sunset Baby for the spring and had been offered the opportunity to present Catherine Filloux’s Selma 65 in the winter. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to present a staged reading in the fall of Jacqueline E. Lawton’s Noms de Guerre. Ms Lawton is someone we have been interested in working with for some time and have been looking for the right project—and the right time! The play fits beautifully in our vision of examining the legacy of racial inequality in this country. We are also looking forward to working with some new partners – director Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zoe, actors Nora Achrati, Lolita Clayton, Natalie Graves Tucker and James J. Johnson and welcoming back Dawn Ursula and Jon Hudson Odom. Most significantly, we are thrilled to have the playwright present to experience her words and to share her process with our audience of students, faculty, and community members.
About Rep Stage
Rep Stage, a professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College, is celebrating its 22nd season. The company is a member of the League of Washington Theatre, the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Theatre Communications Group. Rep Stage is recognized by Theatre Washington as professional DC Metro area theatre company and is eligible to be nominated for the Helen Hayes Awards. Performances are made possible by Howard Arts Council, Howard County Government, and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the Stage of Maryland and National Endowment of the Arts, as well as through generous individual contributions. Rep Stage is proud to be a partner of Howard County Tourism and promotion. Rep Stage’s Artistic Leadership is helmed by Co-Producing Artistic Directors Suzanne Beal and Joseph Ritsch.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!