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News | July - September 2021 Newsletter

“Our persistence in examining the tensions within diversity encourages growth toward our common goal. So often we either ignore the past or romanticize it, render the reason for unity useless or mythic. We forget that the necessary ingredient needed to make the past work for the future is our energy in the present, metabolizing one into the other. Continuity does not happen automatically, nor is it a passive process.”Audre Lorde, writer/womanist/civil rights activist


* We speak ourselves into existence. But, what happens when others of the world silence your tones to cacophony their worth? As part of the Painted Bride Art’s Center “Power to the Prompt" conversation, Community Capital: an Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience, curated and written by TS Hawkins & Lois Moses, illuminates an intersectional poetic expedition of sound and unearthing through the streets of South Philadelphia. Letting ancestors guide permeable possibilities, this walking tour opens multiple dimensions of storytelling that ignite the expansion of mind, body, and spirit! Journeying fixed and beyond, participants will have the opportunity to connect with intergenerational voices searching for an equitable community one neighborhood at a time! Click here for details!

* The Dramatists Guild is the national trade association serving over 8,000 playwrights, composers, lyrists & librettists. As of July 2021, TS Hawkins joined this network of creatives! HOW EXCITING!

*  One of Merci’s poetic monologues titled “from (an elegy, too)” that lives in They’ll Neglect to Tell You by TS Hawkins will be published in Rising Voices: Poems Towards a Social Justice Revolution (University Professors Press)! They’ll Neglect to Tell You has had wonderful manifestations since its inception in 2015. To have this poignant piece, that highlights the intricate emotional development of Merci's character showcased in this anthology centering voices of progressive change is beyond thrilling! Extended gratitude to all the voices that have aided in the journey of bringing this work to life: Painted Bride Arts Center, 1812 Productions - Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Residency, Bridge Theatre Festival, The New Virtual Play Reading Festival, Theatre Exile's Studio X-hibition New Play Development Reading Series, directors: Lois Moses & Carley S. Robinson, actors: Cynda Purnell, Betsy Vivar, India Knight, Mikayla Johnson, & Angela Bey, and community collaborators: Cara Blouin, Jenn Childs, Gabrielle Corsaro, Gabe Moses, Deborah Block, & Brey Ann Barrett!! For more information about the play/choreopoem, MoodList, and testimonialsclick here

#TimeWithTS: In the “downtime”, see what holds TS’s attention! Here are the Top 5 – Never Have I Ever (Netflix), Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (Broadway), Charmed S3 reboot (CW), Station 19 (ABC), and Tuca & Birdie (Adult Swim). What shows/plays spark joy for you? Email us to shout out your favorite programming!

* BTAP (Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia) Mentorship Initiative Program is a year-long commitment that combines aspects of one-on-one mentoring partnerships with scheduled group activities with the ideals of encouraging, motivating, and guiding African American theatre professionals to work in a landscape that is often not welcoming. The goal is to give individuals tools that will aid in navigating those spaces while providing a safe harbor in which to rest, recharge, and renew. For this inaugural experience, TS Hawkins was selected to be in-service as mentor to the abundantly talented Morgan Charéce Hall! Give a gander to what Morgan has to say about her time with TS thus far:

Abundant Rising! My name is Morgan Charéce Hall --- an actor, director and multidisciplinary teaching artist! The past six (6) months or so I have been extremely blessed to have TS as my BTAP mentor. Not only are they an amazing artist producer & guide, they are a truly caring and devoted person to scholarship, artistic freedom, and creative expression. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been extremely depressed. I've experienced a lot of loss, just like so many people, and I have seriously considered quitting theater. But, there is always that voice in the back of my head that whispers keep going. In working with TS, I really learned how to cultivate, nurture, and honor that voice; I cannot be more grateful! Often times there are mentorship programs/mentors that will give you amazing advice, that is extremely important, but working with TS I have received amazing advice, accountability with love, uplifting fulfillment on my lowest days, and actual support in many different avenues that have enabled me to expand my thinking about my artistic practice. TS has a vibrant infectious personality that bleeds over into every aspect of their work and I can honestly say that working with them I have gained a new fire of belief in myself to be the multidisciplinary artist that I want to be. However, the most important thing that I have learned from TS as an artist is to respect & honor my need for self-care, rest, and joy. They are so serious about rest as a part of an artist's resilience; from them I have learned several strategies and have had access to resources that support my self-care. I love, love, love this experience. Through the ups and the downs, there have been no Ls for me only LESSONS. Asé

To learn more about BTAP and the next round of the Mentorship Initiative Program, visit the BTAP website!


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