The African Diasporic Network has finally announced plans for its first production, Echoes of Us, to be directed by none other than Michele Shay.
"Echoes of Us will consist of approximately 12-15 monologues that capture the essence and vitality of who we are as Black people," says Monica White Ndounou, Associate Professor of Theater at Dartmouth College and founding Executive Director of The CRAFT Institute. "This collection-centering on our healing and life lessons for thriving-is a powerful opportunity to dramatize our interconnections and embrace the spiral nature of time and our lived experiences across generations. An opportunity through the voices of Ancestors, family, community and those who have yet to be, to recollect and reimagine the possibilities of our existence across space and time, then, now and forever."
As such, submitting authors, playwrights, seers and storytellers are encouraged to contribute to a collective narrative that speaks to the joy, the hurt, the struggles, and the healing of Black cultures across time. The past, the present, and the future are all on the table. All accepted work will be published in a final collection also entitled Echoes of Us.
"We are thrilled to have Michele Shay on this project," says African-American Shakespeare Artistic Director L. Peter Callender . "As a Tony Award nominated performer, a critically acclaimed director and currently on faculty at USC's School of Dramatic Arts, her involvement takes the project to another level altogether."
Plans call for the cast of Echoes of Us to tour the country in the latter part of 2022. Local actors from each city on the tour will join the touring cast of those particular performances. "This project is finally coming together after the last two years of Covid," says African-American Shakespeare Company Founder and Executive Director Sherri Young. "We look forward to announcing the planned tour stops and casting in the coming months."
Submissions should consist of monologues that run from 3 to 5 minutes in length
Published or unpublished, stand-alone monologues, excerpts from larger projects, such as plays, screenplays, novels, short stories, poems, and spoken word pieces by Black authors are all acceptable
Digital submissions in word or pdf format can be submitted online via: https://forms.gle/ch9nMfqr9h9A3pcG6
Questions regarding submission subject matter or direction can be done via e-mail by contacting info@AfricanDiasporicNetwork.com
All authors whose work is accepted will be published in a collection of the monologues
The African Diasporic Network: Black Theatre Circuit, aspires to collaboratively create a vital ecosystem for Black theatre by implementing viable economic, creative, and educational models through a multi-city, national tour with an international stop commencing in Fall 2022. As tour producers, The CRAFT Institute and African-American Shakespeare Company will produce stories featuring truth, humor and strength of Black life.