The NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival launched in Fall of 2015 to much acclaim. In partnership with the Center for Art and Public Policy and the Institute of Performing Arts at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue the NOW AFRICA producing team read over 150 plays from the African Diaspora and created a three-day festival to feature these little known dramatic works. Over the course of three days artists, academics and art-lovers were exposed to pieces from the classic African dramatic literature canon, pieces from contemporary African drama and critical discourse on the state of African theater within an American paradigm. All three nights were packed with audience, and by the last night we were turning people away!
In 2016, NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival’s tackled a huge theme—Africa and Her Children: Bridging the Continental Divide. The festival sought to foster conversation between different groups within the African Diaspora, groups that have often been siloed by the mainstream theater. The event was held at various locations on NYU’s campus and culminated at the National Black Theatre [NBT]. Work from across the African Diaspora was featured, and on the last night, NOW AFRICA showcased 8 commissioned 10-minute plays that chronicled experiences from the Afro-Latina, Afro-Chinese, Haitian-American gaze and more!