The Fire This Time 10-Minute Play Festival

Summary Info Festival StoryFestival EventsOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region United StatesNew York
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival New York, New York, USA
Festival Contact Information

Horse Trade Theatre Group
East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003 USA
Phone: +01 212-777-6088

Festival Description

The African American experience is not represented solely by one voice or one style. For the third year in a row Horse Trade Theater Group will present The Fire This Time Festival, providing a platform for talented early-career playwrights of African and African-American descent to explore new voices, styles, and challenging new directions for 21st century performing arts in order to move beyond common misconceptions of what’s possible in “black theater.” The festival’s core production is a short play festival, presenting new work by featured playwrights. Other festival programming includes panel discussions, staged readings, and concert events.

Festival Dates January 21 - February 2, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Story:

THE FIRE THIS TIME FESTIVAL was founded in 2009 by playwright Kelley Nicole Girod to provide rising playwrights of African and African American descent a platform to write and develop new work. The festival was conceived as an opportunity for playwrights to write and produce material that reflects diverse perspectives as 21st century theater artists. To date, The Fire This Time Festival has produced new work by Katori Hall (The Mountaintop on Broadway), Radha Blank (The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group), Kelley Girod (2011 Person of the Year), Deborah Asimwee, Derek Lee McPhatter (New York Theatre Workshop’s Emerging Playwright’s of Color Fellowship finalist), Germono Toussaint ((L)imitations at the Lark Play Development Center), Pia Wilson (The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group), Jesse Cameron Alick (LaMaMa-Loped), Camille Darby (2011 finalist for the Van Lier Fellowship program at The Lark Play Development Center), Christine Jean Chambers, Marcus Gardley (2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright), Dominique Morisseau (The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group), and Yusef Miller (Made at Horse Trade).

The first season of the festival brought together over thirty collaborative performers, directors, and other collaborators to create an amazing evening of short one-act plays. Presented by Horse Trade Theater Group over a five- show run in February 2010, the first season of the festival sold out every presentation. Exploring themes from euthanasia, hero-worship, intergenerational conflict, and more, the inaugural season of The Fire This Time Festival presented a dynamic theatrical experience.

Following the success of the first year, The Fire This Time Festival has continued to grow, with input from participating playwrights and other collaborators. The festival has evolved into an annual January event, expanding upon its core short play presentations to offer panel discussions, staged readings, and other programs. With ongoing momentum, The Fire This Time Festival has quickly become a destination for diverse audiences, producers, and artists seeking new possibilities and opportunities in contemporary theater.


Festival Events:

10-Minute Plays 2013:
  • Nightfall
    Written by Cynthia G. Robinson
    Directed by Cezar Williams
    • A Sudanese couple is forced to confront the mayhem that haunts their village and threatens to destroy their family.
  • Always
    Written by Danielle T. Davenport
    Directed by Awoye Timpo
    • When Malik shows up at a reading of his childhood best friend Erica’s celebrated new novel after over a decade of distance between them, sparks fly as they navigate an emotional minefield of shared history summoned up by the book’s plot.
  • Poor Posturing
    Written by Tracey Conyer Lee
    Directed by Kevin R. Free
    • Can’t we all get along? Maybe…if we stop trying so hard.
  • Orchids and Polka Dots
    Written y Nathan Yungerberg
    Directed By Nicco Annan
    • 1955: An emotionally stifled housewife, a fledgling young research scientist and a tall glass of water infused with 100 gamma LSD.
  • Within Untainted Wombs
    Written by Dennis A. Allen II
    Directed by Christopher Burris
    • An expecting mother participates in a clinical trial that gives her the ability to communicate with her unborn child, but she soon finds that some thoughts are better left unshared.
  • Favored Nations
    Written by J. Holtham
    Directed by Nicole A. Watson
    • In an upscale office, two brothers meet for the last time to settle their father’s will. Secrets are revealed, grudges are settled, teddy bears are threatened with execution. Family…can’t live with ‘em.
  • The Sad, Secret (Sex) Life of Steve Urkel
    Written by Eric Lockley
    Directed by Jonathan McCrory
    • Sometimes experiments go terribly wrong. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction … in bed.
  • A Panel Discussion on
    Submitting, Self-producing, and Other Survival Skills for Artists
    Monday, January 21 @ 8pm
    • This year’s panel will feature experts from different sectors of the theatre industry to discuss the skills necessary for being successful such as the importance of self-producing, budgeting, identifying and writing grants and helpful tips for surviving the day to day.
Full-Length Play Readings 2013:
  • Dirty Little Black Girls
    Written by Patricia Ione Lloyd
    Directed by Michael Goldfried
    Tuesday, January 22 @ 8pm
    • Uncover the darkest desires of the purest of hearts. Meet the women who mourn and clean around the skeletons in the closet, with a little help from the devil.
  • FOUR
    Written by Jocelyn Bioh
    Wednesday, January 23 @8pm
    • Inspired by the soulful Nina Simone song, FOUR imagines the lives of Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Peaches and the men, women and love that binds them.
  • THIS PLAY IS UNTITLED: a working title
    Written & Directed by Antoinette Nwandu
    Sunday, January 27 @ 6pm
    • This is the story of The Woman—her love, her loss, her life—as told by The Narrator. Until, of course, it isn’t. With a Thief on the prowl and a gun in her hand UNTITLED begs the question: will the Woman make it out alive?
  • Boat People
    Written by France-Luce Benson
    Sunday, January 27 @ 8pm
    • In 1980’s Miami, FL the controversy over illegal immigrants is heating up, a young girl hiding the truth of who she is is forced to confront her identity, and a Haitian-American family risks losing the American Dream to protect a refugee/revolutionary who has the power to save the country he left behind.
  • Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, or TRIPLE CONSCIOUSNESS
    Written by Kevin R. Free
    Directed by Christopher Burris
    Monday, January 28 @ 8pm
    • None of these siblings knows what to do, and they can’t even find common ground in that. A rumination on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from the playwright of A Raisin in the Salad: Black Plays for White People.
  • Ndebele Funeral
    Written by Zoey Martinson
    Tuesday, January 29 @ 8pm
    • A dark comedy set in modern South Africa as three people, of different backgrounds, find themselves tied to shack in Soweto. A dying woman in exile builds herself a coffin using supplies the government provided her for a new home. Her plans are interrupted when a surprise visit from her best friend and a government official bring the outside world into her tiny shack. An unexpected story of dreams and loss, while they explore who is to blame for their present circumstances, and how to claim their lives in the future.
  • Elder’s Mythology of Grass. Part 1: Miracle on Monroe Written by Jerome A. Parker
    Wednesday, January 30 @ 8pm
    • Sparta, NY is a ghost of an industrial town in need of a savior. Depressed drug dealers, ardent church-goers and street smart addicts find their inner-Gods just in the nick of time.


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Practical Info:

  • The Red Room
    85 East 4th Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10003
  • Located in the East Village on the north side of East 4th Street, between The Bowery and 2nd Avenue.


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