Literary Ancestry; Refocus Project
The Literary Ancestry Essay Series (Curated by playwright Dave Harris) aims to create a collection of personal craft essays by living Black playwrights about the non-living Black playwrights that live on in their work. For this series, we commissioned playwrights to pick one play by a non-living Black playwright and write about how this play impacted their artistry. The essays in this round are written by Vivian J.O. Barnes, Gethsemane Herron-Coward, Nathan Alan Davis, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Dave Harris.
Advance Gender Equity in the Arts (AGE): IGNITE Program
Donnetta is proud to join AGE as a mentor for the launch of IGNITE , a national program for women and non-binary emerging theatre artists of color, 18+, who live or work in the United States who would like to be paired with a National Theatre Leader to engage in conversation about their artistic work and goals. Through this connection AGE creates a brave space for shared experience, cultivation, and expansion.
The program format is that each pairing will have an introductory goal-setting session, followed by three 1-hr sessions. We will also be offering the IGNITE Spring Cohort 2 workshops and 1 panel based on their specific interests and needs. Our program leads with equity. We commit to providing our National Theater Leaders fair and equitable pay for their time and leadership and is free for all participating BIPOC artists and arts leaders. Everyone will be thoughtfully paired by our committee based on the interest and needs of the emerging artist.
The Women (2021)
APRIL 8 @ 6PM ET | TIX $10*
OR SUBSCRIBE TO ARS NOVA SUPRA FOR $15/MONTH
ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 90 MINUTES
CREATED BY L MORGAN LEE & RAJA FEATHER KELLY
FEATURING WORK BY KIRSTEN CHILDS, DANE FIGUEROA EDIDI, DONNETTA LAVINIA GRAYS, CHRISTINE TOY JOHNSON, BIANCA LEIGH, CARMEN LOBUE & NIA WITHERSPOON
DIRECTED BY RAJA FEATHER KELLY
FEATURING DANE FIGUEROA EDIDI, KIM EXUM, JORDAN HO, LACRETTA, L MORGAN LEE, RONALD PEET, ANEESH SHETH
What does it mean to be a woman? What are the societal and gender expectations put on women? What are the obstacles? What are the beauty standards? Why is it so commonly through the eyes of men that women are defined? What does sisterhood look like? What happens when you allow women to tell their own stories? show their own truth? share their own light? Actress L Morgan Lee and raja feather kelly ask a group of writers from a variety of backgrounds, identities, and experiences to ponder on this. This is a look in at a rehearsal of the first step in the development of a play, based around these conversations.
22 Homes: Alabama Shakespeare Festival
ASF recently commissioned 22 Southern playwrights to each create original pieces on the theme of “home.” The playwrights collaborated with actors from around the country to bring these new works to life.
The "22 Homes" playwrights are Will Arbery, Audrey Cefaly, Pearl Cleage, Gloria Bond Clunie, Quinton Cockrell, Lisa D'Amour, Daryl Lisa Fazio, Jacqueline Goldfinger, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Lauren Gunderson, Jireh Holder, Evan Linder, Addae Moon, David Lee Nelson, Jonathan Norton, Mary Lynn Owen, Topher Payne, Christina Quintana (CQ), Dana L. Stringer, Malcolm Tariq, Korde Arrington Tuttle, and Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder. The project's playwrights represent Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
See Donnetta's piece SWEET performed by Martin K. Lewis HERE
The Paris Review Podcast
Donnetta joins LeVar Burton, Wallace Shawn , Dakota Johnson and a host of others who bring the first season of The Paris Review Podcast to life.
"An audio odyssey through the life and times of The Paris Review, featuring a phantasmagoric blend of classic stories and poems; interviews with the likes of James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, and Dorothy Parker; and new work and original readings by the cutting-edge writers of our time. Listen ad-free " - The Paris Review
Donnetta is featured on Episode 2: “Always Leaving”
A visit to Jack Kerouac’s house ends with the story of Buddha; Hailey Gates reads a poem by Erica Ehrenberg about love and moving on; and Donnetta Lavinia Grays reads “My Wife, In Converse,” Shelly Oria’s tale of marriage, poetry, and cooking class.
Where We Stand at SteppenwolF
Our first ever virtual programming stream features breakthrough stories written by America’s most talented voices, spotlighting the nation’s premier ensemble theatre and available anywhere in the world. Our virtual stage will offer a dynamic and innovative slate of immersive and visual experiences, radio plays, bite-sized programming and episodic work created EXCLUSIVELY for the virtual platform. This one-of-a-kind experience is so unprecedented, even we don’t know what to expect. Steppenwolf NOW virtual memberships go on sale mid-September."
Visit STEPPENWOLF for more information.
Y: The Last Man on FX
Production is underway for Y: The Last Man on FX and Hulu. Donnetta is thrilled to have collaborated with this writing team led by Eli Clark. Be on the lookout for episode 104 (which Donnetta penned) and the entire series starring Diane Lane. Premieres Fall 2021!
Joe Exotic NBCUniversal
"NBCUniversal is going all in for Joe Exotic (working title), UCP’s limited series starring and executive produced by Kate McKinnon, which has received a joint straight-to-series order by the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming divisions. In a sign of things to come for vertically integrated media companies, the high profile limited series is getting an unprecedented rollout across three different NBCU entertainment platforms, a broadcast network, NBC, a streamer, Peacock, and a basic cable network, USA." - DEADLINE
New Amsterdam on NBC
Donnetta returns as Sophia Collins for the second season of New Amersterdam with Ryan Eggold, Tyler Labine, Janet Montgomery and
See what happens when a new medical director is hired to run one of the most prominent hospitals in New
The fifth in the series will premiere works by Lloyd Suh, Lena Dunham, Christopher Oscar Peña, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Stephen Karam.
Founded by playwright Catya McMullen and director Jenna Worsham, The Homebound Project features a collection of new theatre works written by homebound playwrights and recorded by sheltering actors.
The Homebound Project grew from a desire to support frontline organizations by doing what we artists do best: creating and gathering, in newly imagined ways,” says Worsham. “The response from our artistic community of volunteers has been intense and moving. While theatres, schools, and our physical places of gathering may be empty, it’s clear that our imaginations are not. We are overwhelmed by the spirit of creative generosity that is filling the empty space.”