Centerstage: A Theater Workshop

A workshop for those interested in the show side and the business side of entertainment.

April 222023
The 2nd Annual Centerstage: A Theater WorkshopHerron School of Art and Design 735 West New York Street Indianapolis, IN 46202
FREE8am – 4pm

SPECIAL 2023 CENTERSTAGE KEYNOTE Presented by Dr. Jackie Taylor, Founder and CEO of the 40-year-old Black Ensemble Theater of Chicago. (See bio below)

FEATURED PERFORMANCE of the one-act play “ONE” by Lanetta Kennedy.

This short play focuses on colorism within the black community. The setting is a diverse college, with two dorm rooms, occupied by four different black students. It seems as though a storm has come in and forced them to remain still. In that stillness some very hard topics are discussed about the difference between being a light skinned black person versus a dark skinned black person. Things get heated as they try to find a median between their worlds. They all have a big lesson to learn and soon they will see the unity in being one. (See Lanetta Kennedy’s bio below)

The 2nd Annual Centerstage: A Theater Workshop “Meet the Featured Playwright”


1. “THE SHOW” – FOR PLAYWRIGHTS. Attendees will be instructed to create or select an original idea, develop it into a story called the plot, then create the characters, structure and spectacle (visual aspects) needed to tell and show to the audience.

Workshop Leaders: Charla Booth (Playwright, Technical Director, IPS Educator) and Gabrielle Patterson (Playwright, Southern Fried Poetry Slam Champion)

2. “THE ACTION” – FOR ACTORS AND DIRECTORS. Movement from beginning to end of the play/story is driven by the skilled actor’s body, voice and imagination, led and instructed by the director’s vision and skill.

Workshop Leaders: Rain Wilson (Playwright, Educator) and Dr. Regina Turner (Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Division of Undergraduate Education at IUPUI)

3. “THE LOOK” – FOR TECHNICAL AND ARTISTIC DIRECTORS. The aesthetic, sound, and visual design are factors that the audience member takes in through the senses of hearing, sight, feeling: set, costumes, lights, sound, properties, make-up, hair design.

Workshop Leaders: Jeffrey Dahlstrom (Associate Director at IndyFringe) and Denise Johnson Richardson (Choral Director at Pike Township, Music Ministry Leader at Olivet Missionary Baptist Church)

4. “THE BUSINESS” – FOR PRODUCERS. All of the factors that make it possible for a play to be presented to the public: Budget, fundraising, audience development, space, ticket sales, box office, house management, royalties, contracts, auditions, director, actors, etc. These responsibilities fall within the purview of the producer.

Workshop Leaders: Max McCreary (Director of Audience Engagement at Indyfringe) and Dr. Khaula Murtadha (Associate Vice Chancellor at the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement)

***Bonus Dialogue: “Theatre of the Oppressed /Theatre for Social Justice” led by Rain Wilson (Playwright, Educator, Activist).



Lanetta Kennedy was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, living most of her adolescent life with her grandparents, eventually moving to South Bend, Indiana, with her beautiful mother to complete high school years. Later she landed in Indianapolis, where she completed her college education at Martin University. She is a daughter, a wife, a sister and a mother of two beautiful daughters. Taliah is in her final year at Indiana University, and Taryn is an eleven year old energetic creative, just like her mother.

Lanetta is a woman who wears many hats. She started acting in 2015, and fell in love with theater. She has landed lead and supportive roles. In 2015, she debuted in Creeps and Silly Women. In 2016, she landed her first lead in It Is Well by Angela Jackson Brown. Lanetta co-directed The Quilting in 2017 and co directed For Colored Girls in 2018, along with many more projects. Lanetta landed a supportive role in The Soul of Christmas by Kaidydid Productions in 2018. That same year her debut play Forever Moore premiered at the Onyxfest. It did exceptionally well selling out multiple shows. In 2019, her sophomore play Too Good To Be True was phenomenal. It debuted at the IHS. During the pandemic, Lanetta wrote multiple plays including the play One, which focuses on colorism within the black community.

Lanetta continues to act, write, and direct, and through these things she strives to touch the hearts of many.

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