A Soulful Mosaic of Black Life on Stage
IndyFringe Basile Theatre
IUPUI Campus Theatre
OnyxFest 2021 Program Book
Watch 2021 Plays – Meet the Playwrights and Directors
1200 Miles from Jerome
Crystal V. Rhodes is an award-winning playwright and author. She has served as Playwright in Residence for the Connor Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana, and she is a 2019-2020 recipient of the Indiana Arts Council’s Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship for 2019-2021.
Deborah Asante is a Dream Farmer, Child Charmer, World Traveler, Jazz Gatherer, Blues Chaser, Hope Placer, History Keeper, Justice Seeker, there are so many ways to say Storyteller! She grew up traveling the world as the oldest child in an Army family. From an early age Deborah kept her younger siblings entertained by telling them stories so storytelling is in her bones. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Asante Children’s Theatre.
About the play:
In the 1940s during World War II, a mother, her two daughters, a young school teacher and a fourteen- year-old Japanese American fugitive from an internment camp are forced to leave the town of Jerome, Arkansas and flee over 1200 miles to New York City. The journey is filled with danger, one that could prove to be a daunting experience, in which “driving while black” could mean the difference between life and death.
Fly Blackbird Fly/Voices We Can’t Unhear
Ms. Latrice P. Young, also known as Distinctly Unique, is a choreo-poet, ghost writer, voice actor, private ESL instructor and Creator/Manager of Dunique LLC. from East Chicago and Gary Indiana. She graduated from Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High School in 2014 as Class Poet and Valedictorian and she graduated from Purdue University- West Lafayette as a Creative Writing major with minors in African-American Studies, Communication, Dance, Spanish, & Theater.
About the play | A choreopoem:
A choreopoem recounting traumatic experiences of several Black women. Each woman is at her breaking point and desperately wants to escape the cages they’re in, but this can only happen if they’re willing to relax, relate, and release.
Jameel Amir Martin is a native of Indianapolis. He graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC, and from the Juilliard School, where he received a Bachelors of Music. Ransom Place is his first play.
Shandrea Funnye is a playwright, actress, director, film maker, singer/songwriter originally from Chicago, IL. Shandrea first fell in love with with the arts as a little girl winning her first writing contest at the age of 9. Shandrea is inspired by her mother and children most and plans to eventually open her own production studio. Shandrea would like to thank Vernon Williams and Onxy Fest for the continued support and most of of Jameel Martin for trusting her to be part of his vision.
About the play:
Two unlikely companions holding on to a precious thing, reluctant to leave a special place, must contend with forces that would spur their belated departure.
That Day in February
Janice Morris Neal is new to the Indiana playwright circuit. Since taking her first class at the Indiana Writers Center and joining a critique group through Indiana Playwright Circle she has written nearly 20 short plays and one full length.
Dena Toler has been a professional artist since 2002. She has worked with various theaters throughout the city; including Indiana Repertory Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Basile Theatre and Fonseca Theatre Company, as former Artistic Director. Dena’s career has included several commercial and film projects. This will be her fourth production as Director. She will be directing the opening production for Storefront Theater’s upcoming season in February.
About the play:
That Day in February explores what happens when adult children frozen by childhood trauma are faced with a life altering decision.
This Bitter Cup
Charla Booth has spent the past forty years bringing other individual’s stories to life as a professional theatre director, classroom speech, education professions, and theatre instructor (Gary Emerson School for the Visual & Performing Arts and Broad Ripple Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities), lighting designer and engineer for both dance and stage, book researcher and editor, elocution coach, liturgical dancer, mime, voice over artist, and children’s acting coach for both television and film. She published her first book, a salutary for tweens in 2019 following an exclusive release of one of her short stories in a national magazine.
About the play:
A Black family in the rural south in the 1950’s struggle to find balance in their lives. A son who wants an education to rise above the limitations of the old south and a daughter whose dreams are thwarted by being Black and a woman and loved by the wrong man. A complicated entanglement that leaves us wondering if this family can find peace.
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