Tennessee Playwrights Studio Presents Preston Crowder’s Don’t Look Black This Summer


Tennessee Playwrights Studio (TPS) has announced the world premiere production of Don’t Look Black by Preston Crowder – directed by Alicia Haymer.

Everyone wants to be black until they face black issues. Four white friends find out when they decide to enter an underground “black immersion experience”.

Don’t Look Black was developed during Crowder’s Fellowship with TPS in 2020. TPS presented a reading workshop for this script as part of the TPS 2020 Virtual Reading Festival.

The cast of Don’t Look Black includes: Gabe Atchley, Candace-Omnira, Dianne DeWald, Chantea Kirkwood, Sawyer Latham, Leonard Ledford, Taryn Pray, Elliott Winston Robinson, Chandra Walton and Gillión Welsh.

Other theater artists contributing to Don’t Look Black include: MeJah Bahams (Scenic Design), Dee Benn (Costume Designer), Daniel DeVault (Lighting Design), Tia Lewis (Stage Manager), Enjoli Morgan (Assistant Stage Manager), Grange Simons (Lighting Tech) and Gabe Suico (Sound Design).

This show contains adult themes and language.

Dates and times for Don’t Look Black are August 19, 20, and 25 (pay night), September 26, 27, and September 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Darkhorse Theater – 4610 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209. tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Last Weekend of Don’t Look Black is presented as part of the 16th edition of the Shades of Black festivalwhich runs from August 28 to October 1 and includes theatrical productions from Destiny Theater Experience, Dream 7 Productions, Global Education Center, SistaStyle Productions and more.

Visit tnplaywrights.org for ticket information, cast photos/biographies, and premieres. Proof of vaccination/negative test within 48 hours and audience mask required at Darkhorse Theater.

About Preston Crowder (Playwright) Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Preston Crowder (He/They) is a playwright-actor-director-composer with a passion for telling stories surrounding the vast experiences of being Black and Queer in the United States. Production history includes Don’t Look Black (Tennessee Playwrights Studio, 2022), Break Your Chains (Juilliard School, 2017), and Flames (University School of Nashville, 2016). Acting credits include Is God Is (Scotch, The New School), Night Into Morning (Xavier, Short Film), Maidens (Figure 3, Tennessee Playwrights Studio), Sweat (Chris, Humanity Theater Project) and Clybourne Park (Kevin / Albert, circle players). Directing credits include Night Into Morning (short) and Detroit ’67 (assistant director, Karamu House). Preston is a former Tennessee Playwrights Studio Fellow and was named a 2022 Obsidian Theater Festival Semi-Finalist (Bocking). Preston holds an MFA degree from the New School of Drama and a BFA degree from Oberlin College, where he is currently a Visiting Professor of Theater and African Studies.

About Tennessee Playwrights Studio TPS is a playwright development lab and theatrical production company co-founded in 2018 by co-directors Kenley Smith and Molly Breen providing state playwrights with the opportunity to develop fresh and incisive storylines that reflect a changing world. In 2019, TPS expanded its scope to include theatrical production of projects developed in Tennessee, and our first world premiere production was Young Girls by Kenley Smith. In January 2021, we formed a Partnership between TPS and two of Nashville’s most productive and vibrant black-owned theater companies: Destiny Theater Experience and SistaStyle Productions for collaboration in the production of new works and educational programs.

The 2022 season of TPS at the Darkhorse Theater includes four world premieres of new works by Tennessee playwrights/creators: our first two shows were That Woman – The Monologue Show & That Woman – The Dance Show (stories from the perspective of women involved in JFK created by several Nashville theater and dance artists), which were presented in tandem in June to enthusiastic audiences. Comments from reviewers included:

What is surprising (but given the level of talent is not surprising) is that “That Woman: The Dance Show” was perfectly integrated in terms of choreography and performance. There was no dip in quality or energy throughout the 100-minute two-act play. It was moving, entertaining, thrilling, breathtaking and beautiful to watch. -Evans Donnell, stagecritic.comThat Woman – The Dance Show

“The performances delivered by the actors who breathe life into women are breathtaking. No matter how well you think you know each of the actors personally or from previous performances on stage, you will be amazed by their bold and brash performances, the authenticity and the honesty every woman brought on stage will take your breath away and leave you hoping for more.” – Jeff EllisBroadwayWorld Nashville, That Woman – The Monologue Show

More information on the 2022 TPS season can be found at: https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2188757®id=88&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Ftnplaywrights.org?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1/2022-season.

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