Following the success of the first series, podcast series Beyond The Canon: The Writers Room is returning for a second season to advocate, celebrate and uplift legendary POC playwrights and plays.
Supported by the Arts Council, Beyond The Canon contributes to the ongoing conversation within the Black Lives Matter movement by reinforcing the importance of Black, Asian and POC voices at a time of both decolonization and reimagining the future of theatre, arts and culture.
Founded in 2016 by founder of Artistic Directors of the Future, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Beyond The Canon looks to create hope in the arts by highlighting and discussing the theatrical works of POC playwrights to raise awareness and thereby bring about positive change in the industry.
Season two guests include an illustrious assemblage of the UK’s most prolific and influential figures across the arts and culture industry. Beyond The Canon will welcome:
· Award-winning British actor, playwright, director and broadcaster, Kwame Kwei-Armah. In 2018 he was made Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre and has written recent stage success, including One Love (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Beneatha's Place (Baltimore Center Stage) Elmina's Kitchen, Fix Up and Statement of Regret (National Theatre).
· Award-winning American playwright, screenwriter, and educator, Kristoffer Diaz. His play, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and in 2011, The New York Times awarded Diaz with the Outstanding Playwright Award.
· Award-winning playwright and actress Nambi E. Kelley, who was chosen by literary legend Toni Morrison to adapt her novel Jazz for the stage (Baltimore Center Stage, Marin Theatre Company). Nambi also penned an adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son that has been seen at theatres across the U.S.
· Award-winning writer and producer, Trey Anthony. She is the first black woman in Canada to have a television series on a prime-time network. Her work includes the plays, ‘da Kink in My Hair and How Black Mothers Say I Love You.
· Award-winning playwright Vinay Patel, whose debut play, True Brits, opened at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014. His latest play, An Adventure, ran at the Bush in late 2018. His first piece for television, Murdered By My Father, won the Royal Television Society award for Best Single Drama and was nominated for three BAFTAs.
Additional guests from across the global theatre and arts scene will be announced in the coming weeks.
Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Founder of Beyond the Canon says: “The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a spotlight on inequality for Black, Asian and POC, however there’s still a lot of work to do. Through our Writers Room podcast series, we aim to further raise awareness of the issues faced, as well as celebrating some of the finest Black, Asian and POC figures in the arts industry.”
In addition, this season of Beyond The Canon: The Writers Room will feature a roundtable talk with pioneering play specialists of the world’s best play anthologies, including:
· Kathy Perkins (responsible for: Selected plays: Alice Childress, African Women Playwrights, Black Female Playwrights: An anthology of Plays Before 1950, Black South African Women: An anthology of plays),
· Dalbir Singh (responsible for: Love, Loss and Longing: South Asian Canadian Plays), Yvonne Brewster (responsible for: Black Plays)
· Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway (responsible for: The Oberon Book of Monologues for Black Actors: Classical and Contemporary Plays from Black British Plays and Audition Speeches for Black, South Asian and Middle Eastern Actors).
Beyond the Canon provides support for students, teachers and examination boards with access to writers and a deeper understanding of the industry through the perspective of professional POC artists.
The new series will air on the @beyondthecanon Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels every Wednesday at 6pm and will also be available on streaming platforms free of charge.