Tyler Evans, killed by police, haunts his best friend as the ghost at the center of “Goodnight, Tyler,” by playwright B.J. Tindal.
The work examines police violence and the deaths of young black men, and earned Tindal the top prize in this year’s Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.
“I want this play to validate the Black experience of loving and living,” said Tindal, a student at Northwestern University, in a statement. “I want it to affirm the fact that Black people are here, choosing to love how we love freely, outside of violence.”
Each year the Alliance/Kendeda competition gives graduate students in playwriting programs an opportunity to see their work produced by professional theater companies, and past winners have often gone on to make a splash.
Tarell Alvin McCraney, winner in 2007, later wrote “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” which inspired the 2016 Academy Award-winning film, “Moonlight.”
The Alliance recently announced the winner and finalists in this year’s competition.
The finalists this year are:
•“Faded: A Calypso,” by Karina Billini, a student at The New School.
•“Southernmost,” by Mary Lyon Kamitaki, from the University of Southern California.
•“Happy Hour,” by Samantha Riley, at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
•“Shoe,” by Marisela Treviño Orta, from the University of Iowa.
As the winner of the competition Tindal will see his play given a full production by the Alliance. It will be presented Feb. 16 through March 10, 2019 on the 200-seat Hertz Stage.
The four finalists will have their plays presented in staged readings during the Alliance’s Festival of New Plays in February, 2019.
The Alliance also recently announced the projects chosen for development through its Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab.
•“Kudzu,” a live performance and companion podcast, with lead artist Topher Payne.
•”Liminal,” a one-man play that follows a “spiritual” cellist, featuring lead artist Okorie “OKCellos” Johnson.
•”Safety Net,” featuring playwright/actor Daryl Lisa Fazio.
Each project supported by the Reiser program will be funded with $10,000 and the artists will be given access to the Alliance staff and rehearsal spaces.
The productions will be presented next year in free performances. The Reiser program is meant to boost Atlanta-based artists and to encourage artistic projects that will be produced in Atlanta.
Since 2013, four projects from the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab have gone on to receive full productions at theaters in Atlanta and elsewhere.
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