Roundabout Launches Refocus Project, Elevating Once Overlooked, Marginalized Writers
The new series will include free play readings, as well as resources to get these works produced across the country.
Roundabout Theatre Company has announced the launch of the Refocus Project, a multiyear effort to elevate rarely produced dramas by formerly marginalized theatrical voices to the forefront of the American theatrical canon.
The centerpiece of the Refocus Project is a series of play readings, with the first season spotlighting historically overlooked Black dramatists from the 20th century. In association with Black Theater United, the readings will include Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimké, directed by Miranda Haymon (April 23); Home by Samm-Art Williams, directed by Kenny Leon (April 30); I Gotta Get Home by Shirley Graham Du Bois, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III (May 7); Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston, directed by Lili-Anne Brown (May 14); and Wine in the Wilderness by Alice Childress, directed by Dominique Rider (May 21). The readings are free, with all suggested donations supporting Black Theatre United.
The Refocus Project will also feature a robust selection of materials available to the general public and theater industry, with a resource library built to encourage future productions of each title. Roundabout will work with theatermakers and artistic directors across the country to encourage viewership, with the intended goal of stimulating future productions at theaters across the United States. A second season of the Refocus Project will elevate works by Latinx writers.