You’re given money to write a play. Now what? In this insightful series on how new plays get developed, SCR’s commissioned playwrights get put in the hot seat. And who better to interview them than some of our favorite actors? In the next installment, get up close and personal with super-smart Kemp Powers, writer of SCR’s Little Black Shadows, as well as the television series “Star Trek: Discovery” and the recently released feature films One Night in Miami and Soul. He’s also an award-winning journalist and a celebrated storyteller with The Moth. Your interviewer? Giovanni Adams, one of Powers’ long-time collaborators who electrified audiences in SCR’s productions of Little Black Shadows and Photograph 51 as well as Tiny Beautiful Things at Pasadena Playhouse and The Model Apartment at The Geffen Playhouse.
Watch the video here.
This event is part of SCR commUNITY:
SCR commUNITY is South Coast Repertory’s new digital platform dedicated to amplifying the artists and narratives of our region by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California. Using “virtual/digital” platforms, SCR commUNITY creates free play readings, interviews, radio plays and original innovative content. SCR commits to engaging Southern California-based writers, actors, directors, composers, designers and other artists to collaborate on these projects that lift our community, celebrate the human kaleidoscope and ensure that all see themselves in our work.
Kemp Powers is a playwright, screenwriter and storyteller. His plays include One Night in Miami…, Little Black Shadows, The Two Reds and A Negro by Choice. He received the 2013 Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Play for the world premiere of One Night in Miami... in Los Angeles. That production also won three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards and four NAACP Theatre Awards. One Night’s 2016 production at London’s Donmar Warehouse was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Powers also wrote the adapted screenplay for One Night in Miami the movie, directed by Academy Award-winning actress Regina King. His work has been developed at South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. He is the co-director and co-writer of the upcoming Disney/Pixar animated feature Soul (2020). In television, he was a writer for Star Trek: Discovery in addition to several other projects. He has toured nationally as a storyteller for the Peabody Award-winning series, “The Moth,” and was one of the storytellers published in the first edition of their New York Times-bestselling book, The Moth: 50 True Stories.
Giovanni Adams is a South Coast Repertory alumnus, having been in the production of Kemp Powers’ Little Black Shadows (2018, world premiere) and the play’s reading at the Pacific Playwrights Festival. He last appeared onstage in Tiny Beautiful at Pasadena Playhouse. He played Neil in Donald Margulies’ The Model Apartment at Geffen Playhouse and Frederick Douglass in Mount Misery at Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco. He was in the world premiere of Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami (Rogue Machine Theatre, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and NAACP Theatre Award for Best Ensemble). He has participated in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, where he worked on Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s Br’er Cotton and Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies and the Writer’s Workshop Retreat at Center Theatre Group. His other stage credits include The Recommendation and Bela Lugosi’s Dead (IAMA Theatre Company) and Miss Julie and King Lear (Yale Repertory Theatre). His solo show, Love Is A Dirty Word, developed in collaboration with Becca Wolff, premiered at VS Theatre and received Ovation and LA Drama Critics Circle awards recognition. The play was adapted into a short film, 2 Black Boys, for which he wrote the script. His film and television credits include Nina, “Criminal Minds,” “Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Gary Unmarried.” Adams was born in Jackson, Miss., and received his BA from Yale University.