The PROJECT1VOICE theater network’s annual fundraiser is national one-day benefit play reading event titled, “1VOICE, 1PLAY, 1DAY.” All proceeds received from each reading are retained by the participating theaters. This unprecedented annual event, held the third Monday in June, uniquely unifies the creative voices of African-American theaters from New York to LA, in a day that celebrates the theaters and their legacies, featuring the work of an African-American playwright.
For the June 2011 inaugural presentation, the Alice Childress classic TROUBLE IN MIND was spotlighted, sparking renewed interest not only in the play but in the late great playwright’s seminal work. This play was chosen for the universal theme it addressed: expressing our own unique and diverse voices and the idea of not compromising one’s artistic integrity. But more importantly, it was chosen to share the unsung brilliance of Childress’ incomparable writing prowess with the national community at large. This unprecedented star-studded event, performed at nineteen (19) theaters in fifteen (15) cities, brought awareness to and raised much-needed funds for the theaters in the PROJECT1VOICE network who are struggling for their very existence. It also proved to be an essential marketing tool for the network theaters’ upcoming seasons. All the network theaters were united by national social media outlets, national publicity, and links to all the theaters provided on the PROJECT1VOICE website.
The PROJECT1VOICE mission continues June 2012 with another national benefit play read, the play, to be announced at a later date. PROJECT1VOICE’s sincerest hope is to spark renewed interest in the arts, the artists and the organizations that nurture them. PROJECT1VOICE is proud to take on the challenge–drawing the national community to African-American theaters and playwrights like people are drawn to water when they are thirsty. These theaters are a necessity. We cannot allow them to dwindle away, not on our watch. We must do everything in our collective power to ensure that these mainstays of employment and opportunity for many minority professionals and bedrocks of our community are preserved for generations to come.
For more information about PROJECT1VOICE, to find out how your theater can participate or for in-kind contributions contact Erich McMillan-McCall at Erich@project1voice.org.