Directed by Tony-nominated Michelle Shay at Harlem Hospital Center, starring S. Epatha Merkerson (Obie, Emmy, Helen Hayes, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for Best Actress; 4 NAACP Image awards) and Ruben Santiago-Hudson (1996 Tony Award for acting, 2006 Humanitas Award for writing, and 2009 NAACP Lifetime Theater Achievement Award). Participating theaters and institutions increased to 45.
An additional reading took place in Brooklyn at the Weeksville Heritage Center, a preserved 19th-century free Black settlement.
A New York City-only matinee presentation for seniors in honor of the 50th year anniversary of the genesis of the Negro Ensemble Company, founded by Douglas Turner Ward. Presented at the Harlem Hospital Center; Timothy Douglas directed and the cast included Arthur French, an original NEC company member.
Chosen to celebrate what it means to be female, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF was presented in partnership with the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA) in the extraordinary atrium of the Harlem Hospital Center. Directed by Seret Scott with the playwright in attendance, it features original Broadway cast members Trazana Beverly, Lori Carlos, Janet League-Katzin and Michele Shay alongside Adriane Lenox, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Lillias White, and others. 32 theaters participated nationwide, in addition to Flytime Productions of Lagos, Nigeria.
C. Virginia Fields, Lillias White, Nambi E. Kelley, Flo Wiley, Seret Scott, Caroline Stefanie Clay, Harriette D. Foy, Trazana Beverley, Barbara Montgomery, Marva Hicks, Theara J. Ward, Janet League, Michelle Wilson, Adriane Lenox, Laurie Carlos, Ntozake Shange, Stephanie Pope, Angela Robinson-Whitehurst, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Elain Graham, Michele Shay, Allison Williams Foster, Brenda Braxton, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Denise Burse and Flor De Liz Perez.
This second staged reading took place in Harlem at the First Corinthian Baptist Church. Directed by Seret Scott (world premiers of AUTUMN and NATIVE SON) for Actor’s Equity Association’s (AEA) Equal Employment Opportunity Committee’s African American history month, it was the first AEA event ever held above 96th Street or in Harlem.
Presented at the Kennedy Center on the 50th anniversary of the bombing that inspired the play, FOUR LITTLE GIRLS was directed by Phylicia Rashad (first African American woman to win a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress). Featuring students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Howard University, with music composed by Kathryn Bostic, it was viewed in 47 states and live-streamed around the world. A special presentation in Birmingham, Alabama was preceded by a conversation between former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Attorney General Eric Holder.