The African American experience is not represented solely by one voice or one style. Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time Festival provide a platform for talented early-career playwrights of African and African American descent to explore challenging new directions for 21st century theater.



Now in it’s sixth season, The Fire This Time Festival will welcome seven new playwrights into the family, January 19-February 8 at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery). These playwrights will present an evening of ten-minute plays, each inspired by one of Alex Harsley’s original photographs. This year’s festival will also feature the World Premiere of Nathan Yungerberg’s play Pousada Azul, directed by Russel G. Jones (Father Comes Home from the Wars at The Public). Special events will include a play reading series, an open mic night, a movie screening, and a panel discussion on art and activism. Tickets to Pousada Azul and the 10-Minute Play Festival ($15) are available for purchase in advance at All special events are Pay What You Can.

World Premiere Production
Tue 1/20 @ 7pm, Wed 1/21 @ 7pm, Thu 1/22 @ 7pm, Sat 1/31 @ 7pm, Sun 2/1 @ 3pm, Thu 2/5 @ 7pm, Fri 2/6 @ 7pm, Sat 2/7@ 7pm, & Sun 2/8 @ 3pm

Pousada Azul
Written by Nathan Yungerberg,
Directed by Russell G. Jones
Pousada Azul is the story of rebirth, transformation and love among two African American expats and one elusive traveler, whose lives intersect over one rainy season, at a guesthouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Salvador Brazil.

10-Minute Plays
Fri 1/23 @ 7pm, Sat 1/24 @ 7pm, Sun 1/25 @ 3pm, Thu 1/29 @ 7pm, Fri 1/30 @ 7pm

A Military Habit
Written by Aziza Barnes,
Directed by Dennis A. Allen II
Identical twin sisters Spencer and Ellis pump fake, twist and confess the lies told to them by family and the lies they tell each other, while simultaneously shooting the shit and dissing boys from high school.

The Sandbox
Written by Azure D. Osborne-Lee,
Directed by Jamal Jordan
June stands alone in the broiling desert sun. Jelly hunts a tiger deep in the wildest of jungles. Two sisters struggle to bride the gulf between them in The Sandbox.

Not In This Room
Written by Daaimah Mubashshir,
Directed by Kimille Howard
Abdullah, a faithful and devoted family man, comes home from his honeymoon, and everything, absolutely everything has changed. How can family still be family when they abandon what holds them together?

Easy to Fall in Love
Written by Larry Powell,
Directed by Tonya Pinkins
It’s Bobby’s first time ever getting his shoes shines and it’s Greg’s last time shining. The truth spoken here can change the course of their entire lives… Will they tell it?

Coal Run Road
Written by Julienne Hairston,
Directed by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
A young man returns home for a celebration to find personal and racial tensions have built to a festering heat beneath the surface of Coal Run Road.

Dolphins and Sharks
Written by James A. Tyler,
Directed by Charlotte Brathwaite
When Yusuf Nwachukwu catches his annoying co-worker breaking employee policy he must decide if he will tell the manager or keep quiet about it. Dolphins and Sharks explores how disadvantaged people function and collide in a capitalistic society..

The Marriage of Zoltar, or Rollercoaster: Your Love
Written & Directed by Rod Gailes OBC
A Coney Island fortune telling booth and a glance in the wrong direction threaten to derail Adam’s best laid plans for an elaborate 5th Anniversary marriage proposal.

Special Events

Alex Harsley Movie Screening
Monday, January 19 @ 7pm
A one night only special screening of one of Alex Harsley's rarely shown films, Time Machine!!!!!. Don't miss it!

Open Mic Night
Monday, January 26 @ 7pm

41 Bullets and Still Counting: Our Art/Our Activism Panel Discussion
Wednesday, January 28 @ 7pm
In the aftermath of recent injustices The Fire This Time puts together a panel to speak on how our art can influence our activism on a daily basis. Come and have your voice heard, share resources, and collaborate with the community.

Play Readings

Written by Josh Wilder,
Directed by Reginald Douglas

Tuesday, February 3 @ 7pm

This new play by the current Jerome Fellow is a full-length rumination on the 10-minute work he presented in Season 5 of The Fire This Time Festival.

The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd
Written by Jonathan Payne
Wednesday, February 4 @ 7pm

It’s the holiday season in an inner city nicknamed “The Oblong”, and KARMA can’t afford to think about the merriment and reflection. She just can’t do it. One, she’s a penniless orphan on the streets, and two, she’s on the hunt for her foster brother, TERRELL. He’s been missing for months, and no one really seems to care. So off the amateur sleuth goes, in hopes of solving the mystery of a brother she hasn't seen in years. All roads lead her deeper and deeper into the violence of The Oblong, and paints a broader canvas about the young man she used to know.

The Sting of White Roses
Written by Angelica Cheri,
Directed by Reginald Douglas

Saturday, February 7 @ 2pm

On the verge of welcoming their first child into the world, David and Mina arrive at the one place they feel safe enough to deliver their child: Thea’s Kitchen. But as they welcome this brand new life, the life begins to drain out of Mina’s body, and for the first time ever David meets and illness that he’s not sure his anointed voice can heal.

In Communion
Written by Lori Elizabeth Parquet
Sunday, February 8 @ 6pm

A couple in love faces a new year's "revelation" and must redefine their relationship as a result.