Season 8 Playwrights

Fredrica Bailey

Fredrica Bailey is a 2016 MFA graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Hailing from Washington, DC she’s always loved writing. Her screenplay “The Expat” was a 2015 Action Adventure semi-finalist in Final Draft’s Big Break Contest. In 2016 she was awarded Tisch’s Paulette Goddard Scholarship, as well as the Charles Purpura Award for Special Recognition in Screenwriting. She’s also co-written a short entitled, “Da Jump” that’s now in post-production.

Karen chilton

KAREN CHILTON is a New York-based Actor & Writer whose work has been seen in feature films, episodic television and off-Broadway. She is also an award-winning narrator and voiceover artist. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed biography of jazz pianist HAZEL SCOTT: From Café Society to Hollywood to HUAC (University of Michigan Press) and the co-author of the jazz memoir of legendary vocalist Gloria Lynne, I WISH YOU LOVE (St. Martin’s Press).


jordan e. cooper

Jordan E. Cooper - Jordan is an award winning playwright who lives in Brooklyn and is obtaining his BFA degree at The New School For Drama. His latest play Black Boy Fly was voted 'Best New Play' by BroadwayWorld.Com. He made his film debut starring in the critically acclaimed feature film WOLF, which is now available on Amazon. Jordan aims to continue seeking truth and significance in this ever growing industry.


michelle tyrene johnson

Playwright Michelle Tyrene Johnson is a Kansas City-based playwright with work featured nationally, including in Pennsylvania, Texas, Connecticut and Kentucky as well as in several festivals in New York City. Most recently, Johnson's play "Justice in the Embers," which had a successful production in Kansas City will be in San Francisco’s Bay area in July 2016. Johnson’s “Echoes of Octavia” will be in the 2016-2017 season of NYC's Rhymes Over Beats Theater Company.


Shamar s. white

Shamar S. White is a New York City Playwright, Television Writer, and Screenwriter, from Chicago, Illinois.  In 2016, Shamar earned her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received the 2016 Outstanding Writing for Half- Hour Television award. Her plays Battles and The Virgin, were both winners in the NYU/Tisch Dramatic Writing Ten-Minute Script Festival. Shamar is a decorated Combat Veteran, and a proud member of the Dramatist Guild.

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c.a. johnson

C. A. JOHNSON was born in Metairie, Louisiana, but currently lives and writes in Queens, New York.  Her plays have received readings at NYU Tisch, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Smith College, and UC San Diego. Her play One-Way Ticket to Solid Ground won a 2010 James Baldwin Fund Prize for Multi-cultural Playwriting and received a staged reading in the 2010 Word! Festival hosted by the Five College Consortium. Her play Gossamer won the 2012 Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Award and received a stage reading during UC San Diego's Baldwin New Play Festival that same year. Most recently C. A. became the Lark's 2016 Van Lier Playwriting Fellow.  BA: Smith College MFA: NYU Tisch


elIana pipes

Eliana Pipes is a mixed-race actor, writer, and filmmaker studying at Columbia University.  She’s performed at the Mark Taper Forum and on Broadway for the August Wilson Competition, and created and starred in the webseries “Meet Me @ The Clinic”.  She’s been a winner of the Blank Theater’s Young Playwright’s festival, The California Playwright’s Project, and The Young Playwright’s Inc. National Competition, and her play was produced as part of EST/LA’s Festival of One Acts.


Cezar WIlliams


Cezar Williams (Director) is a director, actor, dramaturge, and producer. Stage directing credits include the Off-Broadway premiere of Dancing on Eggshells (Billie Holiday Theatre), Free Will (The Arthur Seelen Theatre), Ghost Town and Tailypo (Detroit NY Festival), Lunchtime in Heaven (48 hours in Harlem), Nightfall and Slow Gin Fits (The Fire This Time Festival). He has worked at venues including The Actor’s Studio, Williamstown Theater Festival, 59 e.59 Summer Shorts, La Mama, The Cherry Lane, Bleeker Street Theater, The National Black Theatre Festival, The New York International Fringe Festival, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, HERE Performing Arts, The Cell Theatre and the Kraine Theater. Cezar is a proud graduate of New York University where he was a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar award winner. He is also the co-founder of Robinson Williams Productions, a theater production company based in Yonkers, NY. For professional inquiries contact him at

Season 8 Programming

10 Minute Festival

The flagship of the Fire This Time Festival is 6-7 world premiere 10-minute plays written by emerging playwrights of the African Diaspora. These are the best and the brightest, the most diverse plays from a pool of national and international playwrights.


The Fire This Time Festival, and The Field are collaborating on a panel discussion co-hosted by Downtown Art, and workshop to examine the unconscious bias we all bring to judging artist’s work. Join Shawn Rene Graham, Artist Service Manager at The Field, and a group of highly experienced artists, facilitators and gatekeepers in a dynamic panel discussion as they share experiences and strategies to disrupt bias and to support diversity and engagement.  More Info...

Reading Series

Each year, the previous year's 10-minute playwrights present a full-length reading of a new work. In addition, we present Panel Discussions and curated literary and theatrical events.

On Screen

Artists from TFTT community share their webseries and short films including works by Kevin R. Free, Alex Ubokudom, Melissa Mickens, Larry Powell, Derek McPhatter, Eric Lockley, Rod Gailes OBC, Yusef Miller and more!



We create partnerships with other theater companies and curate other performance opportunities for our affiliated artists during the weeks of the festival.