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Black Women in Theatre celebration returns to Ovalhouse

BLACK WOMEN ROCK: Paulette Randall (second left) and Judith Jacobs (fourth left) spearheaded the first #CONNECT: Black Women in Theatre discussion last year

FOLLOWING THE great success of the first event of its kind, Ovalhouse presents the second #CONNECT: Black Women in Theatre evening to celebrate the contribution of black women in the sector on Wednesday, March 6 at Ovalhouse, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London SE11, starting at 6pm.

#CONNECT: Black Women in Theatre will be presented in the run up to International Women's Day on March 8 and will be hosted by Ovalhouse executive producer, Stella Kanu and learning and participation manager, Titi Dawudu. The event will be curated by award-winning playwright and professor Winsome Pinnock.

Taking inspiration from Desert Island Discs, Pinnock will ask her chosen guests: what are the things that nurture them? There will also be an exploration of self-care, inter-generational compassion and sharing the secrets to staying “well”. This will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Karena Johnson (artistic director, Hoxton Hall), actor Seraphina Beh (EastEnders, Wolves Theatre Royal Stratford East, Leave Taking at Bush Theatre) and director Ola Ince (The Convert Young Vic, Poet in da Corner Royal Court Theatre).

Questions for debate include: What does the recent groundbreaking number of black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) artistic appointments mean for black women artists/leaders? Does experience matter? What does it mean to celebrate black women’s contribution to theatre? What is the future for black women in theatre? How do women overcome the gatekeepers and those that do not want to see progress? Does visibility count?

Last year’s event was an inspirational and intergenerational conversation between some of the great theatre giants Paulette Randall and Judith Jacob and trailblazing new talent Lynette Linton, Cherelle Skeette and Yolanda Mercy.

“It’s not every day a 56-year-old organisation taps into the zeitgeist of now. But Ovalhouse has tapped into something that many black women want to be part of. We were taken aback by the generous atmosphere and the mix of career levels in the room. It was both joyous and life affirming and the next event will be even better,” said executive producer Stella Kanu.

#CONNECT: Black Women in Theatre will be a free event for everyone. Book in advance at Ovalhouse, website www.ovalhouse.com or call the box office on 020 7582 7680.

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