NEC's Year Of The Woman 2015 Reading Series
March 18 — March 22nd
Sabura Rashid, Playwright-Playwright/Director
Sabura Rashid, Her earliest work in theater includes performing as a youth at the Harlem School of the Arts under the guidance of the late Marantha Quick. Her theater mentors include Rudy Gray and Laurence Holder, and late Lee Nagrin. Sabura’s work has been read and performed at various venues around the city including Theatre Studio Inc; Times Square Playwrights; Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop; Drama Bookshop; The Dwyer Center; Rhythmcolor Potpourri Festival of New Works by Women Playwrights; The Nuyorican Poets Café; Kenkeleba Gallery; The National Black Theater Festival (Winston-Salem, NC); Harlem 21 Playwrights at the Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art; and The Theater For the New City, (Crystal Field, Executive Artistic Director) where Sabura has enjoyed a creative home for several years.
She has received critical acclaim including recognition from Audelco for her work, including Greener Grasses… and Queens Of Heart. Sabura briefly attended the Actors Studio Playwriting Program at Pace University and creative writing at Wilkes University. She also has a degree in Cultural Anthropology. Paradigm Shift was first read as part of the Harlem Playwrights of the 21st Century Reading Series in 2010 with noted actors Janet Hubert, Roscoe Orman and Fulton C. Hodges reading the lead characters, and Lisaroxanne Walters and Lawrence Floyd.
Paradigm Shift has also been read at the Sawtooth Cultural Center in Winston-N.C., with Levy Lee Simon and Damali Mason and Antonio Woodard reading the lead characters. In March 2014, PARADIGM SHIFT was the featured play in the Rhythmcolor Associates Potpourri Festival of New work at The Dywer Cultural Center featuring Charles ‘Roc’ Dutton and Colette Bryce in the lead roles, and directed by Passion. Jerome Preston Bates, Connie Stewart, Antonio Woodard, Monique A. Robinson and Lisaroxanne Walters read Paradigm Shift at Theater For the New City’s New Work, New Blood Festival.
Sabura is currently working on several new plays including one about the life of Elizabeth Keckley. Sabura recently directed a production of Toadstool Tea, by Jamal Williams, in the Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF). She is currently directing a staged reading of Class by Gloria Browne-Marshall
Laurence Holder, Moderator-Playwright/Instructor
Laurence Holder an inventive, creative, intuitive writer brings icons to life in all their imperfect humanity. Works include: Zora, Monk, Hot Fingers, MonknBud, and When the Chickens Came Home To Roost… Mentor to many, this former instructor at John Jay College, has fostered a love for reading, writing, and creative critical thinking for at least two generations of college students and countless theatre lovers.
Pharah Jean-Philippe, Director-Actor/Film Maker/Playwright
A Brooklyn native of Haitian descent, Pharah has a diverse entertainment background which includes acting, directing, writing, teaching and producing. As an actor, her stage credits include productions of MacBeth (Porter, Gentlewoman), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Cook, Elder Lady), Taming of the Shrew (Widow, Servant), Conversations with a Kleagle (Lurinda Watson), To Kill a Mockingbird (Calpurnia), The Vagina Monologues (The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could), and for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (Lady in Red).
She’s also appeared in such films as Hot, Hot, Not (Lakisha), Mardi Gras (Collette), and Caged Byrd (Diana). Born and raised in Brooklyn, she has studied with great teachers such as: Duane Boutte, Roz Coleman, Angela Montalbano, Mary Boyer, Ariane Brandt, Bill Duke, Mary Setrakian, and Jeanne Kaplan. As a filmmaker, she donned the hats of writer/director/producer/actor for Mardi Gras, her first screenplay and second endeavor into filmmaking. She has written another short screenplay, Till Death Do Us Part, which made it to the 100 top screenplays and now onto the quarter finals in the American Gem Short Screenplay Contest – out of 978 entries! Both films screened in both African American Women in Cinema Film Festival and Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series.
Pharah has also written a couple of one-acts that have been produced. Her plays include: Love And Happiness, Black Book and Ham In The Let. A proud member of Actor’s Equity, New York Women in Film and Television, the Field and Fractured Atlas, it is her hope to produce work that will entertain, educate and heal. Pharah Jean-Philippe is currently the Founder and Artistic Director of Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company.