Monday, March 30, 2015


Disclaimer alert!   This is another one of my "controversial themed" play is about to make a WORLD PREMIERE in NYC.  Should I be apologizing for writing a psychological drama about a virgin dominatrix?  Though some of my closest friends don't quite know how to react to E.P.K. as the play is called because they think it may be offensive (Dominatrix) or maybe even pornographic and maybe has a evil demon (Panner) as the antagonist.  Oh well...what is a playwright to do?   LOL!

And so it begins...again. Creating a theatrical event is not only a collaboration between the cast and production crew, but also the Community of supporters, friends, and good theater lovers. Check out our Facebook Page and our booster info.  Check out our Facebook page and "like" to show your support.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Forgive me for I have sin because it's been a long damn time since the last time I put up a post on my Blog. LOL! I wanted to cut and paste an old email I sent to a very important influence in my theater career, Mr. John Henry Doyle, who passed away last year. I'm finally back in New York and away from Atlanta for the first time in the last six years. Back to my creativity. :)

Below is the very poignant email message I sent to John Doyle in 2007. It says it all: to jhdoyle98 Hey John, Just got to the computer and don't have a lot of time. I've attachment my bio with a picture of me. As for the article. Bay Area Black Writer in Self-induced Exile.

  As I write from my computer sitting on the top floor of a Brooklyn brownstone, I have taken a few moments to reflect on the artistic journey that has sent me back to the place where I was born so many years ago. I still vehemently think of myself as a straight-up-and-down black writer from San Francisco even though I packed my household belongings, my children, my books, and bags and headed to the next artistic level (Los Angeles!!!) almost fifteen years ago. As a black playwright weaned at the San Francisco Black Writers Workshop, I had seen my career move from self-producing my own first play, "Bloodline to Oblivion" at the Western Addition Cultural Center to having it produced at the prestigious Julian Theatre and directed by John Henry Doyle. Soon I had another play, " L.B.J." (Long Bien Jail) produced by the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Company and directed by Stanley E. Williams go on to win awards and recognition state wide. Thinking that I was on a fast track to becoming a major black playwright, I became the first playwright-in-residence with The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Company and developed a play, "Is you is or is you Ain't" in their playwrights workshop. This new play went on to win first place in the Bay Area Guardian's first, Playwrights Competition. I must say that my seven years in Los Angeles was on the other side of a nightmare. I lost my belongings, my wife, my children, my books and some of my bags in the first six months of sunshine and palm trees and inflated egos and false friendships. All my theater friends told me that I was mad to relocate to a city that only loves its mediocre television shows and its big budgeted films and plastic movie stars and saw serious dramatic theater as a nuisance rather than a legitimate art form. Spending many lonely hours in a 10' X 10' hotel room with no money and no car, I was actually able to be very productive and wrote five full length plays in that seven year period. The only drawback to my creativity was that once I finished a piece there was nowhere to try it out as in a play reading. I finally managed to have a few readings done at a well known theatre company called The Mojo Theatre Company. But a full production of one of my works didn't happen until five years into my L.A. exile. That came about because of a reuniting with John Doyle, who'd come to Los Angeles to produce his first play there. Out of our collaboration came the production of "Yesterday Came Too Soon" (The Dorothy Dandridge Story). And though things started out very difficult for this enterprise, it actually made quite a stir in Los Angeles. The play went on to run for nine weeks and gathered great revues. In fact This play has been produced all over this country. By this time, I finally realized that I needed to move to New York if I wanted to move my playwriting career upward. New York is quite a different environment. I've been here for eight years. It's been one of my most productive. I can have actors and theaters in place and ready for one of my new works even before I'm actually finished with it. I've had at least one play a year produced in one level or another. I've been invited to Dallas to do one of my plays. I've had "Yesterday... done main stage at the Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem. Now I'm working on taking two plays on a tour of Europe in 2007. "Is you is or Is you Ain't" will be produced in New York in March. I plan at West Coast Tour of a play entitled: "Eulogy for the Black Man" by the summer of next year. So I've been very busy and have many plans in place for my theatre pieces. In January I will finish a 20 minute short film that I've written and co-produced entitled: "Pitter Patter"

Monday, October 14, 2013

First here's some recent pictures of my fund-raising play reading of my "spicy, naughty, but nice" play: "Elizabeth's Precious Kitty". More on another blog for that. And like the subject, this picture is just a tease.
Hey I know this is cheating but I'm putting this new blog up because I think it's time for a "Fade-back-in-the-past" Day for me. Lots of new stuff happening; not withstanding the biggest is that I think I can escape from Atlanta and make my way back to New York City for good. This is an old interview I did back in 2009 for AAPEX (African American Playwrights Exchange). Damn, I almost sound reflective, intelligent, and even clairvoyant. LOL! Except for being "hijacked" into performing in a play at the local recreation center in the Fillmore District of San Francisco when I was 12 years old and a role that called for counting from one to ten in Spanish, I didn't have any exposure to live theater. As a matter of fact, I was booted from that role because I have a horrible time with foreign languages including English. I couldn't remember what came after cinco. I was a loner who lost himself in reading novels, especially Robert Lewis Stevenson's Call of the Wild & White Fang and Edgar Rice Burrows' Tarzan adventures. In fact as I lost myself in their tales, I thought that one day I would write adventure stories about wild wolf/dogs and traveling through jungles on foot. My real evolution as an artist started when I was serving in a navy ship off the coast of Vietnam. The only reading material that I could find was Readers Guide and as I read their condensed stories and found that these writers were paid real money for this crap, I thought that when I got the chance I too would make a few extra dollars submitting them stories with more flair and imagination than those they'd already published. In fact, when I got back stateside, I submitted a story or two and got no response whatsoever. Either they weren't looking for the stuff I was writing or I didn't have the skills to know what I was writing. For a long time, in my early twenties, I forgot about writing and just ran the streets living the life of an oversexed and happy young man. Then the Beginning-of-the End happened. My next door neighbor and street-running partner, who was also stationed on my Navy Reserve Ship, talked me into checking out a new black writers group down the street that had only two members, himself and the Founder. After one visit where someone read parts of a new short story, the ghost-of-I-can-do-that whopped me upside the head and I was hooked. The group grew very fast with everyone attempting to write short stories, but Evolution transformed many of them to writing poetry. I could never master poetry, so I became the only member not writing it. Then the Evolution turned to writing plays. Again I resisted and stayed the lone short story writer. Unlike today where it's difficult to get the money to rent a space and produce a play, in those San Francisco days the hippies, the Black Panthers, weren't the only renaissance going on. With no formal training Black folks were doing all kinds of Art and most of it, with the help of the Arts Commission, was being performed live. Actors, Ted Lange (The Love Boat) , Shabaka Henly (Stella Got Her Groove On). Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) was just beginning his acting career getting his "chops" in a community group called Black Light Explosion Company. Many well known movie and television actors were caught up in this Arts Explosion. And the beauty of it all was that most of the groups supported and worked with one another. My group, The San Francisco Black Writers Workshop, would write plays and Black Light would provide the Actors, and another group that taught Directors, would provide the Directors. And the City would provide the venues, at no cost, for these events to happen. Yes, those were some heady times. One of our playwrights would finish the first draft of a play and two weeks later it was being performed. And because everyone was a poet or a playwright except me, their art came to life in living color and my short stories went into my dresser drawer. That is until...I was asked to write a 1st play for a college professor's convention coming to San Francisco. Just on a whim and because I was encouraged by the other writers to join the "fraternity" of the produced, I wrote a short play that was in titled: "Where's What?" Everybody asked me what the fuck did Where's What mean?!!! It was a satirical answer to the Panthers so-called food program. The first major revision was to retitle the play "Where's the Revolution". To me it was to be a one-time shot. I was an artiste, not no simple playwright. Anybody could write a simple play. I just didn't know any better in those days. :) Anyway, I was so pumped up on seeing real people watching real people bring my real words to life, that for the next ten years or so I wrote plays full-time. The irony is that so many years (decades) have passed since then and I think I am the only playwright out of that group that is still writing plays. Out of all the many cities I have lived in this many years (Los Angels, New York, Atlanta) and all the many groups I have belonged to, I am a fervent and true believer in the workshop process. I can't believed that there are many true geniuses that sit alone in their rooms and write and then have their work go straight to producer to the stage without any feedback from other writers. Never be your own unflinching admirer. You might think that you don't want others rewriting your shit for you or giving you negative feedback so that you become discouraged. You want to bounce your work off others because most of us aren't able to smell our own shit. The theater in its true self is art in a collaborative world. The first to believe in your art are those that are part of the collaborative circle that makes it come to life. They are the real ones that have a true stake in it and you. Of course the people who pay to sit in those theater seats to experience what comes from your inner soul, want to experience your brilliance. But brilliance is a subjective thing sometimes. What smells like roses and to you is sweet as honey, might stink and taste like shit. Despite how brilliant you think you are, your art will be judge by many different objective observers. To me it's in the workshop environment where those first objective observers come in first contact with your art. And it will definitely be a mixed bag. You'll get those that have same artistic dreams as you and hate your work for it and will try their best to belittle your work just because that's who they are. You'll have cheerleaders telling you that your shit is brilliant and wonder when it'll be produced on a live stage knowing that all the time the audience will want their money back. You'll have those that care more about the quality of the art than they do personally about you as a human. And it's this hodgepodge of fellow thespians that makes workshops so very much indispensable to a playwright that wants to perfect his craft and not his damn ego. You will get all kinds of criticisms in that cramped environment. And if you want to learn to be able to survive and grow a strong "hide" as well as a strong belief in yourself and be able to let BS go through one ear and out the other and also allow meaningful criticism to make you pause and evaluate it to make a revisit to your "brilliant" play to see something you didn't see before-- then a workshop is an invaluable tool to make you a better artist. Wherever I go in my Gypsy-like life, I search out writers workshops. When I was in N.Y. I belonged to many and each served a purpose in the growth of my career as a writer. As a new transplant in Atlanta, I have found myself faced with a dilemma, there are not a lot of playwrights workshops and exactly NONE that exclusively nurtures black writers. I can't with all honesty say that Atlanta is not a theater town because there is theater going on here. Just not a lot of my type of theater. All theater isn't inclusive. There is something to the commonality of the human species as well as uniqueness of different cultures. I could be wrong, but there are no black theater groups that have there own theaters in Atlanta. Most of the black theater I'm aware of here constantly rehash Black Classics or they are relatively new and inexperienced theater groups that specialize in church and gospel themed plays. I have to give my props to those latter groups because at least they are experimenting with actually producing NEW plays in a nurturing collaborative way. As for The Classics they are our "pride" of the past excellence of our theater art, but how much time and money is being diverted from advancing our art by producing new and exciting plays and emerging playwrights? If Classics are the majority of the "black plays" being produced in any year and any city, doesn't that prevent the "future" black classics ever from becoming future Classics because nobody is producing them too? Does that mean that black theatre as an art form becomes stagnant, almost a decadent art form because we're not actively seeking out and nurturing new blood and exciting new theater pieces by bringing them to life? The life blood of any culture is new innovative genius. Despite my frustration as a successful playwright, I think of Atlanta as a new frontier with enormous possibilities. I believe that there are many secret playwrights and theater actors, directors, stage designers, lighting, and lovers of black theater that are looking for someplace; some collaborative meeting place of the black Art community from which to hone our distinctive form of theater and make Atlanta the next artistic center in America. I could just be a dreamer, but I've seen it happen before and had been an active part of it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A high class Dominatrix is forced to fight to preserve her precious virginity from her scheming deceased mother and an alluring mythological man-creature. AreaBay Productions presents an erotic play entitled: “Elizabeth’s Precious Kitty”. “Elizabeth’s Precious Kitty” is a sensual and highly stimulating erotic, fantasy, and farcical play that promises to shock and titillate the audience’s attention and open up a sexy, voyeuristic inside view of a middle age virgin Dominatrix under stress from forces trying to take her most precious thing away: her precious kitty. The play definitely stretches the imagination and artistically merges taboo language and views of sexual reality rarely seen in the theater world. Elizabeth’s reputation and skills are well known and in great demand to her male “slave” clients who pay the high fees for her exclusive services. Not only is she the most sought after Dominatrix in the business, but she is fearless, self confident, and fierce in protection of that reputation. She’s become very comfortable in her lifestyle and fears no man. She has her “shit” together and is master of her sexual universe. Everything is fine with the world until…her most secret and most private fears are confronted and pursued. One day after servicing one of her regular clients, she finds herself trapped in her apartment by a disapproving and harassing deceased mother and the most hideous yet sexiest male-creature named Panner. Involuntarily, Elizabeth is faced with a realization of her “biological clock” quickly running out and also that fact that though she is a master of a hushed and quiet segment of the sex industry, she has never felt nor needed nor wanted the physical touch of a man. She finds herself fighting both the pressure of her mother begging her to continue the family bloodline by having intercourse with a man, but also having to deal with this hideous man-creature and his strange desires and demands for her exclusive services. Elizabeth fights the dark forces of fantasy and mythology alone. But who wins this battle for her “precious kitty”? Come travel with me to the dark side of the D.C. Black Theatre Festival. My new play is performed on Saturday night, June 29th at the Sweet Spot, 2020 Shannon Place S.E., Washington, D.C.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

High Priestess of 1880 New Orleans

I'm excited that my newest artistic creation, "The Ascension of Marie Laveau" is finally making its first live appearance as a staged reading ten long months after I finished writing the play. I am proud that I am doing the "process" the "work" that all artists must do to proactively shape their pieces into becoming worthy of future productions with great actors and professional production staffs. But the most important thing that I will get out of this process is to hear the words from the page to guide me into working on the next revision. Jersey City, Saturday Feb 16th, 2pm at Sanai's Restaurant. Just doing the work...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hey, I'm on a damn roll and don't know why. I'm looking back on the last sixty days and realized that I finished a whole lot of stuff. I wrote a brand new play "Ascension of Marie Laveau", the Voodoo Queen Priestess of New Orleans who died in 1881(researched it for two weeks)and completed the first draft in three weeks. Three weeks!? Shit, it takes me usually three years before I complete a first draft of a play. Then I got some inspiration from a couple of fearless actresses I know to finish a play that I hadn't looked at in 8 years "Elizabeth's Precious Kitty"! Yes, let your imagination guess what that was about. LOL! I finished the 2nd Act and thereby finished the entire play. It's not my usual family oriented stuff...LOL!...more like I was channeling a writer friend of mine, Owa, type of filthy, sexual, innuendo-laced, absurdness stuff. LOL! God only knows if I'll ever get a producer to mount a play about a virgin female dominatrix going through the change of life while being hounded and haunted by her deceased mother and being pursued by a sex-freak man that sports two nubs on his forehead, hairy lower body, and two hove feet calling himself Panner. LOL! What in the hell was I thinking about when I wrote that?! Anyway, I may have found my fearless exhibitionist actress to pull this off. What's hard about wanting to be on stage almost naked with stiletto boots, sex toys, and a big fucking whip. LOL! Wow what an image that would make to an audience full of men with their damn tongues hanging to the floor. In a future audition notices I could ask for a female willing and able to whip a man's ass live on stage every night. Think I could find someone to do that? Hmmmm? LOL! Anyway, look for it this January at the The Times Square International Theatre Festival (TSITF) January 16-22, 2013 at the Roy Arias Studios & Theatres (300 W 43rd St, New York City). On and I just finished a Spec Script / Pilot show for a new television series about Hip Hop and Rap (I hate Rap) and a treatment too. Hopefully the young man I wrote it for will sell it and I'll have some money in my pocket for fucking once. LOL. Then I got the rights to develop a documentary about the Baltimore couple who had the audacity to have a mixed baby in 1957 and was prosecuted by a Maryland law that had been on the books for 247 damn years. I want to call it "Baltimore Flavor". Got a good partner to work with and we're on the way to getting funding to bring it to life. I have been so damn busy that I almost didn't realize I'd almost become a damn hermit. Okay, so did I cover it all? No! I forgot I have to finish the second draft of an adaptation I'm making from an old Vietnam play of mine about Long Bien Jail...the most explosive race riot to ever happen in a war zone. Then when I finish that (I'm being hounded to get it to them by Monday) LOL! Then when I finish that I can really start working on the newest of my play ideas. It'll be a one-woman show about Dorothy Dandridge's only sister Vivian Dandridge and will be performed by Vivian's beautiful and talented Granddaughter, Neyo Wallace. Okay so that's more than enough information to be putting out into the universe for now. Plus I think I have an audience of ONE who reads my blog anyway. I guess I shouldn't take two and three years in between putting up new posts. By like they say with aged wine... Leave it the hell alone until it's ready to taste good. LOL.
I have a very short new piece is this show entitled: "The Garden of Nirvana". It is always great to have the younger generation give a writer relevancy by bringing life to their creation. This is Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company’s final show of the season, so we’ve decided to end it with a bang! Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company is proud to announce the first annual presentation of In Our Home, our new experimental, interactive theatrical project. Please join us as we push the boundaries of storytelling in this intimate setting. Hope to see you there! Best, Pharah Jean-Philippe Founder/Artistic Director Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company presents In Our Home 5 Playwrights + 5 Rooms = 1 Dynamic Play Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company is proud to present In Our Home, our new experimental, interactive theatrical project. Playwrights of color probe the limits of intimacy in one act plays staged in the rooms of an actual Brooklyn home. In the Bedroom Love and Happiness written by Pharah Jean-Philippe Directed by Phil John The Garden of Nirvana written by Jamal Williams Directed by Pharah Jean-Philippe In the Second Bedroom Artistic Musings written by Loresa Lanceta Directed by Pharah Jean-Philippe In the Kitchen The Ring written by Mary McCallum Directed by Liza Bulos In the Bathroom Spiraling Into Place written by Tremane Nicholson Directed by Pharah Jean-Philippe In the Living Room After the Reception written by Mosi Singleton Directed by Evria Dechane Atwell Featured Actors: E.J. An, China Colston, Latia Kirby, Richard Kohn, Loressa Lanceta*, Simone Maubury, Regine Mont-Louis, Okema T. Moore, Ernest Perry, Brianna Seagraves, Marvin Telp , Colin Walker *Denotes members of Actors Equity Please join us for an unvarnished view of what happens behind closed doors. Performances will be held at a private home. Round-trip transportation to the home will be provided from South Oxford Space nightly at 6:45pm Space is limited, so RSVP is required. To reserve your place, please call 718-247-9417 or email us at To purchase tickets online, click here. Dates: June 23rd, 24th, 29th and 30th Tickets: $18 online; $25 at the door Pick-Up Location: The Lobby of South Oxford Space 138 South Oxford Street Brooklyn, NY 11217