Plowshares Theatre Company to Start “Black Theatre Matters” Podcast in May

Plowshares Theatre Company is jumping into the world of podcasting.

The Detroit-based theatre is launching a podcast Monday, May 25 called “Black Theatre Matters,” which “explores the various production aspects, topics of interest and dynamics of Black Theatre. In other words, Black Theatre matters,… and so much more,” according to a description of the show.  On the podcast, host Gary Anderson (Plowshares’ Producing Artistic Director) will interview guests from across the theater world; actors, directors, playwrights and other creatives, as well as “people I’m fascinated by,” Anderson said in promotion of the podcast.

The series launches on May 25. From social media to play development, from technological innovations to diversity and inclusion, Black Theatre Matters will cover trending topics in the theatre featuring experts across art form.

When asked why Plowshares would kick-off such a podcast now, Anderson responded, “If we’ve learned nothing else from this pandemic, it’s that there are great disparities in how this country treats the issues and interest of Black and brown people. The only way we can be ensured that those interests are addressed is when we address them ourselves. Black Theatre Matters is designed to tackle a part of that task culturally.”

“For such an important part of the American Theatre of the last 75 years, the plays and careers of African American artists have never been given a full examination into why Black Theatre is so important. We have a patchwork of theatre podcasts now. Some are New York-specific, most of them are more promotional than informative. But none of them look at Black Theatre in a way that captures the cultural significance, the regional uniqueness or profiles artists as well as their practice. This is what is lacking,” Anderson said in an explanation of why Black Theatre Matters is needed.

“Being able to talk about issues of the past and present impacting the creation of theatre throughout the African diaspora will give us a deeper understanding of ourselves,” Anderson continued. “Every time we sit down and get into it, I want our listeners to learn something new. Black Theatre Matters is going to be our thought-leader and industry insights podcast. I’m looking forward to being able to connect with both artists and audience members.”

Episodes will launch every two weeks beginning May 25, 2020. Tune into Black Theatre Matters, on May 25 using Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

About Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson is Producing Artistic Director of the Plowshares Theatre Company. A 2016 Kresge Artist Fellow, he is noted expert in Black Theatre. Throughout his career, he has worked in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Houston.  Among his awards are: Alain Locke Cultural Arts Award from The Friends of African and African American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts; the Publisher’s Award for Excellence – Between the Lines’ Oscar Wilde Awards; the 2002 Michiganian of the Year Award from The Detroit News; and The Lawrence DeVine Award for Outstanding Contribution from The Detroit Free Press.

Considered an expert in the field of African American Theater and Arts Education, Mr. Anderson has served on the board of several local and national theatre organizations including the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance (META) from 2010-2014, CultureSource (Michigan) from 2007-2012, Black Theatre Network (BTN) from 1990-1994, Theatre Communications Group (TCG) from 2000-2006 and the National Conference on African American Theatre (NCAAT) from 1991-1992.

A graduate of Wayne State University, Mr. Anderson holds both a bachelor and master’s degree in fine arts in theatre, specializing in directing.

About Plowshares Theatre Company

Plowshares Theatre Company is Michigan’s only professional African American theatre company. For 30 years, Plowshares has been the alternative voice in Detroit’s performing arts community. A theatre that offers an off-Broadway experience with entertaining and engaging plays. Plowshares is an urban theatre with a distinctly Detroit style. The name of the theatre company is synonymous with its mission: Plowshares is dedicated to “breaking new ground” by nurturing emerging talent, providing challenging opportunities to local artists, and presenting new plays that speak to the issues and interests of today’s audiences.

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