Black Theatre Matters S1E4: Black Lives, Black Words

Here’s the rundown for today’s episode: In Segment #1 I’m going to answer last week’s Black Theatre trivia question and provide a little historical context. Then I’ll give you this week’s question. In Segment #2 I will introduce this week’s Black Thought. This week’s quote by Audre Lorde best frames the theme of the episode. Finally, in Segment #3, we have the Black Lives, Back Words interview.

Today, we’re going to devote the majority of the show to an interview with Black Lives, Black Words founders Reginald Edmund and Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. BLBW is an international is an artistic movement that spans across countries and continents, in which Black narratives are told by – and in complete control of – Black Artists with the mission in mind to empower all audiences. These two happen to be partners in life as well as the theatre as Reggie and Sim are married.

Additionally, Reggie is a Resident Playwright at Tamasha Theatre in London, England and an Alumni Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Pegasus Theatre-Chicago, an Artistic Patriot at Merrimack Repertory Theatre and a ‘10-‘11 Many Voice Fellow with the Playwrights’ Center. His play Southbridge was runner up for the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry and Rosa Parks National Playwriting Awards, and most recently named winner of the Southern Playwrights’ Competition, the Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play and the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. His nine-play series titled “The City of the Bayou Collection,” including Southbridge, Juneteenth Street, The Last Cadillac and All the Dying Voices, was developed at esteemed theaters including Pegasus Theatre-Chicago, Deluxe Theatre, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Bush Theatre (UK), Boston Court @ Theatre, the Landing Theatre, the Playwrights’ Center, and The National Theatre (UK). Reginald Edmund received his BFA in Theatre-Performance from Texas Southern University and his MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.

Simeilia is founder and CEO of Artistic Directors of the Future ( as well as the Founder/CEO of Beyond The Canon (, former troubleshooter and Manager of the National Theatre’s Black Play Archive, Editor of the first monologue anthology for Black Plays inspired by Black British Plays. She has been listed three consecutive years in the Stage Top 100 Power List and last year was named in the London Evening Standard The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people 2018 – Performance: Theatre. 

Other publications Simeilia has edited include The Oberon Book of Monologues for Black Actors: Classical and Contemporary Speeches from Black British Plays which was followed by a second monologue anthology published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama: Audition Speeches for Black, South Asian and Middle Eastern Actors, interim Associate Producer at Theatre Royal Stratford East and former Trustee at the Directors Guild of Great Britain and Company of Angels Theatre Company. She also worked nationally and internationally as a theatre director, producer, dramaturg, teacher/guest lecturer, audience development consultant. Simeilia is currently a member of the editorial team for the Backpages Selection of the Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge/UK). 

NOTE: The audio for the interview is perfect for Reggie and Sim. However, I sound like I’m speaking through a tin can from ten feet away. Otherwise, this is great interview. Enjoy.

About Black Theatre Matters

Black Theatre Matters is a bi-weekly podcast covering the intersection between culture, politics, and Blackness. Black Theatre Matters explores the various plays, people, and topics of importance to Black Theatre, the production elements and unique dynamics of Black Theatre. In other words, Black Theatre matters.

A program of Plowshares Theatre Company, BTM is designed to be a liberal arts resource dedicated to supporting, documenting and celebrating the achievements of Black theatre artists throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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