Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop

Monthly New Play Reading Series

Actors from the December 2016 reading of CHOSEN by John Mitchell

After a two year hiatus the Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop in partnership with The Center for Arts & Culture-Restoration

is proud to present it’s 43rd season of new play readings!

Our next reading:

THE LUNA ECLIPSE by Jamal Williams. FSWW January 2017 reading

Before Naomi, Tyra and Iman there was Donyale Luna, the world’s first black supermodel. She made the high fashion runways of New York and Europe, and the world of haute couture, her home in 1966 when, at the tender age of 20, she made history as the first black model to be on the cover of Vogue magazine, the pinnacle of the fashion world. Hailed as an international superstar and fashion icon, she was an eccentric, groundbreaking, yet reluctant role model who gave in to her demons, and she’s largely been forgotten today. Playwright Jamal Williams takes a fresh look at her story and examines just who this original diva really was.


To submit your play to be considered for a reading, please click here.

For more information click the following link:

Upcoming Reading Series Dates


3IN3: Playwrighting From Page to Stage - the Audio Theatre Experiment -
We’ll select 3 writers-of-color thru our online open application process to participate in 3 days of writing and shaping their work, with Arthur’s help, to write 3 new & original works. On the fourth day writers will have their works read, and recorded, live by a team of professional actors and a director at a public reading on Sunday, December 11, 2016 in the Skylight Gallery at the Center for Arts & Culture, 1368 Fulton Street on the 3rd floor. One of the three works will then be selected by the Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop & Airwayv team to produce, and make available to stream on and download at iTunes. This program is presented, and curated by the Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop in partnership with, the Center for Arts & Culture-Restoration, the Billie Holiday Theatre and the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

“The medium of audio theater has such a rich history of being a fertile ground for emerging writers, because of the focus on words. We are thrilled to put a spotlight on this medium in partnership with Airwayv as the Workshop builds on innovative ways to continue to cultivate new works by writers of color.”

– Garland Thompson Jr, Executive Director, Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop

About the Program

3IN3: PLAYWRIGHTING FROM PAGE TO STAGE is a playwriting experience for three writers of color that will take place over three days, with a public presentation of the work they’ve just created on the fourth day in the Skylight Gallery at the Center for Arts & Culture-Restoration. Over the course of three days playwrights selected will have a chance to meet, and work with a Lead Playwright/Dramaturg, and be joined by an extraordinary team of actors,a director, and Stage Manager as they create 3 entirely new pieces of work.


Workshop Schedule

  • Day One: playwrights will spend the first morning meeting with the Lead Playwright/Dramaturg to discuss fundamentals of playwriting. After a lunch break playwrights will return for their writing time. There may be writing exercises, or more discussion, facilitated by the Lead Playwright/Dramaturg, decided upon mutually by the Lead and participating playwrights.
  • Day Two: A full writing day with the Lead Playwright/Dramaturg on hand to assist. Exact activities will be decided mutually between the Lead and participating playwrights.
  • Day Three: Dramaturgy and final writing day. Playwrights will work with our Lead Playwright/Dramaturg. Hard deadline for complete script: 6pm.
  • Day Four: Rehearsal / Performance Day. Actors and Director stage and rehearse all three new radio plays. Public reading/recording that evening – 7-9:30pm

Through conversation, writing and work sessions, and a brief but intense rehearsal period, each of our three playwrights will be given the spotlight to showcase their new work. The opportunity for each writer here is to experience the entire process of taking a story to the page, and then to the stage while working with highly talented individuals who spend their lives doing that professionally. Based on film production boot camps where filmmakers have one weekend to envision, create and screen a new film, by condensing the entire playwriting and production process into four days we’ll create an exciting, inspiring atmosphere for our playwrights to work, and create in. Our writers will have the opportunity to work with an experienced Lead Playwright and Dramaturg, and bond with each other in the process. Like voyagers on a deep journey together they’ll have the opportunity to create their own community that can serve them for a lifetime. To create new work that can be produced, and move the writers forward. and a new community that can serve them for a lifetime are the fundamentals at the heart of this project.

Workshop Schedule

October 31 – Application/Submissions Deadline

November 15 – Public announcement of selected playwrights. Who will then begin to collaborate with the Workshop in this program

December 8 – Day One: Meeting with Lead Playwright (10am – 12pm) – Lunch (12-1pm) – Writing Time (1-6pm)

December 9 – Day Two: Writing Day (10am – 6pm)

December 10 – Day Three: Dramaturgy/Writing Day (10am – 6pm) – Turn in Scripts at 6pm: This is a hard deadline

December 11 – Day Four: Rehearsal with Directors/Actors (10am – 6pm) – Public Reading/Recording (7-9:30pm)


This program is open to writers of color of all ages and levels of experience in playwriting. All applicants must be fully available for all four days of the workshop.

Application Guidelines

 Please read submission guidelines carefully.

  1. Click here to complete and submit the Application.
    • Complete application form (online)
    • Email a one-page resume to  (MS Word or PDF files only)
    • Send us a writing sample (5-10 pages). If you do not have any previous playwriting material to submit please send any other written material that displays your storytelling abilities. (MS Word or PDF files only)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost to participate in the workshop?

A: There is no cost to submit an application or to participate in this program.

Q: Will the play I write be produced by the Billie Holiday Theatre?

A: Any work created over the course of the workshop is the property of the playwright. CAC does not guarantee any full production beyond the workshop period.

Q: Do I need to live in New York to participate?

A: Applicants do not need to be based in New York. If selected, however, each participant is responsible for their own travel, housing, and personal expenses throughout the workshop period.

Contact Information

Email Garland Thompson Jr:

Our History

The Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop was founded in 1973 by playwright/director Garland Lee Thompson, along with famed actor/director Morgan Freeman, director/actress Billie Allen Henderson and journalist Clayton Riley, as a living memorial to the late actor, director, teacher and producer, Frank Silvera (1914-1970). The Workshop has been based in the heart of Harlem, New York, for over 30 years and is now in residence at The Center for Arts & Culture in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The Workshop has built a long, time-honored and prestigious reputation as a nationally and internationally renowned playwright’s development theatre for up-coming and established artists of all colors, sizes and shapes. Some of the artists who have worked with the Workshop include Morgan Freeman, August Wilson, Mari Evans, Billy Graham, A. Marcus Hemphill, Larry Neal, Vinnette Carroll, Ruby Dee, Owen Dodson, Debbie Allen, Kerry Washington, Charles Gordone, Weldon Irvine, Charles Fuller, Ed Bullins, Laurence Holder, Adolph Caesar, Charles Weldon, James De Jongh, Clifford Mason, Ntozake Shange, Aishah Rahman, China Clark, Kirk Kirksey, Ed Shockley, Richard Wesley, Robert Hooks, Samm-Art Williams, Gretchen Law, Phillip Hayes Dean, Ron Milner, Douglas Turner Ward, Ebony JoAnn, Oz Scott, Anthony Chisholm, Charles Brown, Joe Papp, Woodie King, Jr., Miguel Algarin, John C. McGinley, Hazel Bryant, Helaine Head, Marie Thomas, Johnnie Mae, Rhonda ‘Passion’ Hansome, Joan Jai, Niamani Mutima, Karen Baxter, Pat White, Jewel Gomez, Edythe Jason, Bette Howard, Sir Louis Jones, Ernest Baxter, Ralph Carter, Taurean Blacque, Richard Gant, Charles Turner, Brent Jennings, Jerome Preston Bates, David Connell, Elizabeth Van Dyck, Ruth Carter, David Downing, Roscoe Orman, Myrna Colley Lee, Shirley Prendergast, Diane J. Harris, Diane Kirksey, Ave Maria Cross, Aixa Kendricks, Bill Vila, Charles Dutton, Ella Joyce, Michele Shay, Angelica Cheri, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, Ava Tiye Kinsey, Sylvia Kinard, Felix E. Cochren, Jr.

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