Dear Friends,

We hope your Valentine’s Day was filled with love and good health.

This February, we continue to honor Black History Month by spotlighting projects from our Black alumni. This week, we’re excited to share TIME’s The 25 Defining Works of the Black Renaissance, a reading of Cheryl L. West‘s groundbreaking play Before It Hits Home, and more.

Also featured is acclaimed writer of the stage and screen Jen Silverman, profiled by The New York Times celebrating the release of her novel, “We Play Ourselves.” As a 2ST commissioned playwright, we look forward to seeing a new production of Jen’s in our future!

With best wishes,
Second Stage Theater




Honoring Black History Month with news on the latest projects from Black alumni.

Billy Porter (Birdie Blue) has been named an AT&T Dream in Black Future Maker, celebrating his activism and award-winning stage & screen performances. Learn more about Black Future Makers.

Board member & playwright Lynn Nottageand Smart People’s Tessa Thompson were selected to help curate The 25 Defining Works of the Black Renaissance for TIME.
Read the list and learn more about The Renaissance Is Black.

Nana Mensah (Man From Nebraska) has joined Netflix’s new show “The Chair” as a series regular, from executive producer Sandra Oh.


Photo: Billy Porter

Photo: Lynn Nottage, Tessa Thompson

Photo: Nana Mensah
(Nana Mensah)

Photo: CNP

Watch Cheryl L. West’s award winning play Before It Hits Home in an encore presentation honoring National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The reading features original Second Stage cast member Keith Randolph Smith.

Before It Hits Home received its New York debut at Second Stage in 1991, followed by productions of Cheryl’s plays Jar The Floor (1999) and Birdie Blue (2005).

Register to watch on Sunday, February 28 at 2pm ET!

Photo: Jen Silverman (Zackary Canepari for The New York Times) / (Random House Publishing Group)

Commissioned playwright Jen Silverman has released her new novel “We Play Ourselves.” Heralded by O: The Oprah Magazine as “a blistering story about the costs of creating art,” Jen spoke with The New York Times about her artistic process.





During the temporary closures due to Covid-19, Second Stage remains committed to the health and safety of our theater community. As a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to producing the work of living American playwrights, we look forward to reengaging with our audience and artists soon.

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