“Wake Up to Life: Out of the Ashes” Play Synopses

This innovative project is a collection of one-act plays and scenes from four emerging African-American playwrights. The featured Playwright’s Showcase is co-directed by Jeannine Gaskin and Ansley Valentine. Please join us as we reflect on themes of self-esteem and health issues.


“To Be or Not to Be African” by Adetokunbo Borishade

Kyra Johnson, a conflicted 35-year-old Black American woman, stands alone in her bedroom trying to make a life-changing decision about her life’s path. She has been offered the job of a lifetime with a multinational corporation, an opportunity of which she is worthy in every respect. However, she would be required to completely represent mainstream “white” American culture at all times. To be or not to be African? That is Kyra’s question. 

“Where Winter Rests on a Wounded Heart” by Evonne Fields-Goulde

A senior woman who is challenged with dyslexia shares her story of how her impairment has affected her self-esteem, her relationships with family and friends, and how it has climaxed to this most critical moment in her life.

“That Guy” by Peter A. Fields

A playwright who receives inspiration by interacting with the imagined characters from the play that he is currently writing, is struggling through writer’s block as his characters       have stopped “talking” to him. He soon begins to experience a resurgence of depression and anxiety, along with other physical and cognitive impairments. After receiving a devastating medical diagnosis, he is determined to get his life headed in a productive and positive direction. But despite his best efforts, everything that matters most seems to be on the verge of falling apart.

“Au Pair” by Rebecca Morris

A highly creative mother and daughter both have dreams and become successful. We see how the mother’s attainment of her goal impacts Holly, her daughter. Payne is a single mom and aspiring artist with great potential and a growing following. She wanted international acclaim and respect. Payne travels to Paris and meets Henri. After a night of celebrating Payne awakens with a hangover — and pregnant.                  

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