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Playwright’s Corner Speaker: Hear from artists Regina Taylor and Mariah Richardson as they discuss the tools and power of playwrights as well as the importance of new work that inspires and lead us to a brighter path.

About Our Speakers

This conversation is followed by Suffer the Children.

This fall, COCAwrites offers a unique chance to engage with a play in process through a special reading of Suffer the Children, written by St. Louis playwright Mariah Richardson.

For more information on the show’s content guidelines, click here.

The Story:
Suffer the Children is part of a series of plays about Delilah, a young girl exploring questions of community and coming-of-age in St. Louis.  This dramatic piece looks at issues of race, white supremacy, gun violence, and immigration, highlighting the real fears that children, and adults, face today. The play asks St. Louis audiences to lean in and listen to the words and seek restoration through the ideas of our young people.

Join us in participating in the development process as student artists perform for both a socially-distanced live audience and an at-home audience via livestream.

About COCAwrites:

COCAwrites promotes the writing and development of new plays for multi-generational theatre audiences through collaboration and mentorship among professional and student playwrights, directors, actors, designers and dramaturgs. Students in this program will workshop new plays and musicals written by professional composers and playwrights from around the country while having the chance to develop their own new plays and musicals with the mentorship of these leaders. This program combines directing, playwriting, acting, dramaturgy, design-tech, and stage management to bring professional and student written plays to life. COCA is thrilled to offer this training to students as new work gains attention and priority on all stages across America’s theatres.

About COCA’s Speaker Series:

COCA’s Speaker Series brings thought-provoking and inspiring work and conversation to our stage and your home in this unique opportunity to experience more than just the show. Throughout the COCA Presents season, we tap professional artists across arts disciplines to share their experiences, the stories behind their work, and their visions for the future of performing arts.

While the performing arts community has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, COCA’s Speaker Series celebrates some of the many artists still hard at work; the visionaries keeping the stage light on.

About Our Speakers:

Mariah Richardson

Mariah Richardson (Playwright) is a native of St. Louis. She received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of New Mexico and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Smith College. Richardson began her acting career in New Mexico. She did two seasons with the St. Louis Black Repertory and three seasons with Metro Theater Company during which she completed an 80-show tour of Delilah’s Wish, commissioned by MTC. Her HBO/New Writers Project solo performance show, all that…, has toured throughout the country. Her second play, Sistahs Indeed!, was a mainstage production at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park in 2008. Richardson is a budding filmmaker with several films under her belt. Her first short film, 5 of Cups, premiered in The Center’s film festival in New York in 2004. Her third film, Beautiful Hands, made the rounds in film festivals, being screened by Chicks with Flicks Film Festival in New York City and the 2006 St. Louis International Film Festival. Richardson is an accomplished poet whose work is published in many anthologies and magazines such as Essence magazine, Sinister Wisdom and Harbinger: Poetry and Fiction as well as her own chapbook, Stronger Than My Fears. Richardson is currently an adjunct professor at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She has taught in after-school programs, residences and homeless shelters from Los Angeles to New England. Richardson’s goal is to combine all the things she loves—poetry, performance, film and music—to create work which inspires others to tell their own stories and radiate the Creator Spirit within.

Regina Taylor

Regina Taylor (Guest) is an award-winning actress, director and playwright and, starting in 2020, joins The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis for three years as a writer-in-residence through the National Playwright Residency Program. A triple NAACP Image Award-winner has also been praised for her acting work in the 1990s TV series “I’ll Fly Away” (Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress-Drama), CBS’s “The Unit,” films such as “Lean on Me,” “Clockers,” “Courage Under Fire” and “Strange Justice” and in many Broadway productions. Ms. Taylor was most recently featured in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.”

Speaker Series Sponsor