Alum Bianca Sams is being recognized for her TV writing work! Her TV pilot “BLACKTHORN” is one of the featured pilots on WeforShe, Here’s a little bit about her show:
By Bianca Sams
BLACKTHORN follows Davion Littlefield, an investigative journalist and tv host, after the suspicious death of someone she loves. Hell bent on finding the truth at any cost, Davion thrusts herself into a dangerous rabbit hole of military secrets and conspiracies.
Here is a little bit about this list:
“Despite awareness of gender disparity being at an all time high, the stats for women remain stagnant. The 2015-2016 Boxed In Report revealed, “women comprise 26% of creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs – no change from 2012-2013.”
WeForShe’s goal is to improve the numbers of female storytellers employed in the industry. By sourcing industry executives for their favorite scripts, we provide the town with a curated list of the best available female-driven scripts. In just a couple years, the WriteHer List has become a go-to resource for industry-vetted, quality female-driven scripts available for television. We’ve seen writers showcased on our list get staffed, have pilots optioned, find new representation and set up deals at networks. “
A recent OU alumni, Bianca Sams, was apart of the Ingram New Works Playwrights Group this year and the product of her work, SIMPLY BESS, will be livestreamed on howlround tonight. This prestigious playwrights group accepts 4 fellows per year to be part of a writing group at Nashville Repertory Theater and culminates in a works in progress play series. Congrats Bianca on your new play! Also we like thephoto of you with the lab coat 😉
Here is more info on the play and how to watch it:
Tuesday, May 12 at 5pm PDT (Los Angeles) / 7pm CDT (Chicago) / 8pm EDT (New York) Simply Bess by Bianca Sams Simply Bess follows a young African American actress trying to make a name for herself. We see her backstage trials and tribulations on the 1950s European tour of Porgy and Bess, sponsored by the American State Department as a way to combat communist propaganda about racial problems in the United States.
Bianca’s plays are lyrical investigations of found stories out of today’s headlines or the pages of history that focus on the conundrum of whether the stress and pain we inflict upon ourselves and others is actually purifying or destroying the fabric of humanity. She is particularly interested in how trauma affects us on an individual level but, also ripples outward to loved ones and the larger community. She is equally fascinated by how each person must choose to either allow their adversity to consume them or rise above the trauma. Bianca often examines the different adaptive and maladaptive ways in which people choose to cope. She has been inspired by both modern and historical events. She approaches each piece with an investigative journalistic eye mixing research with her own brand of lyricism and poetic language, while also attempting to go beyond the politics and facts of the original tale, to connect an audience with the personal story behind what inspired her. Awards and honors include KCACTF Lorraine Hansberry (2nd place), Rosa Parks Award (2nd place), Kennedy Center/Eugene O’Neill New Play Conference fellow, Jane Chambers Student Playwright Award/Athe (2nd Place), Scott McPherson Playwright Award, The Playwright Center Core Apprentice (2014), Playwright Foundation BAPF (finalist), Eugene O’Neill NPC (semi-finalist), TRI Research Fellowship at Ohio State University, Nashville Rep/Ingram New Works Lab Playwright-in-residence , Warner Brothers TV Writers Workshop, and T. S. Eliot Acting Fellowship
Bianca Sams’14 play “Rust on Bone” about sexual assault and the military, will received three developmental readings with the awesome female friendly company “Babes with Blades”!
Babes With Blades Theatre Company uses stage combat to place women and their stories center stage. Through performance, script development, training, and outreach, our ensemble creates theatre that explores the wide range of the human experience, and cultivates broader perspectives in the arts community and in society as a whole.
If you are in Chicago, go check it out!
FW 2015 Public Reading Schedule
Quest: 1st public read, Sunday, April 26th at 12pm Rust on Bone: 1st public read, Sunday, July 12th at 12pm Quest: Final public read, Sunday, June 28th at 12pm Rust on Bone: Final public read, Sunday, September 27th at 12pm
All performances will take place at Heartland Studio located at 7016 N. Glenwood in Chicago.
More info About the development program “Fighting Words”:
Playwrights selected for the Fighting Words program will receive a set of three readings to facilitate the development of their script. Each play will be assigned a director who will take part in the development process from the start. All readings and moderated talk backs are videotaped and given to the playwright to aid with rewrites.
The first reading is internal and is attended by company members and the director; the playwright is invited but not sponsored. The second reading is an advertised public reading; the playwright is invited but not sponsored. The final reading is an advertised public reading with one choreographed fight and a reception following the moderated talk back; the playwright’s travel expenses will be sponsored up to $400 to attend. The playwright is given approximately two months between drafts for revisions with a schedule provided at the time of selection.
More about Bianca:
Bianca Sams is an Actor/Writer hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her plays are lyrical investigations of found stories out of todays headlines or the pages of history that ask audiences to face their own complex love affair with misery. She recently finished her MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University. She received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School, where she earned the distinction of being Tisch’s first ever Triple Major (Acting, Dramatic Writing, Africana Studies). Awards and honors include KCACTF Lorraine Hansberry Award (2nd place), Rosa Parks Award (2nd place), Kennedy Center/Eugene O’Neill New Play Conference Fellow, Jane Chambers/ATHE Student Playwright Award (2nd Place), Scott McPherson Award, TRI Research Fellowship at Ohio State University, and T. S. Eliot Acting Fellowship.
“For over 30 years, the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop has been the premier writing program for new writers looking to start and further their career in the world of television. The list of graduates who have gone on to do great things is long: Terrance Winter (Boardwalk Empire), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl) and Felicia Henderson (Soul Food) to name a few.
Every year, the Workshop selects up to 10 participants out of almost 2,000 submissions and exposes them to Warner Bros. Television’s top writers and executives, all with the ultimate goal of earning them a staff position on a Warner Bros. produced television show.”
Recent MFA grad, Bianca Sams is apart of the 2014-15 New Works Fellowship at Tennessee Rep! This prestigious opportunity is given to 4 playwrights per year and includes development help on a new play, a public reading and workshops with professional theater artists.
Fun fact!(tell all your friendsss) Jeremy Sony(another OU alum) received this fellowship last year!
“The Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award recognizes plays and performance texts created by women that present a feminist perspective and contain significant opportunities for female performers. This competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. The Jane Chambers Award for emergent playwrights encourages diversity of style and content. All forms of drama are accepted, including solo performance work. Your play will be recognized at the Women and Theatre Program’s Pre-Conference in Scottsdale, AZ on July 24th and a synopsis and information about your work will be posted to the WTP website.”
Bianca Sams ’14 will have a reading of her thesis play, RUST ON BONE, JULY 15TH IN New York at the Manhattan Theatre Club. It will be directed by the Goodman Theater’s Chuck Smith, and feature OU alumnus Marissa Wolf, and current OU MFA actor, Thomas Daniels.
Synopsis: Trapped by a stranger in her office, psychologist Dr. Devra Mendoza must use her training to maneuver her way through a game of cat and mouse with life and death consequences. Rust on Bone looks at the personal cost of war, societal stigmas of therapy, and the ripple effects of trauma and mental illness.
You can RSVP by emailing BIANCASAMS (at) BIANCASAMS (dot)COM.
MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB
STUDIO SPACE #3
311 W. 43 R D STREET
JULY 15, 2014 @ 7:30PM
Bianca Sams (MFA ’14) was named a finalist at the Playwright Foundation “Bay Area Playwrights Festival” for her play BATTLE CRY. There were 20 finalists out of 500 submissions.
From their site: “The Bay Area Playwrights Festival supports the development of six full-length plays annually: five selected from our annual open submission process to reflect the outstanding quality, diversity, and daring for which the Festival is known, and the sixth play a Producing Partnership that offers developmental resources to a play advancing toward production.”
SYNOPSIS: BATTLE CRY is inspired by the life and travails of an unsung hero in the Black Civil Rights Movement named Claudette Colvin. At 15, Claudette refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus 9 months prior to Rosa Parks’ arrest. BATTLE CRY tells the personal story of a naïve but passionate 15-year-old girl whose impact on the world has been left out of history books. The play looks at issues of class, ethnicity, and behind the scenes politics in the fight for Civil Rights in America while also highlighting Claudette’s personal courage in the face of injustice.
DEVELOPMENT HISTORY/AWARDS FOR BATTLE CRY:
Ohio University MFA Workshop (3x)
Seabury Quinn Festival of New Plays – Staged Reading
Tides Theater SF as part of DGA Footlights reading Series
Marrietta University Black History Month Event – Staged Reading
Kennedy Center ACTF – Lorraine Hansberry Award (2nd pl) and Rosa Parks Award (2nd pl)
ATHE – Jane Chambers Student Playwright Award (2nd pl)
The Playwright Foundation – Bay Area Playwright Festival (finalist)
Bianca Sams’ play “Rust on Bone” was one of four plays chosen for the Gulfshore Playhouse’s 2nd Annual New Works Festival in Naples, Florida. Sams, OU MFA ’14, will work with actors and director for a week before a staged reading of her play the weekend of the festival, Sept 4-7, 2014.
Nguyen was one of eight new writers to join the group of 25 Core Writers. “The Core Writer program brings a diverse range of playwrights to the Center for play development workshops in collaboration with prom is the Co-Artistic Director of the Nguyen is an OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of NYC. His plays include “She Kills Monsters,” “Soul Samurai,” “Alice in Slasherland,” “The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G,” and the musicals “Krunk Fu Battle Battle,” “War is F**king Awesome” and “Samantha Rai and the Shogun of Fear.” He is a proud member of The Playwrights’ Center, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. His company, Vampire Cowboys, often considered the pioneers of “Geek Theater,” holds the unique distinction of being the first and only professional theater organization to be sponsored by NY Comic Con.inent directors, actors, dramaturgs and designers. Over the three-year term with the Playwrights’ Center as an artistic home, selected work by Core Writers is showcased in the community through the PlayLabs festival and the Ruth Easton New Play Series.”
Sams, a MFA graduate this year, was one of five playwrights named a Core Apprentice. That program”pairs student playwrights with a mentor and offers play development support.”
Sams is an Actor/Writer/Producer based in New York City. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School, where she earned the distinction of being Tisch’s first ever Triple Major (Acting, Dramatic Writing, Africana Studies). At NYU she studied acting through the Strasberg Film Institute and Royal Academy Dramatic Arts (RADA) London, England. Her writing mentors at NYU included Richard Wesley, Beth Turner, George Malko, John Guerre (Honors), Kenneth Lonergan (Honors) and Daniel Goldfarb. Since graduating her work has been seen at Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theater, Old Vic Theater London and Public Theater in New York. She has performed as an actor at Cleveland Public Theater, Florida Studio Theater, Old Vic London, Public Theater NY, and can be seen on film in Rent directed by Chris Columbus. She is a full member of the Old Vic New Voices Network New York under Artistic Director Kevin Spacey. She has produced several ten minute play festivals in New York and Los Angeles, and is moving into full length off broadway theater. She is recent graudate from the MFA in Playwrighting at Ohio University with Charles Smith. For more information go to www.biancasams.com.
The Playwrights’ Center is “one of the nation’s most generous and well-respected theater organizations, the Playwrights’ Center focuses on both supporting playwrights and promoting new plays to production at theaters across the country. The Center has helped launch the careers of numerous nationally recognized artists, notably August Wilson, Lee Blessing, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jordan Harrison, Carlyle Brown, Craig Lucas, Jeffrey Hatcher, Melanie Marnich, and Kira Obolensky. Work developed through Center programs has been seen nationwide on such stages as the Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Guthrie, Goodman, and many others.”