By SCOTT CRAIG
WESTMONT COLLEGE WRITER
The Westmont Festival Theater launches the first of three staged readings that explore diversity, equity and inclusion at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in Porter Theatre.
The free series of readings, “NEXUS: Readings from Black Playwrights,” will include a post-reading discussion.
Johnny Jones, a writer and professor with more than a decade of experience teaching and working as a playwright and theater director, is Westmont’s first artist/scholar-in-residence for the theater department’s new Initiative for Justice and Global Engagement.
Most recently, Dr. Jones directed the African American Theater Program at the University of Louisville. At Westmont, he will direct a staged reading series featuring modern to contemporary playwrights and plays that engage justice, reconciliation and diversity. He graduated from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and earned a master of arts at New York University and a master of fine arts at California Institute of the Arts.
“My first goal and hope is to stage plays that engage the students and community with stories that feel new and that engage the very real issues of our times,” he said.
The NEXUS: Readings from Black Playwrights series will continue on Nov. 4 and Dec. 6. Audience members will be required to show proof of vaccine or a recent negative COVID-19 test and wear a mask while indoors on campus.
Scott Craig is manager of media relations at Westmont College.