Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) Presents
Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field
A Devised Virtual Performance Directed by YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris
In Residency at Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts
Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field addresses how the oppression of Black artists shows up in artistic spaces through the complacency of allies and the complicity of fellow Black artists, and explores how young Black artists can usher in a new woodwork when there is no "seat at the table."
Through three webisodes following characters on a journey through the last week of 2020, Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field centers the experiences and reflections of up and coming, young, Black theater artists.
Since October 2020, YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris has been working with Autumn Angelettie, Ayanna Fowler, and Jaucqir LaFond, current students of the Howard University Department of Theatre Arts, to devise this monumental project from idea to screen.
Autumn (she/her/hers) is a student actor, playwright, and director from Greater Philadelphia, pursuing her BFA in Acting from Howard University. She is thrilled to make her Young Playwrights’ Theater debut in Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field. Autumn last appeared in the world premiere of Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem at Theater Alliance. Her credits as a playwright and director include revolution: an antilogy (8x10 Play Festival, Third Place Winner); The Housewarming; Green Eggs and Ham With a Side of Assassination (8x10 Play Festival); and Neighborhood Blue (Philly Young Playwrights Monologue Festival, First Place Winner). Autumn currently serves as the President of the Howard Players and organizes with Police Free CSD and Black Lives Matter Philly.
Autumn wants audiences to consider where art and action meet in their own lives: what tangible actions do you take, and what work do you create, that make the world a better place?
Ayanna (she/her/hers) is delighted to be a part of Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field. Originally from Chicago, IL, but now residing in the D.C. area, she is a graduating senior from Howard University’s acting program. Previously she has been an Advocacy ensemble member in Arena Stage’s Voices of Now. She feels honored to be able to have this creative opportunity during this time and to be able to expand on what theatre will look like.
From Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field, she wants people to be able to walk away with a sense of empowerment, inspiration, confidence, and activism.
She can be found on Instagram: @ ayye_yanna.
Jaucqir (he/him/his, they/them/theirs) is a third-year acting major and classical voice minor at Howard University. Recently, Jaucqir wrote and directed their first play, Rehearsal, for the Howard Players’ 8x10 Festival. Before that, they appeared as “Ross” in Spell no.7 (Ira Aldridge Theatre) and in a traveling devising ensemble (NEWorks Productions & Busboys and Poets). They are thankful for this opportunity to work with the Young Playwrights’ Theater.
More than anything, Jaucqir hopes that this production of Silence is Violence encourages the audience to not only begin a dialogue about the topics discussed but to also spend some time conducting internal analysis about their own relationship to everyday oppression and marginalized communities.
You can find Jaucqir on Instagram: @jaucqir.
About Silence is Violence
Since its inception in 2015, Silence is Violence has been YPT’s most immediate and direct route of addressing social justice issues affecting Washington, DC area youth through performance and community dialogue.
Each Silence is Violence performance centers the voices of our young people and the issues that affect them the most. The series has addressed issues of police brutality and the resulting murders of Black people at the hands of police, immigration policies that abuse the rights of and negatively affect the lives of immigrants and naturalized citizens, LGBTQ+ stories, culture and pride, urban environmentalism, gentrification and the experiences of displaced young, Black mothers.
Silence is Violence serves as a means for young people to actively communicate their concerns through targeted dramatic writing workshops and community partnerships. With these young people’s permission, YPT shapes their words into a theatrical production featuring professional performers, furthering YPT’s vision that young people’s voices are not only significant but also powerful.