Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!

Acceptance Speeches by Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow
Here is a message from Yvette and Yvonne, partners at Twinbiz, and the subjects of TheatreNow! Season One, Episode Seven, describing their experience receiving a national award for their producing work. These groundbreaking and multitalented artists have been recognized for their innovation.

From Yvette and Yvonne:On August 1, 2011, with 25+ productions under our belt, Yvette and I received the first ever National Black Theatre Festival ‘Emerging Producer’ Awardin its 22 year history. It was amazing being in the company of, and honored alongside, the best of the best African American producers, performers, designers, playwrights, directors, philanthropists, humanitarians, living legends and stars of stage and screen.

For our colleagues, friends, family and patrons unable to attend, we’d like to share our acceptance speeches and express our love and gratitude to YOU for all your support over the years.

Yvonne & Yvette

Yvonne’s Acceptance Speech
Y and Y at NBTFThank you, Mrs. Hamlin, co-directors, the board, staff, volunteers and supporters of the National Black Theatre Festval.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then producing is her second born.
Producing for Twinbiz first began out of necessity – Yvette and I getting our works done by any means necessary – and grew into a craft we love and are empowered by.
To artists everywhere, I say: Don’t sit around praying to God, hoping someone will produce your work. Spirit can only do for you what it can do thorough you. With God as your ‘silent’ partner, know that you are equipped and well able.
I’d especially like to thank my partner and twin sister, Yvette Heyliger, without whom Twinbiz would not exist; my husband, Larry Farrow (aka Piano Man Productions), who has supported many of our projects both financially and through his music; my mentor, Steve Duncan, a television writer/producer and creator of the hit show, Tour of Duty, who taught me the craft of screen writing, pitching and the art of the deal; publicist and producer, the late Gay Iris Parker who believed in our first major production, Homegirl, which became our first prouction here at the NBTF.
And finally to Larry Leon Hamlin, who over the years, would pick up the phone to call me in LA just to say hi, chat about the industry, or check in with how Twinbiz was doing. Life is spirit. Spirit is eternal. Thank you, Mr. Hamlin.


Yvette’s Acceptance Speech
Women playwrights  receive less than 20% of production opportunities in the American Theatre nationwide.  Women  playwrights of color receive even less than half of that, somewhere around 7% and as low as  1%.So what  to do?  The answer to that question  is what makes the Emerging Producer Award so important.In 2001  Yvonne and I were the new kids on the block.  Larry Leon gave a woman playwright,  yours truly, and two women producers a shot on his national stage alongside  well-established theatre companies, not once but four times!Thank  you to Larry Leon for making this day possible; to Lawrence Evans who introduced  Twinbiz to the festival; to Sylvia, Mable and Gerry for ensuring this great  legacy continues for future generations of producers and theatre artists.  Thank you to Voza Rivers and Woodie  King, Jr. who have provided Twinbiz with advice on producing over the years; to  my sister and partner Yvonne, her husband Larry, and my  husband Donald.And  finally, thank you to fellow honoree, Samm-Art Williams who encouraged me to  write my first play and started me on this  journey.

About the NBTF’s Emerging Producer Award
The National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF), founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin, has been held biennially since 1989. The event attracts thousands of national and international patrons, theatre professionals and scholars to Winston-Salem. Approximately 35 companies are selected to perform during the week for a total of over 100 performances.
The NBTF Emerging Producer Award was created to celebrate the achievements of rising theatrical producers, to encourage their continued growth in the industry, and to bring about the awareness of the need to both reach back to acknowledge those independent producers who have been in the trenches presenting work “by any means necessary,” as well as to inspire and raise-up new producers of color. This award ensures the health, longevity and future of Black Theatre, work for its theatre artists, and the continued inclusion of black plays in the canon of American Theatre. For more information visit www.nbtf.org.


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