Two leading African-American woman poet-playwrights--Lorna C. Hill and Annette Daniels Taylor--will read from their work tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30 p.m. at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave. (near Tupper St.) as featured guests of Earth's Daughters magazine's Gray Hair Reading Series. Admission to the event is $5.
Ms. Hill is a nationally-recognized poet, playwright, actress, teacher, theater director, radio series producer, and the founder and artistic director of Buffalo’s Ujima Company, Inc., a multicultural membership organization that is the oldest professional repertory theater company in Western New York. Her best known play, “Yalla Bitch,” originated as a book of poetry by the same name, and was performed as part of the first International Women Playwrights Conference in 1986.
In 2008, Ms. Hill produced and hosted "Uncrowned Queens: Voices of African American Women," a series of one-hour radio programs on Western New York Public Broadcasting's WNED-AM comprised of oral history portraits of African-American women community builders in the Buffalo area. The series went on to receive a 2009 Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio & Television, and was re-broadcast in its entirety in 2009.
Widely-known as stage and screen actress, storyteller, and educator, Ms. Hill--who was the first woman accepted to Dartmouth College, from which she received her B.A. in American Intellectual History in 1973--currently, teaches theater at the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts and is a Ph.D. candidate at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she received her M.A in 1978.
Annette Daniels-Taylor is a Buffalo-based playwright, poet, actor, teacher, singer and theatrical costume designer who has worked on or behind many notable Buffalo and New York City performances and productions, including HBO' s Def Comedy Jam, MTV, Apollo Theater, Black Entertainment Television, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Ensemble Theatre, La Mama, and Nuyorican Poets Café. While working as a designer and stylist for Ruby Dee, Queen Latifah, Lenny Kravitz, and Russell Simmons, among others, she wrote and acted, and received a scholarship from the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.
In 2009, she won the Emanuel Fried Award for Best New Play, “A Little Bit of Paradise,” which premiered at Road Less Traveled Productions in 2008. Her poetry has been included in "Mom Egg," a collection of mother-inspired literature, and her performance piece for young audiences “Mama Songs for Children” has toured WNY.
Ms. Daniels-Taylor is currently writer-in-residence at Buffalo’s Langston Hughes Institute.