Black Hollow: a feature film
by Aeneas Sagar Hemphill
directed by Nigel Semaj
to be released March of 2021
It was just another morning in Black Hollow - until it wasn’t. A school shooting upends the lives of an idyllic American town, trapping them in a world of memory between a tragic past, a painful present, and an uncertain future. Haunted by the shooter's spirit, the people of Black Hollow piece together the events leading up to the event, reckon with their loss, and find ways to live on. A play about grief, community, and resilience.
Aeneas' original text will be slightly adapted to film to accommodate COVID 19.
“dismantled” a reading series
produced through Lycoming College
four play readings centered around Black Lives Matter directed by Nigel Semaj
Workshops and Discussions Lead by Nigel Semaj
For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.
- Audre Lorde
In Audre Lorde’s seminal text, “The Master’s Tools” asks “What does it mean when the tools of a racist patriarchy are used to examine the fruits of that same patriarchy?” Her response? “It means that only the most narrow perimeters of change are possible and allowable.” Students are constantly told that they are the key to the change that is needed in the world, and yet they are only equipped with the tools of the master. Lorde’s text can be applied to anything from her initial discussions on Black feminism, to consumerism, violence and even art and the narratives we see portrayed in everyday theatre/film/music. This reading series aims to provide not only artists, but activists with the tools to dismantle the systems of oppression in their day to day lives, their workplaces, their academia, and more. By placing narratives otherwise deemed as “elective” at the front, and pairing them with discussions and workshops, this reading series centers around place Black and brown stories. The time when Shakespeare, Chekov, Brecht, Stanislavski and other dead white artists ruled as the masters of narrative has run its course. It is time for new masters such as Ntozake Shange, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Mfoniso Udofia, and countless other Black, brown, queer, female, latinx artists and more to take their rightful place and be given the chance for their stories/narratives to influence and shape a new era of storytelling.
For Hylas: A Playlist
Voices From A Pandemic
by Notch Theatre Company
directed by Nigel Semaj and Christopher Windom
January 29, 2021 - 8:00 PM EST
Voices from a Pandemic is a two-part, live workshop featuring artists and community from all over the world sharing first-person testimony from individuals on the frontlines of the pandemic and current Civil Rights Movement. As we embark on vaccine distribution, Voices strives to provide an artistic time capsule of the real lives lived and lost in 2020.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a link to attend.
New Works/Adaptaions In Development
An Adaptation of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus
Adapted by Nigel Semaj.
This hour long all female adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus explores further one of Shakespeare's notorious villains, Aaron The Moor. By exploring the narrative of what it means to do all you can to protect your children, this adaptation takes up a new reason for the violence these characters perpetrate - love.
This adaptation is currently being adapted to be 90 minutes in length
Conceived by Nigel Semaj from the Hercules Myth
Written by Calley N. Anderson and Nigel Semaj
For Hylas: A Playlist or 12 Labors of Guilt, Shame, and Love is the story of Hercules and Hylas told through song, poetry and dance. It is a playlist made by Hercules for the love of his life. . . Hylas.
This adaptation explore queerness in Ancient Greek mythology focusing on a love story that hasn’t been traditionally told.
This adaptation is currently being edited for a longer length. Its original length is 45 minutes.