News

Stay tuned for the latest up-to-date UPU events, news and special announcements and commentary!
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  • January 06, 2016 9:13 AM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    The Writer-pen-eur Institute!



    That's right! Iv'e launched an online school for playwrights and producers who are ready to make this a full time living, it can happen, I've done it for years, but it's not without realizing what it takes and years of dedication. It's imperative also that you over-stand not only the creative, but the business side of the industry. It's not only about writing and producing your own material, it's about using multiple streams of income through your talent in the entertainment industry! The classes are a combination of information from my book "Beyond the Chitlin' Circuit, The Ultimate Urban Playwrights Guide," my years of training and mentoring hundreds of playwrights and producers, and first hand experience in the industry. I am by far not a household name, or even rich, but I've made a  living solely through the gifts and talents God has blessed me with and you can too! The classes are affordable and offer quizzes and industry like assignments, get started today!


    www.writerpeneur.com
  • December 10, 2015 11:52 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    Vernitta Griswold, UPU Member RIH


    UPU hates Cancer and we proved it at the 2015 Conference by dedicating the Two Minute Play Competition to Vernitta Griswold, one of our members that we lost due to breast cancer.

    The playwrights from all over the country really stepped up to the challenge by creating videos, collecting money while street marketing and encouraging the audience to download the Early Detection App on their smart phones.

    The winning team, WWP Productions, wrote an outstanding play entitled “ Split Decision” with the left breast arguing with the right breast about which one would be sacrificed.

    The first runner up was by the team 803 Productions with a play entitled, “Fighting For Keeps.” This play taught us that although Cancer is the diagnosis, never lose hope.

    Followed by Impact Players Productions producing a play entitled “A Cancer Carol,” this play taught us that the unhealthy habit that we have can be a contributing factor to developing cancer.

    While Silent Killer Productions produced a play entitled “Daddy's Home.” It was a silent play depicting a young girl awaiting the return of her father who died from cancer before she was born.

    The competition was held at South Carolina State University at The Henderson Davis Theater at 4:00 pm on December 5, 2015. The judges for the competition was: National Playwright Angela Dunlap, UP TV Network Community Affairs Manager DeEtta West, WOW Productions Co-Owner Tangie Brickhouse Beaty and JH Productions Owner, Jeanette Hill.

    All proceeds ($600.00 in total) were donated to Team Candy Cancer and will be used to assist in paying co-pays for cancer patients.

    UPU hates cancer and we are dedicated to making a difference, one person at a time in the beloved memory of our Angel, Vernitta Griswold and the many beautiful souls taken from us too soon by this terrible disease..


    Cheryl Davis





     

     

    Cheryl A. Davis

  • October 02, 2015 12:21 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    I

    This picture demonstrates the power of UPU! Richard and Melissa at my place The Crystal Room where Ursula Robinson performed her one woman show "Skinny."

    For those that have never experienced the Urban Playwrights United Conference, you may sit back in observation and think it's just a gathering of professionals to get information on their craft. However, you couldn't be more wrong! Yes, of course, there is information, tons of it at that, piled into our 3.5 day gathering, but something else happens during the conference that is simply magical. The energies of the conglomerate from all parts of the country, in all spectrum's of the theater diaspora, creates a bond for many. From this conference, countless close friendships have been formed, professional relationships, collaborations, team building and even business partnerships.

    Richard Bass and Melissa Talbot are two that are perfect examples of this, both living in Detroit, Michigan, but had not met each other until the Myrtle Beach Conference of 2012. Richard had been attending the conference since our inception in 2010, this was Melissa's first year. From that day until now, they have formed a business partnership where they not only co-produce and co-direct, they have became a "Motown" of sorts of getting plays from script to stage with new playwrights and veterans alike, even sharing office space in Downtown Detroit where they meet clients and have rehearsals and hold auditons. Since then, they have become the "go-to" gang about what's happening on the Detroit scene.  They even work in the music industry as well, developing artist and as road managers. But it all started at the conference. Richard sums it up best:

    "I know you all see a lot of post regarding the conference, I have been going to these conferences since 2010. It is truly a life changing experience. Believe it or not, it wasn't until the 2012 conference when I met my now business partner Melissa Talbot, in Myrtle Beach and we both live in Detroit and didn't know much about each other and now we are thriving in business. We have our first national DVD ("Entangled" under the UPU label), together we have produced and directed several projects through UPU. You can gain so much that can instantly change your life. You have to make that step. Go into the DEEP and get registered for this years conference."

    And on that note, I will see you all in Columbia, SC December 3-6, 2015!


    Vanessa



    Group photo from the 2012 conference in Myrtle Beach where the "chance meeting" took place!


  • July 13, 2015 4:16 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)



    Some of the Michigan Chapter of UPU at the 2014 Conference in DC along with Board Members Ursula and Jeanette

    Left to right, RonSheer Brooks, Niambi Young, Harold "Prince" Sullivan, Ursula Robinson, Richard Bass, Shawn P Williams, Jeanette Hill, Melissa Talbot, Octavia Lesley, Eunice McGill, Jay Walker

    So for those that do not know,  Michigan is our largest chapter in the country for Urban Playwrights United. Yes, we are way more than just the conference! Chapter President Richard Bass has taken home the Gold the last two years as the biggest chapter in the country at the conference. The chapters meet quarterly, support each other, go on trips and a myriad of things. I had a talk with Richard and suggested they turn the corner from just meeting to actively working together, and BOY that is exactly what they have done! In November 2015, 12 UPU Members from the Michigan Chapter will produce the show "Stay In Your Place" by UPU Member Tonja Ayers. They had a voting process in which her play was chosen out of 6 of the members plays. The 12 members are pulling together their financial resources, fan base and professional skills to make this ONE PLAY successful. I promise you, this is going to be MIND BLOWING, and if you are anywhere in the Michigan area, be sure to make your way. Please check out this video (very bottom) from Richard and Tonja and then pass the word along to actors you may know in the area regarding auditions this week.  UPU has now turned the corner and is producing works, this  is about the 4th project, but nothing on this magnitude with so many coming together has happened yet, truly ground breaking! Congrats Richard Bass and the Michigan Chapter!

    No Big I's and Little U's in UPU, now I'll ask you again; is there a reason you have not joined? Join Us

    WATCH MICHIGAN CHAPTER PROMO



  • March 01, 2015 4:53 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    UPU would like to congratulate, Lourie Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina as the winner of the UPU DC Black Theater Festival Contest for her script "Deception of Life!" Lourie's script will be produced at the DC Festival to represent UPU! This is an amazing opportunity for a very humble and talented writer! Stay posted for performance dates and more information. For now, help us congratulate Lourie! 


  • January 27, 2015 3:19 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

     

    2015 is going to be a STELLAR YEAR! As you know, UPU has reorganized and restructured and are rolling out many programs and benefits for our members! We know that one of the challenges of the local playwright and producer is trying to get their work exposed in other cities, regions on various stages and festivals. Due to lack of finances, resources, support and time constraints, this seems like an all but impossible task! 

    UPU wants to give one member a boost by producing their show AT OUR EXPENSE to represent UPU at the DC Black Theater Festival! That's right! Excuse my vernacular but as the kids say; "where they do that at?" UPU believes in our members and we believe that the only difference between some big names and some local talent is exposure. We have spoken with the DC Black Theater Festival and they are on board with this amazing contest!

    This contest is for members in good standing with UPU, it is not open to the public! We keep telling you that membership has it's privileges! We have a sincere desire to create opportunities for our members to develop, produce, get exposure and profit!

    Submission requirements are on the event page, please read the script criteria carefully and there is only one submission allowed per member. Previous contest and festival winning writers and board members are not allowed to enter! The script can be any genre or expression, deadline is February 15, 2015!

    So on March 1, 2015, we will announce the winner of the DC BLACK THEATER FESTIVAL CONTEST! I'm sure it will be a hard decision as our membership is so very gifted!

    SUBMIT HERE: http://upunetwork.info/event-1851464

     

    Best wishes to all that will submit!

     

    Vanessa  

     

     

     

  • January 25, 2015 5:34 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    Mrs. Charity Clark-Anderson

     

    UPU is blessed that many of our members are turning from producers and playwrights into venue owners! No longer having to wait on dates, make deposits and pay outlandish technical fees! We are empowered to produce with no hindrances! Well some of the venue owners got together and decided that they would have a competition and pick one talented UPU members script to produce at each of their venues at their expense! That means: casting, marketing, set and the whole nine yards, you know the stuff us writers dread! Many amazing scripts were submitted but there could only be one winner! Congratulate Charity Clark-Anderson, UPU member since 2014 from the Michigan Chapter! Her brilliantly written piece "An Affair to Remember" will be produced at: DAP Theater in Convington, GA (Shante Ragin), Mark Squared Studios in Clarkston, GA (Tiffany Roberts), Studios at the Galaxy Theater, Riverdale, GA (Chris Scott) and The PAC, Columbia, SC (Tangie Beaty and Donna Johnson)! Each venue will produce the show in 2015 and Mrs. Anderson will be traveling to each show. What an amazing contest and accomplishment!

  • January 20, 2015 11:33 AM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    I am so very EXCITED about the growth, development and future of UPU! For the past five years we have reached heights I never thought we would and we have had a great team to help us along every step of the way. The vision of UPU is so large though, that I could not do it on my own any longer. So before the first of the year, we began to restructure both financially, legally and creatively and I am happy to announce these great ladies who have joined me in running UPU from every aspect! 

    Those that have been around know these ladies well because they have been very present! Visit the UPU Board webpage to read more about these amazing professionals! UPU BOARD

    Vanessa Lynn, Chief Executive Officer and Founder

    It's my job of course to have the complete oversight of UPU and to ensure the mission and vision is carried out.


     

    Jeanette Hill, Chief Operating Officer

    Jeanette will ensure UPU works as a well oiled machine and connects us with other organizations and businesses for collaborative efforts. 



    Ursula Robinson, Director of Conferences

    Ursula will have the complete responsibility to organize and run our annual conferences and oversee conference committees.



    Cheryl Davis, Director of Membership

    Cheryl will develop member benefits and ensure our members are served throughout the year, she also has oversight of regional chapters.



    Tangie Brickhouse-Beaty, Director of Finance

    Tangie will ensure the finances of UPU are in order and profitable and budgets are met and develop programs that serve UPU as a whole.


    Tiffany Thompson, Director of Outreach

    Tiffany will ensure that members in need (sickness, death) are accommodated as well as developing community programs for UPU and will now be responsible for the monthly prayer calls.



    Take a moment and congratulate these ladies as well as pray for us, we have a lot of new and exciting announcements coming soon!



    Vanessa Lynn

  • January 08, 2015 4:14 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)

    We are elated and excited that Glen Alan and the D.C. Black Theater Festival has extended a no-submission discount to official members of Urban Playwrights United! Glen and a few distinguished  board members visited our 2014 conference in D.C. and extended the offer himself and the DCBTF has set up a custom form for our members! Submission of course does not guarantee acceptance into the festival, however, with no submission fee's there's more motivation than ever to try! We keep telling you membership has it's privileges! Contact Cheryl Davis or Jeanette Hill for the link!



  • December 18, 2014 7:19 PM | Vanessa Lynn (Administrator)



    My heart is beyond heavy, but heaven I know is rejoicing. One of the sweetest, most talented writers and actors I have ever met, has passed away today. I meet Vernitta at our very first conference in Orlando, FL in 2009. We all bonded so much then, we have kept in touch over the years and I knew that she was silently battling this terrible disease. She definitely fought all the way to the end. She touched many people and I am so glad she called me her mentor, even sometimes on her sick bed she would be writing., she never gave up on her dreams. 

    Vernitta we will forever hold you in our hearts and we will do everything we can to be sure your work comes to life.


    Rest Well....


    Vanessa and your UPU Family



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