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TST Celebrates Black History Month with our First Staged Readings of the Year

A row of five women and one man sit in chairs on a black stage, all looking at one actress on the left side of the stage.
Dollhouse/left to right: Erin Fleming, Kimba Henderson, Justeen Butler, Taylor Edwards, Andrew Neaves, Veronica Thompson, Nancy Cheryll Davis Bellamy

Eight people pose together on a black stage in two rows.
Left to right: (top row) Tahmus Rounds, BK Dawson, Justin Gubersky, Mack Miles, Sarah Bauer, (bottom row) Reginald Edmund, Nancy Cheryll Davis Bellamy, Daphne Jones

Towne Street Theatre celebrated Black History Month by presenting our first Staged Readings of the year.

What is a TST Staged Reading?  (If you're a longtime supporter of TST, scroll down. This is for any newbies.)

A staged Reading is just what it sounds like. A playwright’s work is read on stage by actors.  It differs from a stage play in various ways–less rehearsal, almost no set and less elaborate costumes.  A reading basically takes a play and strips it down to its bare bones: words being read by actors on a stage. A staged reading is an invaluable step in the playwriting process.  By listening to their work, a writer can better see what might need to be changed or what isn’t working on stage.  After the reading, there are usually talk backs that the audience can participate in.  Attending a TST reading allows an audience member to be a part of the creative process.  It also allows the audience to peek behind the curtain at all that goes into bringing a play to life. 

February 17th marked the first Staged Reading of the year and was held at Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. Towne Street Theatre was proud to present "James Baldwin's Last Fire" written by Reginald Edmund and directed by Nancy Cheryll Davis Bellamy as well as "Dollhouse" written by Kimba Henderson and directed by Veronica Thompson.  

"James Baldwin's Last Fire"

  • In this historical fiction noir, James Baldwin has retired to a life hiding away in France when he uncovers a gripping murder mystery. Witness the unravelling of his final masterpiece.


  • It’s 2020, and Deja is anxious about attending her first protest march until a powerful recollection triggered in a Barbie doll aisle turns her hesitancy into passionate resolve.

  • A big THANK YOU to TST for the extraordinary reading on Saturday. What a satisfying experience it was. From the moment the first lines were spoken we knew it was going to be a goodie. Many thanks for a memorable theater experience."

Before I let you go I'd like to give you a quick reminder about the Meet and Greet on this Saturday, Mar 2, 2024 at Stella Adler Theatre (6773 Hollywood Blvd LA 90028) from 11am to 4 pm.  We are building our Artist Roster and looking for all creatives--Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, Stage Managers, Technicians and Designers, as well as volunteers.

If you missed out on this Staged Reading, don't worry. There will be more throughout the year. In fact the next one is April 27th, so save the date!




Meet Veronica McClelland, who started at TST at age five helping stuff and stamp envelopes. She's come a long way since then and has served in various capacities at TST over the years, including Camp Intern and Administrative Assistant. Veronica graduated from UCLA in June 2022 with a BA in English and a minor in Writing. We're lucky to have her contribute her talents to the TST Blog.

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