2011 Featured Readings

The FEATURED plays during 2011 are listed below.  Each reading followed by a twenty minute talk-back.

February 14, 2011



April 11, 2011

CARNAVAL by Nikkole Salter

It’s 1996.  Winter, NYC.  Just one year prior, 2 Brooklynites were mourning the untimely loss of their friend… their brother in spirit, their lynch-pin, Jared.  He was only 28.  In his honor they decided then and there that, despite their differences, no matter where life took them, they’d take care of his little brother, Jalani, and get together on the anniversary of his death to celebrate the life he should’ve had.

Committed to keeping his word, for the first anniversary Raheem, the striving entrepreneur of the trio, arranges – through his new, secret, business venture – for himself, Demetrius and Jalani to have the excursion of a lifetime:  Carnaval in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.  If all goes as planned by the end of the trip he’d not only have enough loot to move out of his parents’ apartment, but he’d be well on his way to building enough capital to launch his dream nightclub in Manhattan without partners.  Having been the only one to have traveled to Brazil before, Raheem is beyond the thongs, carmel complexions and “good hair,” of the women. He’s on a mission to get paid.

Demetrius, a rookie cop married at 21 to make an honest woman out of the girl he got pregnant in college, is skeptical:  How did Raheem, a college-dropout living at home with his parents manage all of this?  He reminds them, or maybe himself, that Brazil may be fun, but it’s a fantasy.  The realities of home will return and for Demetrius that means back to being irrelevant.  Having given up dreams of becoming an attorney to do the right thing, his wife’s constant reminders that he isn’t needed burn him to the core. And when his latent resentments and desires for freedom surface, he finds himself disregarding his own advice.

But if Demetrius has fallen, Jalani, a undergraduate marketing student, crashed and burned.  After a string of reckless attempts to shake his big brother’s shadow blow up Raheem’s secret, the trip of every man’s dream turns into every man’s nightmare destroying Demetrius’ family – and the brotherhood.

Flashforward: 2010.  Winter, NYC.    Raheem, having persevered in his endeavor of exploitation, is able to open his club, ‘Carnaval,’ in Manhattan on the 15th anniversary of Jared’s death.  To his surprise both Jalani and Demetrius show up after years of semi-estrangement.  And as they celebrate new successes, old animosities awaken.  Can they reconcile?  Or will they part for good?

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