Shoppin’ for N.I.G.G.A.S by Garlia Cornelia – C.M.O.R.E. – April 2017 Feature



LaChrisha Brown

Almeria Campbell

Toccarra Cash

Oneké Cummings

Stephen Hill

Kareem M. Lucas

Alysia Joy Powell

About the Play:

Khadar and Guinivere answer an ad in Essence for what they believe to be Ms. Yasha’s dating service and find “Shoppin’ for N.I.G.G.A.S” a dating service insisting that every black woman needs a N.I.G.G.A. and that every black man is one.

The reading will be followed by a panel discussion / talkback

Wine / Refreshments provided

About the Playwright:

Garlia Cornelia

An OBIE Award Winning Theatre Producer and native Detroiter, Garlia is no stranger to creating spaces for underrepresented artists of color.  As a freshman at Indiana University, Garlia founded Black Curtain, a group devoted to Black Theatre on the Bloomington campus.  Black Curtain’s first production was “A Raisin in the Sun”, which Garlia directed.  In addition to promoting Black Theatre through original and established plays, Black Curtain devoted much of its time to Diversity training and cross cultural communication as well as HIV/AIDS awareness that culminated in a benefit concert, RedVolution, co-hosted by former MTV VJ, Quddus.

In September 2008, Garlia founded what became Blackboard Reading Series, a monthly series incubated by nancy manocherian’s the cell, devoted to Black Playwrights and has been fortunate to call the cell her artistic home ever since.

In 2010, Garlia was part of a group of producers in Harlem that assembled to discuss ways they could work together.  They became Harlem9 and began producing an annual event, “48Hours In… Harlem™”, a spin on the traditional 24-hour play festival.  In 2014, one week before her son was born, Harlem9 won an OBIE for “48Hours In… Harlem™”.   In August 2016, Harlem9 began publishing the plays from the Obie Award winning event.  Their 1st Anthology is available on Amazon and Kindle

Garlia’s writing can be found in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Brain, Child and Howlround.  Learn more about what Garlia is doing on her website: Follow her @garliacornelia on Instagram and Twitter

About the Director:

Christopher Burris is an artist and educator residing in Brooklyn. He’s an adjunct professor at Pace University, associate producer for The New Black Fest, a trainer with Ovation Communications, and a member of Home in the Time of Brooklyn with 651 Arts. He directed THE BROTHERS SIZE at Luna Stage, which received five 2016 Broadway World Award nominations, including Best Play and Best Director. Other directing credits include the world premiere of GEESE (Samuel D. Hunter) at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and WHEN WE WAKE UP DEAD (Dennis A. Allen) at Brooklyn College. He directed POTATO SALAD (Keith Josef Adkins) for the inaugural year of the Obie-winning 48 Hours in Harlem, as well as the first four years of Obie-winning Fire This Time Festival, culminating in their premiere full length production, LORDS RESISTANCE (Camille Darby). As an actor, he has been seen on television (The Guiding Light, Damage Control, As the World Turns), stage (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), commercials (Dr. Scholl’s, ESPN360, NY Post), and a host of voice-overs (including Grand Theft Auto V, McDonald’s, AT&T). AEA and SDC (Associate) Member. Social Media: @misterburris


About the Cast:

LaChrisha Brown (PEDDI) “Bio Coming Soon”






Almeria Campbell (PROSECUTOR LATHRUP) is a Texas native. She attended Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
check her out at





Toccarra Cash (GUINIVERE) was most recently seen as Grace in Hartford Stage’s production of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” and also opposite Wendell Pierce in the Off-Broadway and New Orleans productions of “Brothers from the Bottom” (AUDELCO Award – Best Supporting Actress). Off-Broadway: “Playing with Fire”; “The Fabulous Miss Marie”. Regional: Baltimore Centerstage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Florida Studio Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, among several others. Film: “First Match”, “Rosy”, “Hands to the Sky”, “ATL”, “Blue Car”. TV: “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Royal Pains” (USA), “Younger” (TV Land). Twitter & Instagram: @toccarracash.



Oneké Cummings (D.A. REYNOLDS)  is excited to participate in C.M.O.R.E. festival and is especially excited to be in “Shoppin for N.I.G.G.A.S” Her NY credits include: The Drilling Company Presents Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’s “Richard III”, Black Henna’s Production of “Twelfth Night”, “Anne and Me or The Tulpa” at the Planet Connections Festival, “The Panopticon” and “Richard III”, and “Oreo Cookies” at the New School for Drama and “Juniper; Jubilee” the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival winner, MN Credits: Shattered for Climb Theatre in Inver Grove Heights, GA credits: “Treasure Island”, “Twelfth Night”, and “Hamlet” at Georgia Shakespeare in Atlanta. She graduated with her BA in Theatre from Spelman College and graduated from the New School for Drama earning her MFA in acting. Onekè would like to thank her family & friends for all of their love a support.



Stephen Hill (KHADAR) was most recently seen as Silence Manning in “Manhood” (National Black Theater) and as MC Tank in “Homage 3: Illmatic” (Schomburg Center). Hill has also originated roles in both “Birthright”, and “The Legend of Buster Neal” (Billie Holiday Theater, National Black Theater Festival). Hill is currently cast as York in the HBO mini-series, “Lewis & Clark”, and is also on HBO in the fifth season of Boardwalk Empire. On Netflix, you can enjoy his performance as Isaac in the romantic comedy “Christmas Wedding Baby”. Other credits include, “Luke Cage”, “Law & Order SVU”, “Blue Bloods”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Louie”, “Political Animals”, and “Unforgettable”. @StephenHillActs (Instagram/Twitter)



Kareem M. Lucas (JUDGE LAWRENCE) NY: Manhood (National Black Theatre), A Boy & His Bow (The Greene Space), Queen Latina…Ep. 2 (Cherry Lane Theatre), RATED BLACK (Teatro Circulo), The Fire This Time Festival, The Servant of Two Masters (Sonnet Rep Theater), From Brooklyn With Love (The Slipper Room), To Live And Die (MCC/Freshplay Festival), The 52nd Street Project, The Balm in Gilead (The Labyrinth Theater Company/NYNYFestival), In Loco Parentis (FringeNYC), Romeo and Juliet (Theater 2020). Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Williamstown Theater Festival). Film/TV: Boardwalk Empire (HBO), “The Bronx Dahmer”, “COHAB”, “True Believers”, “Walden” (upcoming). MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program.



Alysia Joy Powell (MISS YASHA): Alysia hails from Los Angeles. Born of parents who met at an acting class, it was no wonder that she would have the gift. Some of those gifts are acting, singing, writing (poetry and screenwriting), stand up comedy, directing, producing, and now teaching. She’s had a career in Film and TV including credits like: “Desperate House Wives”, a reoccurring role on “Everybody Hates Chris”, “Scrubs”, “NYPD Blue”, and “The Shield”, just to name a few. Eight years ago, she got a deep passion for all things more true and cultural. That’s what brought her to NY and she has been on her grind ever since. She has reigned as the Two Time Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion. Alysia was in the amazing stage production of “Who Is A Virtuous Woman”, directed by the fabulous Wendy McKenzie and is working on a One Woman Show, “Different Shades of Love”. Alysia joined the amazing cast of “Excuse Me For Living” with the talented Tom Pelphrey from Guiding Light, Dick Cavett, Robert Vaughn, and Chistopher Lloyd, and has work shopped at The Gotham Comedy Club with her stand-up skills. Did I mention, she has a beautiful jewelry-line called My Diva-Tude? Alysia’s stand out role in The Sitter has created buzz along with her appearance on “The Wendy Williams Show” with Jonah Hill promoting The Sitter. Enjoy Alysia Joy Powell in her current role as Nanny Alicia in the New NBC Show, the “Mysteries of Laura” with the funny and talented Debra Messing and La Alonzo.




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