Q-ROC Ragsdale – Creator/Performer
sharon bridgforth – Writer
Sharon Bridgforth, a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2009, is a writer working in the Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic. Her piece, blood pudding, was produced in the 2010 New York SummerStage Festival. She is the 2010 – 2012 Visiting Multicultural Faculty member at The Theatre School at DePaul University. 2009 Mellon Artist In-Residence in The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, Bridgforth is recipient of the 2008 Alpert/Hedgebrook Residency Prize.
Her work has been presented around the country at venues including the Walker Art Center and Links Hall. Bridgforth’s work has received support from the National Endowment For The Arts Commissioning Program; The National Endowment For The Arts/Theatre Communications Group Playwright in Residence Program; National Performance Network Commissioning Fund; the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media; and the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Award. Bridgforth is the author of love conjure/blues and the Lambda Literary Award-winning the bull-jean stories, published by RedBone Press. She is co-editor of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project, published Summer 2010, University of Texas Press.
H.J. Steward – Director
H. J. Steward is an arts administrator and theater practitioner with over twelve years of experience in the field of arts and education, he studied communication at Newman University in Wichita, KS and playwrighting at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. H.J. currently serves as a Performing Arts Coordinator for the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs’ South Dallas Cultural Center. In that role, he is founder the of center’s “Soul Children’s Theatre,” a theatre program that pledges to provide high-quality Family Theatre and innovative educational programs aiming to create a soulful understanding of, appreciation for and reconnection to the African Diaspora. H.J. has spent that last nine years teaching creative dramatics for various organization including The South Dallas Cultural Center, Big Thought of Dallas, Dallas’ Soul Rep Theatre, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Harrisburg Independent School District, and agencies in both The North Texas and Central Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Lovie Olivia – Visual Artist
Lovie Olivia has been a working artist even preceding graduation from the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, Texas. Determined to demonstrate her passion for creativity with ambitious certainty, she began exhibiting and competing in juried shows nationally showing paintings and sculptures in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Atlanta and exhibited her first full body of works at HSPVA. Olivia continued her studies in art history, painting and industrial design at Houston Community College and developed an attraction for architectural history and its ornamental foundations.
Over the next 10 years, she proved her mastery in the arts of interior wall embellishments including trompe l’oeile, Venetian plaster applications, gold gilding, faux bois, murals and many more. Working alongside builders, architects and designers, she has adorned homes, businesses and public spaces nationally. In 2005, Olivia threw in the trowel, and picked up the brush full time, opting to create work that had a more intimate perspective and voice.