Black artists face unique challenges in their careers on a daily basis. Every other Thursday, join San Diego REP’s Development Coordinator and local radio personality Ahmed Dents as he has a conversation with influential Black artists about what they have faced and how the future must change. Each live event will feature prominent Black artists from San Diego and beyond discussing their careers in theatre and their experiences as Black Americans in the industry. The discussion will be followed by a brief question and answer session where you can ask the guests your questions directly! Tune in with us as we listen to these important perspectives on how the industry can do better and be better for Black artists and communities everywhere.
Watch previous episodes of We Are Listening at San Diego REP's YouTube page by clicking here
Minka Wiltz is a professional writer, actor and singer. As an actor, Minka has collaborated most extensively on new and developing works written by playwrights including Robert O'Hara, Marcus Gardley, and Kia Corthron. She has performed on the stages of The Alliance Theater, Horizon Theater, Actors Express, Synchronicity Performance Group, The Atlanta Opera, San Diego Repertory Theater, and The Atlanta Symphony. Minka has sung as a featured soloist in the Atlanta Opera Chorus of Porgy and Bess. In 2019 she was honored by Emory University with their Community Artist Impact Award and in 2017 she received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Lead Female Performance in a Musical. Her most recent works include the highly successful Decatur Dinners which is being used to bring about healing across racial lines. Currently Minka is introducing a course on breathing — The Deep Breathe: Reconnect To Your Breath — will be made available online.
is the award-winning author of four Young Adult novels and is also a playwright. His books have been placed on the Coretta King Celebrating the Dream Booklist, and chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection. For his novel, Putting Make-up on the Fat Boy, he won the Lambda Literary Award and the American Library Association Stonewall Award. As a playwright--- Bil Wright wrote among others, “Bloodsummer Rituals,” adapted from Zami, the autobiography of poet Audre Lorde, (Jerome Fellowship), “This One Girl’s Story,” (GLAAD nomination for Best Dramatic Work), “To the Light: a celebration of the friendship of James Baldwin and Beauford Delaney” performed at Harlem Stage. He has also had a workshop of his musical with composer Dionne McClain-Freeney, “The Mammy and the Movie Star, about Hattie McDaniel and Dorothy Dandridge” performed at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York. He is the recipient of an Edward Albee Fellowship. For over ten years, he was the Program Director for Tribeca Performing Arts Center, where he created and curated the Center’s Artists in Residence Program, as well as programming Educational and Family Theater.
: Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts alumni. Craig Noel Award Winner: Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical for her role as MotorMouth Maybelle in Hairspray. Credits: Audrey Two in Little Shop of Horrors at New Village Arts, Lady in Red in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf w/ La Jolla Theatre Ensemble, Smokey Joe’s Café at New Village Arts, Lead Female Vocalist in O’ Wondrous Night at SeaWorld San Diego, MotorMouth Maybelle in Hairspray at San Diego Musical Theatre, Ensemble in Freedom Riders: A Civil Rights Musical in Concert at Lamb’s Players Theatre, Leader in Father Comes Home from the Wars at Horton Grand Theatre, Marlena Madison in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Horton Grand Theatre and New Village Arts, Gary Coleman in Avenue Q at OB Playhouse, Addaperle in The Wiz at the Lyceum Theatre, Female Vocalist for Shamu Christmas Miracles at SeaWorld San Diego. "It's always hard for people of color to live in their truth; I thank God that I've been able to breathe in mine.” -Eboni Muse
September 10: Acclaimed director Sheldon Epps
was Artistic Director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse for 20 years (1997-2017 and now serves the theatre as Artistic Director Emeritus. Before beginning his tenure at the Playhouse he served as Associate Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre for four years. He was also a co-founder of the Off Broadway theatre, The Production Company. Mr. Epps has directed both plays and musicals at many of the country’s major theatres including the Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Guthrie, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Goodman Theatre. He conceived the highly acclaimed musicals Play On! and Blues In the Night, which both received Tony Award nominations. He directed productions of both of those shows on Broadway, in London, and at theatres throughout the world. He co-directed the Broadway production of Baby It’s You!, which had its world premiere at The Pasadena Playhouse. He also has had a busy career as a television director helming episodes of shows such as Frasier, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Girlfriends and many others. Mr. Epps received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for his efforts and accomplishments at the Pasadena Playhouse. He served for many years on the SDC Executive Board and was previously also the Chair of the SDCF Board of Trustees.