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PLAYWRIGHTS (alphabetical. * denotes board member)

Shawntai Brown*

Shawntai Brown is a Detroit writer, literacy coordinator and teaching artist with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Literacy Learning from Marygrove College. You can find her poetry in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine. Her plays center oral testimony, queer identity and amplifying communities. Currently she serves as a resident playwright adviser for Queer Theater Kalamazoo. Her episodic theater project series, eLLe Kalamazoo, is performed seasonally with Queer Theater Kalamazoo and the latest installment will premiere November 2019 with FaceOff Theater.


Ann Eskridge* 

Ann Eskridge's passion for African American history explores, through fiction, playwriting and screenwriting, subjects like the Underground Railroad, and all-black towns in Oklahoma. Her stories are fact woven into fiction. She was a broadcast journalist before becoming a freelance writer and teacher. She dabbled in politics, working for a Republican Lt. Governor and a Democratic Detroit Council President. She developed the Mass Media Program at a Detroit school, and was a speechwriter for a utility. Through career twists and turns, she wrote. She writes historical fiction as her homage to the ancestors and is currently enjoying writing lyrics for her musicals.


Pat Jones

aka P.J. Edghill*

Pat Jones aka P.J Edghill is a writer, producer, director and brand strategist who has been telling the stories of people and brands for over 25 years. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, she has applied her gift of storytelling to a multi-faceted career in media that includes theatre, television, fiction and marketing. Pat has worked with brands as diverse as General Motors to Reebok, produced TV shows that have appeared on IFC, Spike TV and Oxygen, and has written, produced and directed Off-Off-Broadway shows. She is also the creator of The Brand Root Method a branding methodology. Pat, under her pen name P.J. Edghill, is the author, director and producer of a fiction podcast – OVID’S FLEA, based on her novel of the same name. Her short story based on Hurricane Katrina, Ophelia & Crawler was published on AOL Black Voices. She is currently writing a farce which she plans to debut/workshop in 2020.

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Johnice Littlejohn is an actor, writer, student, native Detroiter and proud member of the Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre. She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2011, earning her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Theatre and Michigan State University with her Masters in Public Health in 2014. Some of her theatre credits include Old Woman/Neighbor in Voices from the Neighborhood, Mug in The Empire Builders, Miss Pat in the Vagina Monologues and Lisette in Unheard Voices. She also made her writing debut in the Voices from the Neighborhood project in writing A Detroit Scene. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State University (Go Green!). Johnice considers her love for both medicine and theatre as a way to continuously use both sides of her brain.


Johnice Littlejohn*

Maureen Paraventi*

Maureen Paraventi writes plays, novels, nonfiction and songs. When she’s not writing, she acts in local theatrical productions, sings in a pop/rock/Irish band (McLaughlinsAlley.com) and spends way too much time on Facebook. Maureen’s full-length and one act plays have been produced in Michigan, Florida and New York, and one, “The Bucket List of Booze Club,” will be produced by the Freshwater Theatre in Minneapolis in May 2020. 


Gail Parrish*

Gail Parrish is an award-winning playwright whose works have been staged nationally, internationally and on network television.  Her plays include Leavings, Bringing Back Josephine (Saving Grace), Elevator, Blood Red Summer and others.   Some of Parrish’s awards include semifinalist in Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, semifinalist in the American Blues Theatre’s Blue Ink Award, co-winner of Polarity Ensemble Theatre’s Dionysus Festival, an Emmy nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences- Midwest and first prize in the Daimler-Chrysler Dreambuilder’s National Playwriting Competition. In addition to the Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, Ms. Parrish is a member of Coming to the Table and Dramatists Guild. She received a bachelor’s degree in playwrighting and African American Studies from Howard University, and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of Illinois.  She lives in Detroit Michigan.

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Anita Joyce Barnes

Forest Hudson III


Forest began his acting journey as a student at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, Actors Workshop. Acting and Theatre started out as a hobby, now they are his passions. His credits include Preying Wolves Pray, The Devils Funeral, Satin Doll The Musical, Broadz on Broadway, Matrix X Detroit/Gentrification Nation, Beating All Odds/A Miracle of Enchantment, and Love and Justice.