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BTN's Literary Salon at First Friday Films 9/2/22

On the 1st Friday night, September 2, 2022 from 8:10 to 9:30pm PST, hosted a written Meetup Discussion exploring the Black Theatre Network's Literary Salon through a interview of its founding host, Renee' Charlow. With FFF's Phillip E. Walker-MFA being the featured artist of the Salon's September 27, 2022 6:00pm EST episode, below Ms. Charlow tells us all about the Literary Salon and more.

PhilE: Elated to see you artists here at this September 2nd, 2022 FFF Discussion, I thank all who have already arrived and who are still coming for attending this interview chat. Our guest tonight is the newly installed Vice-President of the Black Theatre Network (BTN). Please welcome Ms. Renee’ Charlow!

Renee’: Hello all---glad to be here, thanks for the invite.

PhilE: The last I knew, Renee’, I think you were a theatre professor at Bowie State University. Where and in what capacity are you now employed.

Renee': I was recently hired by Fairfax County Schools in Northern VA as a Theatre Teacher. I also work for The Essential Theatre in Washington DC as Program Manager. The Fairfax School where I work is Mt Vernon High School, and I teach Theatre 1, which is like Intro to Theatre.

PhilE: Do you like it better there?

Renee’: Its different and there are pluses; these are younger students who are very eager and still love the craft. However, you have to deal with "stage parents" which is tricky---

PhilE: Yeah! I guess there are no “stage parents” with college students, huh?

Renee’: I definitely wanted a college job but those are like a commodity these days.

PhilE: It will come when the time is right.

Ethel: Renee’ ~ I'm so glad to hear about all your successes and proud of the work you are doing. It is important to encourage and train the younger students so they will want to become artists.

PhilE: I agree, Ethel!

Ethel: Renee’ ~ What was the idea behind the Literary Salon?

Renee’: Well, I came up with the idea of the Literary Salon after my time with Ntozake Shange. After her death, the book Dance We Do, which we were working on, came out. I did the Book tour along with some of the other people who contributed to the Book. I realized I liked having conversations about theatre and decided a literary salon would be a good way to accomplish this. AND it gave me a chance to be a talk show host, something I always wanted to do.

Ethel: I think this is a great concept. Are there special people with whom you want to have a conversation? Your work reminds me of the work Jim Hatch did with his oral library of artists.

PhilE: Yeah, Ethel. I remember those fondly. Thanks for continuing the tradition, Renee!