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Word S4 E1: Stages & Screens

You’ve committed to ensuring this podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region continues.

So, we bring you Episode 1 of Season 4.

“Word” has grown as a direct result of your contributions to KJZZ.

Consider a sustaining gift of $10, $20, maybe even $30 per month to help ensure this kind of programming reaches you and others!

If you’re already a member, THANK YOU! 

If not,  it’s easy to become one.

Whatever is in your budget is the right amount.

And now, on with the podcast ...

We begin this season with the  first of three returning guests, David Hemphill, executive director of  Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix.


It’s the 50 th Anniversary of the legendary company founded by Helen K. Mason in 1970. At the time, she was a City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation supervisor with no experience in theatre. 

How are they coping amidst COVID-19 and what has to change in live theatre during a pandemic for performers AND audience members to stay safe?

Plus,  Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) has been staving off “dark stages” by going digital for free to at-home audiences. Recently the theatre offered  an online performance of "Alma," by Benjamin Benne who won the 2019 National Latinx Playwriting Award.

Chanel Bragg, associate artistic director of the company, returns to our podcast after  a 2019 appearance to talk about keeping the stage lit in 2020 and beyond.


Also, the 2020 National Latinx Playwriting Award was announced recently by ATC. Third year Boston University graduate student Eliana Pipes has won  for her play, "Dream Hou$e" that follows two LatinX sisters who are selling their family home in a gentrifying neighborhood on a reality TV show and that causes tension as the plot develops.

Finally, Valley indie filmmaker and screenwriter Robert Conway reunites with us after  a 2019 appearance to talk about the production of his new movie, “ Skinwalker,” due out in 2021. It's a combo of the western and horror genres inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

We explore the challenges of shooting a film during a pandemic and the need to get out of the house and make something creative.

Portions of “Word” have been nominated for an Edward R. Murrow award.

We appreciate your continued support of the literary arts in Arizona and the region!

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Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.