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Playwright Cris Blak, “Mary Ellen Pleasant”

February 16, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Napa County Historical Society, The Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival and Napa Valley College host a conversation with playwright Cris Blak at 7 pm on Thursday, February 16th at the Napa Valley College, Little Theater. Blak is working on a full-length play around the life of entrepreneur Mary Ellen Pleasant, who is often referred to as the Mother of Civil Rights in California. Pleasant impacted the history of San Francisco and is buried in Napa at Tulocay Cemetery.

The evening’s moderator, Dr. Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy is a socio-cultural anthropologist with scholarly expertise in the areas of performance studies, ethnomusicology, African Diaspora culture and history, documentary arts, and the dynamics of structural oppression and subaltern resistance. She currently serves as the Senior Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Napa Valley College.

Cris Eli Blak is a proud Black playwright whose work has been performed and produced around the world, from Off-Broadway; across the country regionally; on university stages; as well as in London, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. He has been a resident playwright with Fosters Theatrical Artists Residency, Paterson Performing Arts Development Council, Quick Silver Theatre Company, Yonder Window Theatre Company, and La Lengua Teatro en Español/AlterTheater Ensemble. He is currently the recipient of the Emerging Playwrights Fellowship with The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre Company and was an inaugural-year fellow with the Black Theatre Coalition. Mr. Blak will be live via Zoom.

The event is free but in-person seating and zoom reservations are limited.  To register, please select In-Person or Virtual and the number of tickets needed below.

For virtual attendees, Zoom link is provided on the checkout confirmation page. Please save this link. The link will be emailed again to all attendees on the day of the presentation.


February 16, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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