Filed Under:  Arts & Culture, Local, News, Regional, Theatre

Local playwright gets major honor from UpStage Theatre Co.

29th July 2013   ·   0 Comments

UpStage Theatre Company of Baton Rouge, La. recently named local playwright Harold Clark winner of its 4th Annual Emerging Playwright Project for his play, “Fishers of Men.” Clark, who lives in Gretna, La., is the first Louisiana writer to win the award. UpStage Theatre Company, located at 1713 Wooddale Boulevard in Baton Rouge, La., is set to run performances of the play Friday, September 13-15. For details/tickets, call (225) 924-3774.

“Fishers of Men,” a play Clark adapted from his screenplay, “The New Saints,” debuted to sold-out audiences at Dillard University’s Cook Theatre in June 2012. The critically acclaimed play focuses on Bishop James Perriloux, an ex-con and controversial pastor of a mega-church in New Orleans, who sends men from his congregation into the city’s streets late at night to rescue lost souls. Two potential converts threaten to wreck the foundation of Perriloux’s ministry and endanger the lives of each character.

Clark, host of WYLD’s “Sun­day Journal,” wrote numerous unpublished novels and unproduced screenplays for 18 years before starting to write plays in 2010 at the suggestion of veteran actor Lance E. Nichols (“Larry Williams” in HBO’s “Tremé”), who was impressed with the dialogue in his work. While he believes that his latest play, “We Live Here,” completed in late April, represents his best work after more than two decades of writing fiction, Clark says that “Fishers of Men” is his all-time personal favorite.

“The play’s about redemption, something that many of us seek at some point in our lives; I certainly have. That universality is what fuels the play’s passion,” said Clark. Earlier this year, Clark was honored for his play, “Tour Detour,” as one of two finalists for the 56th Annual Stanley Drama Award for playwriting, coordinated by Wagner College (Staten Island, NY). The award ceremony took place at The Players in Manhattan, NY on March 18, 2013. Clark also was named a semifinalist for the 2013 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference for “Tour Detour.” His screenplay, “Chummy’s Spirit” (adapted from his independently published novel of the same name), was named an official selection for the 2013 International Family Film Festival (Hollywood, Ca.).

Clark’s first play, “Marrero Action,” debuted in March 2011 at the Anthony Bean Community Theater in New Orleans. His screenplay, “Urban Realities,” was made into a short 2000 film starring Mykel Shannon Jenkins (ABC’s “Ugly Betty”; CBS’s “The Bold and the Beautiful”).

This article originally published in the July 29, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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