CSP New Works Fest

CSP NEW WORKS SERIES is a 2-Day celebration of the voices of Caribbean Diaspora playwrights of Conch Shell Productions’ Artist Collective. Each workshop reading will be followed by a moderated Q&A led by Conch Shell Productions’ resident dramaturg Jasmeene Francois.

FRIDAY, DEC 8 @ 7:00PM
Written by Rivka Rivera
Directed by Francisco J. Rivera Rodríguez

Hello My Cousin
Written by Magaly Colimon
Directed by Aixa Kendrick

Written & Directed by Frank Robinson

Opening Night
Written by Petron Brown
Directed by Magaly Colimon-Christopher

The Pitfalls of Exaggerated Swagger
Written by Cris Eli Blak
Directed by Jenn Susi


Cris Eli Blak is an emerging playwright who’s currently the artist-in-residence at SUNY Oswego, winner of the 2023 Black Broadway Men Playwriting Intitiative, and recipient of the Emerging Playwrights Fellowship from The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre. He was a resident playwright with La Lengua Teatro en Español/AlterTheater Ensemble, Fosters Theatrical Artists Residency, Paterson Performing Arts Development Council; the recipient of the Michael Bradford Residency from Quick Silver Theatre Company; was in the inaugural class of fellows for the Black Theatre Coalition. He is fortunate for the opportunity to continue writing for the ancestors, from Jamaica and across the West Indies.

Petron Brown is a playwright, performer, arts leader, and an intimacy director. He was born in The Bahamas and immigrated to the US to pursue educational and artistic endeavors. He has won several national collegiate theatre awards, including the KCACTF Meritorious Achievement in Directing, the KCACTF Special Achievement in Performance Award, and the KCACTF ASPIRE John Cauble Award. He is also a two-time KCACTF Irene Ryan Region IV Finalist. Petron’s work as a playwright explores international conversations on humanity. His most recent play, The Colour Woman, is a raw investigation into the psyche of an island child.

Magaly Colimon-Christopher is a first-generation Haitian-American actress/playwright/director/Producing Artistic Director of Conch Shell Productions, and an HB Studio instructor. A native New Yorker, she received a B.A. from Columbia University, an MBA from Binghamton University, and an MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama. Her produced plays and screenplays include “Yes Madame”, “Butterscotch and Fudge” , “The Hunting Season”; BN4Real (web series). Her writing awards include: “Destination Oooh Aaah Yummy” – Prince Grace Semi-finalist; “Silent Truth” – 2018 O’Neill NPC Finalist, and “The Hunting Season” – 2021 O’Neill NPC Semi-Finalist; and Planet Connection Theatre Festivities Outstanding Playwriting New Script 2018. To learn more, www.magalycolimon.com

Rivka Rivera (she/her) is a Jew-Yo-Rican actor, playwright, filmmaker, and artist educator born and raised between Brooklyn and East Harlem. Her name ‘Rivka’ means to bind, to make whole. She aims to inspire the practice of ‘making whole’ by creating work that engages audiences and participants to wrestle with and reflect on the layered and nuanced complexities of their own identities. As an actress, Rivka has performed at Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theater, EST, Dixon Place, LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble, and more. Rivka’s latest play THE MOURNERS about an estranged family forced together during Hurricane Maria was workshopped and awarded a NYFA/CITY CORPS Grant and is a Princess Grace Semi-Finalist. Rivka is interested in creating work that transforms and interrogates personal, political, and cultural systems. Rivka has a long history as an arts organizer, educator, and producer. Since 2016, Rivka has been co-developing and facilitating a project called “To Protect, Serve and Understand” at Irondale Theater where she also is a board member. This program brings together community members and police officers to use theater as a means of deepening understanding, and critical thinking and applying the tools of the actor in order to be heard, and bear active witness to others’ perspectives. Currently, Rivka co-hosts the podcast Movies vs. Capitalism a movie re-watch podcast produced by The Lever.

Frank E. Robinson began his journey in the arts growing up in a household filled with music, which opened his mind to the world of creativity where writing became the means to explore and evaluate his experiences, as well as a platform for social commentary. As a teaching artist he facilitated drama and creative writing workshops at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, in addition to The Queens Community House and in the New York City public school system. He also wrote, produced, and directed several plays and vignettes, as well as an adaptation of “The Wiz” for the workshops he facilitated.  Currently Mr. Robinson is the producer of “Around the Fire”; a talk and performing arts show on QPTV in New York.

HB Studio’s programs are supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and many generous supporters.