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Back in the Day

by: Gwendolyn Yvonne Smith

As part of Transformations :the African American Writers' Alliance Play Festival

Stream Back in the Day on YouTube!

Elda and Mosetta are sisters who decided to watch their two young nieces for the summer. Needing a break, Elda decides to send them to the YMCA for a week for a Summer camp or so she thought...

Playwright: Gwendolyn Yvonne Smith

Gwendolyn is multi-genre writer. She has several inspirational books published and is in the process of writing her first novel. She also writes lyrics and has written opening songs for church plays. Gwendolyn attributes her gift for writing to God and is incredibly grateful that she has been given the opportunity to share it with others. Gwendolyn has had the opportunity to share some of her poetry at several conferences in Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She currently resides in Seattle but will be returning to Arizona soon. Gwendolyn can be reached at: &

Cashapp: $his1girl

Director: Merri Ann Osborne

Merri Ann is the Executive Director of The Mahogany Project and has performed in Japan, the UK, and US as an actor, singer, dancer, voiceover artist and songwriter. Her directing credits include Holden On to Family Roots by Linda Holden Givens, and she in honored to have been trusted by playwright Gwendolyn Smith to direct her play Back in the Day for this playwright showcase.

Aunty Elda: Elizabeth Payne

Elizabeth was an on-air personality on XHRM 92.5 in San Diego for two years in the 90s. She played a receptionist in the 1997 movie Plan B with actor Jon Cryer. Now retired from 34 years of Nursing, she started a new teddy bear company, Godda Hug, in 2018 and her Godda Hug Bears can be purchased on Etsy.

Mosetta: Tiana Ross

Tiana is thrilled to be working with The Mahogany Project to make black theatre magic after 10 years of doing theatre and yearning for a community of artists like them. Through their work at Highline College and Theatre Battery, they met many who had never been exposed to theatre or who thought theatre was for rich people. They realized that their path and passion were to make theatre accessible to ALL people and to promote social change by providing opportunities for diverse communities to tell their own stories onstage.

Venmo: @TTLavonna

Paypal: MelaninQueen91

Cashapp: $TianaRoss91

Leila: Laurice Roberts

Laurice is honored to be uplifting Black voices and showcasing Black joy with The Mahogany Project. Laurice's recent shows include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), Macbeth (Hecate), and The Chinese Question (Nettie Craig Asberry).

Venmo: LauriceRoberts23

Cashapp: $lark1223

Macy: O'Mara Reece

O'Mara has been taking acting classes for awhile and is excited to put her training into action for her first virtual production. O'mara feels fortunate to have this opportunity. Though she has not worked in theatre before, she has always been a fan of it. She is passionate about acting and constantly challenging herself to learn more. O'Mara would like to thank Merri Ann for inviting her to be a part of this project.

Charmaine: Wilysha Nicole Walton

Wilysha is an actor, writer, singer, and dancer living in Seattle, Washington. She has trained in various forms of acting and has written a number of monologues, short stories, 10-minute and one act plays, and poems, as well as group generative work. Since graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in 2019, Wilysha has had the fortune of working with theatre companies such as Book-It Repertory Theatre and participating in local festivals like 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival, where she has been both and actor and writer.

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