Founded in 1989, by panel member Karen Evans, the Black Women Playwright’s Group seeks to address the issues that Black women playwrights face in an overwhelmingly White and male-dominated industry. 


Karen L.B. Evans is President and Founder of the Black Women Playwrights’ Group. She has received Individual Fellowships in Playwriting from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. She was a Helen Hayes nominee for “Outstanding New Play” as well as a Sundance Institute finalist. Karen participated in the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference and is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Center.

At the close of a seminar at the Arena Stage that focused on the African American woman playwright, Karen Evans used her concluding remarks to talk about the loneliness of being Black and female in this profession and asked for the names and addresses of women in the audience who were playwrights.  She held a meeting at her home the following month and became BWPG’s president and founder. Since then the group has met regularly on a monthly basis to provide professional support to its members. Incorporated in 1993, BWPG held its first retreat in 1999 and received 501 (c)3 status in 1999.



The Black Women Playwrights’ Group (BWPG) is a service and advocacy group for African American playwrights writing for the professional theater. The mission of BWPG is to support and promote the work of our members as well as advocate on critical issues within the theater world. Many of our members come to us after being misunderstood or ignored in larger white, and sometimes male-dominated, writing groups. There is an established need among regional theaters for new artists to explore the African American experience, and BWPG is a conduit between African American women playwrights and theaters, ensuring that the voices heard on the American stage are rich and diverse.



  • Monthly writing workshops
  • Year round networking opportunities with directors, producers, designers and actors
  • Encouraging, fun and professional atmosphere

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  1. I wrote my first stage production entitled EMOTIONAL REACTIONS. I premiered it in my hometown of Chester PA. I am looking to take it on tour. This story is based off of real life experiences I went through. I never knew it was a site honoring black women, and women in general as playwrights. I am thankful I came across it during a web browsing.

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