gwendolen-hardwick-3Gwendolen Hardwick first studied acting at Ernie McClintock’s Afro-American Studio for Acting and Speech and began her professional acting career with the Studio’s 127th Street Repertory Ensemble. She went on to appear in many off off Broadway productions, pursue directing, write plays for young audiences, co-found Flamboyant Ladies Theatre Co – with author /playwright, Alexis DeVeaux. Her poetry and prose writings appear in the anthology, ‘Gaptooth Girlfriends The Third Act’. For over twenty five years, she has been an educational theatre specialist/consultant in the field of Applied Theater. Her work in educational theatre has taken her to Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa as well as Kinnston, Jamaica and Barbados working with theater companies designing theater pieces to address critical community issues. Ms. Hardwick is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. For several years she taught The Actor Teacher undergraduate course at Tisch. Currently, she is Artistic and Educational Director for The Creative Arts Team-City University of New York. Having recently discovered my ancestral roots reach back to Nigeria, I am particularly honored to be a part of presenting the Now Africa Playwrights Festival.
Kim Holten
Kim Holten, is a descendent of indigenous Black Canadians in Nova Scotia (Scotians) whose roots reach back to the late 1600s. She is a senior financial and operation consultant to non-profits and works closely with senior management on a broad variety of strategic, financial, and operational issues. She is a C.F.A, holds a B.Sc. and MBA from McGill University, and a Master of Education from University of Toronto. She is a freelance photographer and presented her landscape photographs of New Zealand at University of Toronto’s Social Justice Education Art Exhibit. She works for a social justice non-profit.


Zakeya Monique (Nikki) is a playwright, marketer, community engagement producer and avid hugger. After having her first play produced at the age of 15, she went on to graduate from NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Dramatic Writing Program with a concentration in playwrighting. Wanting to bridge the arts and business, she went on to obtain a Master’s of Science in Direct and Interactive Marketing.  She is also the founder of emergingplaywright.com, a site where playwrights without representation can seek out avenues to submit their work (the site is set to relaunch 2017).


Belynda HardinBelynda has managed  projects in the mediums of theatre, film and dance. Most recent Production Manager at The National Black Theatre’s  Facing Our Truth in Assoc. with New Black Fest, CARNAVAL by Nikkole Salter, Hands Up in Assoc. with New Black Fest, Her Portmanteau by Mfoniso Udiofia,  Fried Chicken & Latkes by Rain Pryor and the 2015  Teer Spirit Awards Gala. This summer NBT was featured at the NBTF in NC where she was Stage Manager on HandsUp and Fried Chicken & Latkes.

Credits in  film as Location Manager / Scout includes: Iquo Essien’s Aissa’s Story screened at FESPACO 2015 and nominated for Nigeria’s African Academy Awards 2015,  Princess Usanga, Jake Wilson’s, You got to Joking and numerous other films.  She also is the Stage Manager for the Annual Festival: Maimouna Keita African Dance Company and  Sing Sing Rhythms of Senegal. Belynda is a consultant with the NY African Film Festival Inc., presented by both the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music