The Gordon Center for Black Culture and Arts


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Congratulations to Marc I. Pessin



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Website address:

Email addresses: 



Mailing Address:   

1515 Route  202    #238,  Pomona, New York  10970

Phone number:  845 533  2660



Save the Date

February 20, 21 and 22, 2019

The Death of King Shotaway

8pm - 10pm

Ramapo Cultural and Performing Arts Center

Event Details

February 20, 21 and 22, 2019

The Death of King Shotaway

8pm - 10pm

Ramapo Cultural and Performing Arts Center


Samuel Harps Interview with BWW!!

BWW Interview: Playwright Samuel Harps

Discusses The Story Behind His Latest Play CLOVER 

by Gina Zenyuch 

Samuel Harps of Pomona, New York is a Baby Boomer, 

raised as an Army Brat, who lived in Germany for years, 

before settling in Norfolk, Virginia as a teen. His interest in writing began through journal writing in Junior High School and grew as he went on to study Journalism in College. Sam's current project, "Clover" is set to be performed with Shades Repertory Theater at The Garnerville Arts Center. 

Based on a true story, and directed by Mel Hancock, 

"Clover" takes place in North Carolina in 1958 and tells the story of a 19 year old African-American Woman who was 

incarcerated while 6 months pregnant. When a prison riot erupts, trapping her inside, four brave inmates are forced to deliver the child. Clover is a two-act drama that explores the 

first legal, moral and societal implications when a child is born to a mother who is in prison.

How did you get your start as a playwright?

I entered my first play to New Dramatist in NYC and 

received an internship in the late 80’s, which gave me a 

unique opportunity to work under noted playwrights August Wilson, Charles Gordone. New Dramatists was on West 44th, just 2 doors from The Actors Studio, which gave interns the chance to have our work performed in readings by some of the greatest talents of our generation. I was 

later accepted into the Negro Ensemble Company’s

Playwright’s Program,where I met the (now) Emmy Award Winning actor Ron Cephas Jones. The following year Ron and I teamed up with the Poet Miguel Algarin at the 

Nuyorican Poet’s Café and Rome Neal, it’s current artistic director, who went on to direct my play Don’t Explain, based on the tragic death of trumpeter Lee Morgan in a Lower East Side Nightclub called Slugs in 1972. It was later revealed that the original location of the club was next door to where the Poet’s Café is currently located. With Ron 

Cephas Jones’ brilliant portrayal of Lee and Rome's skillful staging, the play won several AUDELCO Awards, including Best Actor, Director, and Playwright.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind "Clover?"

My inspiration to write Clover came from an article I read while working for The Bergen Record, about the first African-American Woman to give birth during a riot at a North Carolina prison in 1958. The short article had very little details, but the situation fascinated me, leading me to the ultimate "what if" question, which lead to the play being 


This is not the first time "Clover" has been done

onstage. Can you tell us about previous productions of "Clover?" Clover was first staged in 1995 by Bronze production (Benja Kay and Adele Branch) at American Theater for Actors and directed by Obie Award Winning Actor Nathan

George. It was again produced in 1997 at The Billie Holiday Theater, directed by Arnold Beauchamp.

Why do you think it is important for this play to be back onstage in 2019?

The importance of Clover in today's world is simple. There are currently over 200, 000 female prisoners now incarcerated in U.S. prisons (a 700% increase since 1980).  A majority of these inmates are Women of Color. 60% of these women have children under the age of 18.

The cast includes Tracey McAllister, Stephanie 

Sengwe, L'Tanya Watson, Charmaine Elizabeth, Heather Michelle, Gina Sarno, Enid Bries and Andre Ezeugwu

Tickets are $20 - $18 for Students and Seniors - and can be bought online by visiting For more information 

please visit

CLOVER is co￾sponsored by the Rockland Based 

Organization The 

Gordon Center for Black Culture & Arts (

"Clover" will be performed at Shades Repertory Theater at the Garnerville Arts Center in The Dye 

Works Theater at 55 West Railroad Avenue, Garnerville, N.Y. 

The show runs September 5, 6, 7 at 8:00 PM. Doors open at 7:30 PM. Tickets 

are $20 - $18 for Students and Seniors - and can be 

bought online by visiting For more 

information please visit

September 5 -6 -7, 2019


8 pm

Garnerville Arts Center 55 W Railroad Ave Bldg 4., First Floor, Garnerville, New York 10923

Event Details

September 5 -6 -7, 2019




Award-Winning Woman’s Prison Drama

Inspired by the true story of first woman to give birth in prison.

 For more information contact Samuel Harps:

Shades Repertory Theater

Garnerville Arts Center 55 West Railroad Ave. 

Garnerville, N.Y Bld. 5


Phone: 845.675.8044


8 pm

Garnerville Arts Center 55 W Railroad Ave Bldg 4., First Floor, Garnerville, New York 10923

More About Us

How We're Helping


We are a community-based organization focused on helping make the world around us a better, happier place. We host fundraisers and exciting community-building events.

Get Involved


Are you passionate about what we're doing? Let us know! We are always looking for members and volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. We'll help you find a way that best suits you. We're excited to have you join the group!

Thank You


Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you. 

Membership/ Donor Application Form

BCA Membership Appl 4-2019 (docx)