Julie Whitney Scott

Julie Whitney Scott – Free Presscolumnist, radio producer, actor and theater festival director – was honored with the Harold Award at the 20th Annual Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable Theater Awards Celebration show on February 16. Scott founded the Columbus Black Theatre Festival and received the award for her Mine 4 God Productions and for and presenting the annual Festival for eight years. The Harold Award is named for the late Harold Eisenstein the long-time theater director for the Gallery Players.

“I am honored, grateful, humbled, privileged and in awe of what God is doing and has done for me. What he is doing for me has blessed others and I will continue to pay it forward,” Scott said after receiving the award, “I was being recognized for something I had and was doing to serve others in my community, of my race, for the unity of all people, to ensure our stories, the here and now stories, the ‘we are no longer slaves’ stories were being told, under the title of Mine 4 GOD Productions. A title that from the beginning had to fight and preserver through the naysayers because I dared to use ‘God’ in my Theatre production company.”

As an African American playwright, Julie felt there was not enough opportunity for the stories of people of color to be produced or seen in Columbus. As an actor, Julie also felt there were limited, and sometimes in a season no leading or featured roles for people of color in Columbus theater. 

While looking for upcoming theatre productions on a social media site, she came across a post about the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival and thought to herself “why not have a Black Theatre Festival here in Columbus?” and thus the Columbus Black Theater Festival began in 2013.

The Festival grew from three one-act plays to presenting six to seven full length plays in a three-day weekend from playwrights all over the United States. The festival has also been blessed to have local Roundtable theatre companies present scenes from their upcoming plays as a show of support.

The Festival provides free theatre youth/adult workshops facilitated by some of the finest Roundtable theatre companies and actors in Columbus. It offers opportunities for directors/actors of all races to perform and a free venue for playwrights to see their creative art come to life on a theatre stage. Scott’s vision is to provide opportunities for audiences to see stories of people who look like them or to gain insight into people of another race or cultural background.

Scott’s Mine 4 God Productions mission is to bring new and exciting original plays to Central Ohio and to support, teach and encourage playwrights, actors and theatre artists of all ages to bring their creative works to life on a theatre stage. “

The Free Pressis proud to have Julie Whitney Scott as a columnist and applauds her creative and ground-breaking work.