Name: Schonte Hamilton
What is your current project?
Queen Me is a show about the empowerment of women that overcome insurmountable odds
Where are you performing it and why is it the right fit for your piece?
Queen Me will be debuting in the New York New Works Theatre Festival at the Elektra Theatre Sept 8, 7 PM. Queen Me is a show about the empowerment of women that overcome insurmountable odds that shaped them into powerful feminists in today’s society. This show will not only resonate with women but with men also as they will have a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made by their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and wives. These characters are vulnerable and transparent revealing every intimate detail of their pain and affliction.
This show will make you laugh and cry but most importantly it will leave the audience with a new determination that there is nothing that they cannot overcome. In a time where there is so much aggressive and negative uprising against each other, Queen Me will be a refreshing escape into a world of unity and harmony.
This festival is amazing because it is all about what I believe in and represent. It gives a voice to new and established writers and directors. I was starting the foster care process last year and there were some things that really disturbed me about it. I was really touched by all of the beautiful children. I went to the informational meetings and they were describing the children as damage and emotionally unstable. They listed children that had no physical, emotional or developmental delays as special needs just because they were a minority. I feel that is misleading to potential foster parents and that causes many people to have a change of heart when they don’t feel they are adequately prepared to take care of a special needs child. The big problem is many of the children they are placing this label on are not special needs at all. I was also disturbed to learn that many of the children are not allowed to take any belongings with them and the ones that do, are given a short time to place their belongings in grocery bags and trash bags. I met many women that were former foster children and they shared their stories with me and it inspired me to do something to bring more awareness to the issues but to also encourage and motivate them and all women to never let the past define you. There are so many statistics tossed around to these kids and once you are told something over and over again sometimes you start to believe it. I want them to know they do not have to be what the statistics say the are or live up to those expectations. I am their voice and NYNW Theatre festival is giving a voice to me to share what I am passionate about.
What’s next for you?
We have a 10 city tour planned in the Southeastern States.
Who is your biggest inspiration right at this moment and why?
My biggest inspiration is my parents. They never stop and they are always determined and moving forward no matter what they are presented with. My mother was only 5 years old when her mother died so she was raised by family members and it was not easy. She was told she would not be anything and that she had to take what she was given because she did not have a mother. It breaks my heart to hear her and my aunts and uncles stories because it did affect them but it also makes me extremely proud because I have a platform to help others that may be in the same situation. She survived and she became a wonderful mother. My father had to work at a young age to help his family and could not finish school because of it. He paid for some of his siblings birth and did not have a normal childhood. People also spoke negative things over his life but he changed his path and he chose a profession that was about being of service to others. He is the most selfless person I know and gives his time, service and whatever means he has to make sure that others are okay. My parents are why I do what I do.
Schonte Hamilton graduated from Lewis University, with a B.A. in Broadcasting and Print Journalism. During her college years, she wrote award winning features. She produced her first stageplay in Dallas, TX in 2010, in front of a sold out audience. She has worked with several well-known actors in past productions. She was honored as a participant in the 2013 Twin City Black Film Festival where she spoke to guests, discussed her inspiration and premiered her short film, the House with the Bright Light. She currently has several stage plays in production and is working on a new feature film.
Show information (venue, dates, ticket info)
http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/, Elektra Theatre, Sept 8 7PM
TIMES SQUARE ARTS CENTRE
300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 – 2nd Floor
AT 7PM sharp.
*Disclaimer: Please be aware shows performing after 8:30pm may not be suitable for younger audiences. No children under the age of 4 are permitted.
** Please note that tickets can be purchased after 3pm the day of the show at the door are $25.
Click HERE for tickets and other festival participants