PAY THE WRITER
Written by New York Times Best Seller TAWNI O’DELL
Directed by SHELDON EPPS
To get an invite-only, industry presentation
on July 21, 2022
KEITH DAVID, BRYAN BATT and MARCIA CROSS
With KYLE SCATLIFFE, MILES G. JACKSON, SHIREEN CRUTCHFIELD, BYRON JENNINGS and STEPHEN PAYNE
New York: New York Times Best Selling writer Tawni O’ Dell will get an industry presentation of her newest play, Pay The Writer. With eyes on Broadway for the 2023-24 season, the special presentation will be directed by Broadway and Television’s Sheldon Epps and will star Tony-nominated and multi-Emmy Award winner Keith David, two-time SAG Award winner Bryan Batt, and three-time Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Marcia Cross. The event will take place on Thursday, July 21. For more information, please email Sara at MMaxwell Media at email@example.com. Pay The Writer is being presented by MMaxwell Media and Silver J. Management.
Pay the Writer is a sophisticated comedy-drama that delves into the dynamics of a unique forty-year long friendship between a gay literary agent and a world-renowned African American novelist. Heartrending and hilarious, the show follows the complicated personal and professional lives of the two men while also providing an insider’s view of the crazy, maddening, and often side-splitting world of writers and the publishing industry. Witty in dealing with egos and frailties, the play is also wise and sympathetic in its portrayal of an unlikely relationship that began at a time when both men were rejected by society and how together they survived prejudice, heartbreak, and a few bad reviews.
“Pay the Writer is a unique story, as it provides insights into the creative process of an artist. It allows us to view the heart, soul, triumph, and regrets that infuse a great writer’s work. In addition to a wonderful script, we are fortunate to have an amazing cast attached to this project. I cannot wait for an audience to experience it all.” –Director, Sheldon Epps
Additional cast will include Olivier Award nominee Kyle Scatliffe (Broadway’s To Kill A Mockingbird), Miles G. Jackson (Broadway’s Chicken & Biscuits), Shireen Crutchfield (TV: “The Bold and The Beautiful”), Byron Jennings (Harry Potter And The Cursed Child). and Stephen Payne (Broadway’s Of Mice and Men, August: Osage County).
Critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novelist TAWNI O’DELL opened her first play, When It Happens to You, to strong reviews off-Broadway in 2019. She’s the author of six novels, including Back Roads, which was an Oprah Winfrey Book Club selection and a motion picture that premiered at the 2018 TriBeCa Film Festival, with a screenplay adapted by Tawni. She also wrote and co-produced the popular audio drama, Rewrites. Her highly acclaimed podcast Closing the Distance featuring Kathleen Turner, William Hurt, Tony Danza, Jason Alexander, and Kelli O’ Hara is in pre-production for a Broadway engagement in 2023-24, retitled Windows. Her novels have been published in over thirty countries and her writing has appeared in anthologies, magazines, and newspapers throughout the world. She’s the mother of two, a native of western Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Northwestern University.
SHELDON EPPS (director) was Artistic Director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse for two decades and has directed numerous plays and musicals at many of the country’s major theatres. Several of his Broadway shows received multiple Tony and Olivier nominations (Play On! and Blues In The Night). He currently serves as Senior Artistic Advisor at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. In addition, he has directed nearly two hundred television episodes, including several most recently for Netflix.