NATIONAL THEATRE: BLACK PLAY ARCHIVE
The Black Play Archive (originally titled Black British Play Archive) was initiated by Kwame Kwei-Armah and supported by Sustained Theatre and the National Theatre. Simeilia was headhunted by Kwame Kwei-Armah to manage his Black British Play initiative at the National Theatre Studio. Simeilia gladly accepted the role and managed the BPA for two years. During this time Simeilia discovered over 400 plays written by Black British Playwrights which had been performed in Britain within the last seventy years.
Moreover, Simeilia was able to source many of the playscripts which enabled her to produce extracts of the work for the BPA webiste. In total Simeilia produced 4 video recordings and over 80 radio drama recordings. Many of the radio dramas for the BPA website were directed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. These recordings took place at the National Theatre and in reputable theatres across the UK.
Simeilia's expertise in Black British theatre received the attention of many arts,media and education institutions who trusted and valued her opinion. The Actors Touring Centre employed Simeilia to represent the company at Sustained Theatre's 'Exploring the Canon' event held at Arcola Theatre. This event comprised of London's leading theatres asking them to partake in a discussion regarding the diversity of plays in the 'classical canon'. Each theatre was required to present a play which they believed met the criteria of a 'classical play'. An extract of each play was performed in-front of an audience followed by a forum discussion.
Simeilia selected the play 'Moon on a Rainbow Shawl' by Errol John, casting Martina Laird as the female protagonist, as she strongly believed that Moon should be considered a classical play-text. She was later responsible for bringing the play to the Deputy Literary Manager of the National Theatre, Brian Walters', attention. Brian pitched the play to the National Theatre. The play was accepted. Moon on a Rainbow Shawl was re-staged at the National Theatre Stage in March 2012.