The JOCUNDA Music, Film & Theatre Festival: The Destination for Creative Minds

The JOCUNDA FESTIVAL presents the award-winning playwright Robert Bowie Jr.’s Black Lives Matter play, THE GRACE OF GOD & THE MAN MACHINE, formally known as “ONAJE”, will appear on Sunday, October 25th at 8:00 p.m. EST on Zoom. Donations are $15.00. A Q&A with the playwright, director, actors and audience will follow led by Van Dirk Fisher, the director and founder of the Riant Theatre.

The Cast includes:  C.E. SMITH as Dan Claggett (Broadway credits include: The Color Purple), TAIT RUPPERT as Richard Middleman Sr. (Broadway credits include: CANDIDA with Joanne Woodward), TONI SEAWRIGHT as Sarah Claggett (Broadway credits include:  Street Corner Symphony), DUKE WILLIAMS as Onaje William Claggett, AUSTIN SKY PARKER as Richard Middleman Jr., SHEILA-JOON AZIM as Belle O’Brien,  PETER MENDES as Henderson and DEXTER FARREN HAAG as Andrew.

For tickets register in advance for this webinar:

Donation: $15.00 to benefit Riant Theatre.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Racism. Violence. Voter Registration. These omnipresent themes are front and center in our national conscience and conversation on the precipice of a presidential election that many feel may seal the fate of our country. THE GRACE OF GOD & THE MAN MACHINE, an intricately plotted thriller, explores the consequence of racism on two individuals and their families.

Set in Eastern Maryland in the 1960’s and 1987, two sons, one white one black, meet by chance on a road. They don’t know it, but their families shared a life-altering connection years before. But now, their fate and their families’ future may depend upon the choices they will be forced to make.

THE GRACE OF GOD & THE MAN MACHINE asks and allows the audience to ponder and answer: is the die forever cast by a one-time choice we make?

An O’Neill Theater Center semi-finalist, Onaje appeared at the 2018 Fringe Festival to rave reviews and sold out audiences. Theatre Is Easy gave Onaje its Best Bet designation and described its “high stakes story” as “the most dramatic, fleshed out near-cinematic play I have seen.” Onstage Blog said Onaje “brilliantly brings a sense of warmth,” and Blog Critic described the play as embodying “exquisite conceptualizations and themes.”

“Having run this Zoom Play Reading Series since the pandemic began, I’ve developed directorial and visual techniques that makes our Zoom productions visually, emotionally and viscerally stimulating, something that some people haven’t always associated with the play reading format,” Van Dirk Fisher said. “And audience love the interactive and spirited Q and A that follows.”

There will be a TALK BACK afterwards with the Playwright, Director and Cast after the reading. Van Dirk Fisher, Founder & Artistic Director of the Riant Theatre and producer of the JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL will be the moderator.


To submit your play for consideration for the Play Reading Series visit


Visit the JOCUNDA FESTIVAL GIFT SHOP click here.

To make a DONATION to the JOCUNDA FESTIVAL visit

To Register for our Ongoing Workshop Classes Click Here.


The Riant Theatre is happy to bring the JOCUNDA Music, Film & Theatre Festival to ARTEL.
Our Motto Is:   
The Destination For Creative Minds.
We offer a place for artists to use our Co-Sharing Work Space, network and collaborate on new projects.  And if you need a place to stay consider staying at ARTEL at affordable rates. We want ARTEL to be the one place where you can do everything that encompasses artistic expression and providing a platform for you to work and create in a nurturing environment.  In the future we will offer residences for artists as well as artist in residence where people from abroad or out of town can stay at ARTEL while they do their residency.

We are excited to bring the JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL to ARTEL, which is located in the heart of Bushwick, right off of Broadway.  Think of ARTEL as the BROADWAY of Brooklyn.

JOCUNDA (Jo-Cun-Da)... a derivative of the word Jocund, which means Jubilant, Riant and Cheerful.  The JOCUNDA Festival will feature performances by Hip Hop Artists, singers of all genres, jazz, r&b, neo soul, Latin, pop and rock, Comedians, Spoken Word artists, Poetry Slams, Film Screenings, Panel Talk Backs with Industry Professionals in the Entertainment business, Readings of Screenplays and Theatrical plays as well as performances, Workshops in Health, Wellness, Life Coaches and learning how to live your best life.  Follow us on Instragram click here.

Each night we will have an After Party with VJ Magic Myke, where you can have fun, socialize and network. Stay tuned for dates and times.  We want you to stay at ARTEL for the entire weekend, where you can rent a bed in a room of 4 for as little as $40 per day or stay in a private room with a Queen size bed for as little as $86 per night.  Then wake up the next day and enjoy a Saturday and Sunday Brunch with a performance by some of the hottest recording artists in NYC.  We will have Book Signings with a glass of wine and hor d'oeuvres. 
Why ARTEL?  Because there is no place like it.  Our vision for ARTEL is to provide a place where you can feel at home and feel like you're surrounded by friends who only want the best for you.  A place where you can be challenged and you can take a chance to explore and be free to create new works.  We want all of our Riant and Strawberry One-Act Festival Alumni and Friends to be at JOCUNDA when it opens.  Stay tuned for dates and times.

At ARTEL, 9 Malcolm X Blvd, Brooklyn, NY.


Brunch: 10am and 12:15pm
Showtime: 11am & 12:45pm 


Submissions are still open for Feature Films, Short Films, Screenplays and Stage Plays.  To submit your work click here

Fashion Designers interested in showing their collection at JOCUNDA can email up to 5 jpeg photos of their designs from their collection, along with their bio and a photo of themselves to  If you are selected, you will get to show 10 designs from your collection.  4 Designers will be feature each night at JOCUNDA.
Hip Hop Artists and Singers (neo soul, r&b, Latin, jazz, pop, rock and Reggaeton) are encourage to submit links to their music and videos, along with links to their social media pages and their bio to
Spoken Word Artists, Novelists, Comedians submit printed excerpts and/or videos of your performances via FilmFreeway by clicking here.

For Vendor Opportunities (Food & Merchandise) email us at

Enjoy a nice cocktail in the Main Bar to wet your whistle.

Opening Night, at the JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL.  Stay tuned for dates and times for tickets.
9 Malcolm X Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Show Time: 8pm
Tonisteelz, DeShaun "Satisfaction" Wilson, Akilah Etienne, Kwoat, Lizzy Ashliegh, Pure Knowledge, Prayah, Uni G and more...

After Party with VJ Magic Myke at 11pm until 4am
Every night.  Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

To Buy Merchandise click here.

To donate to the festival Click Here.
To Join our Email Club click here