2021 Charlie Blackwell scholarship

Ashani is so honored to have won one of the very first Charlie Blackwell Scholarships to the 2021 Broadway Stage Management Symposium! This event is held in NYC every year, with this year being completely virtual, and congregates all Broadway, touring, and professional stage managers to a weekend of networking, mingling, and learning. In addition to getting to attend this amazing event with a waived registration, Ashani is granted the opportunity to network with some of her SM idols such as Narda Alcorn (the scholarship she won), Cody Renard Richard, Beverly Jenkins, and many more in May! 

Into the woods 

Ashani's final main stage production as a Stage Manager at Western Carolina University will be Sondheim's timeless Into the Woods! This show will be performed as an outdoor production at the Village Green in Cashiers, NC on April 17-18, 2021. Directed by Hunter Foster, Choreographed by Jen Cody, and Music Directed by Ike Webster. 

35MM: A Musical Exhibtion

In place of Heathers the Musical, the Black Theatre Ensemble is now presenting 35MM: A Musical Exhibition by Ryan Scott Oliver! Ashani will be the Stage Manager for this one-night-only performance! More to come soon on streaming information for this exciting show! 

Metropolis: An Afrofuturist musical

Up next, Ashani will be working as the Production Stage Manager for the workshop of a new musical titled Metropolis, in conjunction with New Light Theatre Project and WCU School of Stage and Screen. The musical is written by AriDy Nox and Brandon Webster and directed by Zhailon Levingston. This workshop will be performed virtually with NY Theater Barn and Darkroom in late October. More details to come soon! 

The Translation of Likes 

Ashani Smith recently closed a virtual production of The Translation of Likes written by Nambi E. Kelley and directed by Daniel Carlton! There will be a broadcast of the performance of the show on October 3rd via YouTube. 

Heathers the Musical

Ashani was set to direct "Heathers the Musical" with the WCU Black Theatre Ensemble during her senior year at Western Carolina. The show was unfortunately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Ashani conducted a summer full of Zoom rehearsals with her cast, design & production meetings, and marketing/fundraising for the show! 

Bring it on!

Ashani had the honor of being the Stage Manager for WCU School of Stage and Screen's production of "Bring It On!" The production was scheduled to perform April 2-5 in the Bardo Arts Center in Cullowhee, NC. Unfortunately, the show was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, during the cast and production team's short time together, Ashani was able to run 4 weeks of rehearsals, maintain a large cast, lead production meetings, and enter the very early tech process of the show. While the cancellation was a whole loss for all, the memories and environment will be forever cherished. 

2019 National Black Theatre Festival 

Last summer, Ashani reached out to Jackie Alexander, Artistic Director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, in regards to seeking an internship or small production role in his upcoming production of "Jelly's Last Jam". To her dismay, she was hired by Alexander to serve as the Assistant Director on the production, and additionally, assistant stage manager when the tech process began in late July. While working on the show, Ashani also was provided the opportunity to serve as a company manger intern, assistant, and event planner for multiple social events during the week of the largest Black theatre festival in the world. She was able to assist and meet Andre De Shields, Brain Stokes Mitchell, Tonya Pinkins, and many more Black celebrities during the biggest Black theatre festival in the world. 

Porthouse Theatre- summer 2020

Ashani was hired through the Southeastern Theatre Conference as the Assistant Stage Manager for the Summer 2020 season at Porthouse Theatre in Kent, OH. Sadly, the season was postponed until Summer 2021 due to the pandemic. While this is a huge disappointment to all involved, she is happy to know she was coming into a company that is dedicated to keeping the lives and health of their patrons and workers a priority during this extremely difficult time. 

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