Baltimore Times columnist wins Playwright of the Year Award

Stacy M. Brown | 8/12/2016, 8:04 a.m.
“My Big Phat Ghetto FABULE$$ Wedding,” Ursula Battle’s exciting play about what happens when a reversal of fortune causes a ...
Baltimore Times Columnist, Ursula Battle is the recipient of the 2016 Newsome Playwright of the Year Award. She was honored on Sunday, August 7, 2016 in a ceremony at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, Maryland. (Courtesy Photo)

— “My Big Phat Ghetto FABULE$$ Wedding,” Ursula Battle’s exciting play about what happens when a reversal of fortune causes a couple’s expensive dream wedding to turn into a beer buck budget nightmare, is among the journalist and writer’s many works that have helped her to earn the 2016 Newsome Award for Playwright of the Year.

The award is named after Baltimore-native and businessman Fred Newsome, who is also the executive producer of the Newsome Gospel Music Awards and serves on the board of governors of the Grammy, Stellar Gospel Music and Agape Theater and Film Awards.

Battle, who is also a Baltimore Times columnist, was honored on Sunday, August 7, 2016, at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, Maryland.

“I was humbled, surprised and I was thankful to God for the opportunity to be recognized for doing something that I love to do,” Battle said of the honor.

“It gives me another opportunity to give God glory because I believe my talent, my gift, is writing. I believe when I write I’m utilizing the gift God gave me and I don’t ever do it for the spotlight or for recognition,” she said. “This is what I believe that I’m called to do, and to be recognized for that is special. It also goes to show you that people do recognize and appreciate your work. When you work hard and put your best effort forward, you will be recognized and appreciated and this is a shining example of that.”

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Coppin State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in journalism, Battle also earned her master’s degree from the University of Baltimore where she majored in publications design.

Also a graduate of the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland and Walbrook High School in Baltimore, Battle is the founder and CEO of Battle Stage Plays.

She says the goals of her plays are to uplift, inspire, educate and encourage through sidesplitting comedy, riveting drama, soul-stirring singing, and powerful ministry.

“My favorite scripture says to walk by faith, not by sight and I thank God for the opportunity to be used as a vehicle,” Battle said. “I’m just one part of a big production of people. It’s really not just about me, it takes the writer, director, performers, stage crews, the audience and all of us come together for this.”

“DisChord in The Choir;” “The Crown of Glory & The Agony of Deceit,” “Widows in The Hood;” “Jacob, Rachel & Leah;” “Noah’s Ark;” “Never Give Up;” “Abraham & Sarah;” “The Christmas Gift;” and “Mary and Martha” are among Battle’s many stage play productions.

Her productions have appeared at several greater Baltimore venues, including Coppin State University, Morgan State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the Downtown Cultural Arts Center.

Battle’s romantic comedy stage play production, “FOR BETTER or WOR$E” was chosen to be performed at ArtScape 2008.

In 2004, her hit production, “The Teachers’ Lounge,” was chosen for a time-modified presentation for the National Association for Professional Teaching Standards’ Convention held that year at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.