Steven Butler
Bowie, MD
Playwright and Actor. 2015 Arena Stage Playwright Arena
Biography

STEVEN A. BUTLER, JR. is a playwright, actor and the co-founder of Restoration Stage, Inc., which he launched with partner Courtney Baker-Oliver in 2005. His plays include Chocolate Covered Ants, The Truth (About the Down Low), All That Glitters, Drag On!, The Katrina Project and The First Lady. His plays have been produced at Restoration Stage, Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (Miami), Bowie Center for the Performing Arts (Maryland) and Greensboro Coliseum (North Carolina). He has had readings and workshops at Howard University and Prince George’s Community College. His work has been commissioned by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He is a graduate of Howard University and a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Plays

by Steven A. Butler, Jr and Courtney Baker-Oliver

Celebrate Black History Month by journeying into the minds of the young African-American men and women who fought for equality during the civil rights movement. Though the social movement began in the late 1950s and continued through the 1960s, the issue remains every bit as relevant today as racial bias continues to permeate American life. In Black Lives Matter, playwright Steven A. Butler Jr. strips away the caricatures and stereotypes to reveal the complicated and fiercely beautiful truth underneath -- the joys, pains, struggle and heartbreak that define those who strove to reconcile humankind.

Cast:
The Restoration Stage Players and The Eastern High School Players
by Steven A. Butler, Jr

Sabrina Fulton finds herself an overnight celebrity when all she wants to do is mourn the death of her son, Trayvon Martin.

Cast:
Desire Dubose, Wilma Lynn Horton, Regina Johnson, and Kandace Foreman. Courtney Baker-Oliver. Director
by Steven A. Butler, Jr.

  

This must-see production showcases a rare moment in local African-American history and is a love letter to the complicated lives, love, and loss of the forgotten Black circus performer. The show received rave reviews in its debut workshop presentation earlier this year.

The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus tells the story of how Butler's great-great-grandparents Ollie Tyson and Ruby Dyson fell in love and settled in La Plata, Maryland. Interwoven into the intense drama is original and 1920s music guaranteed to put you on the edge of your seats. As the performers navigate the struggles that Black performers had to endure in order to survive doing the art they loved, they persevere with noble dignity and remarkable courage.

Cast:
by Steven A. Butler, Jr

A family play, though it deals with a controversial topic, THE TRUTH introduces audiences to the Suttons.  Olivia Sutton, a forty-five year-old Christian mother of two is facing the empty nest syndrome as her two children plan lives of their own.  Olivia's younger child is 18 year-old Chris, a senior in high school and a local football hero.  Her daughter, Tiffany has just finished graduate school and the family has gathered for her homecoming as the play begins.  Tiffany's new boyfriend, Donnie Harrison, a pro athlete turned physical therapist accompanies her on the trip.  As the play opens, overprotective Olivia and her family, (which includes her sister, "Aunt" Angie, and her brother-in-law Milton) are all questions about Tiffany's new beau.

 “This is a Christian household.”

                                             ---“Olivia”

                                                 from THE TRUTH

 

Meanwhile, Christopher Sutton is all-state, an all-star and the apple of his mother's eye.  The fact that his father has been absent for most of his life has been well covered by the devotion he receives from the rest of his tight-knit family.  His best friend, AJ has been his constant companion since childhood and only AJ knows the secret that threatens to destroy the golden boy image Chris and his family have carefully crafted for him.  Chris and AJ have been 'fooling around' with each other in secret- for years.

 

One day, shortly after his arrival, Donnie discovers Chris and AJ in a compromising position on the living room couch.  Chris panics, scared of his undercover sexuality being discovered- but Donnie reassures him saying, "this can be just between us, man" but he urges Chris not to cross the line into full-fledged 'gayness' warning "they don't let the boys in pink play ball."

With a sizzling plot that careens to an unforgettable climax, Chris struggles to come to grips with how to reconcile what he wants with the expectations and responsibilities of his family.

Cast:
The Restoration Stage Company
by Steven A. Butler, Jr

“All That Glitters” is a new musical about ‘Precious’, a beloved twenty-first century girl group (‘a la Destiny’s Child) who faces an unimaginable test when their lead singer is tragically murdered by a deranged fan.  The experience tests the power of the surviving members’ faith and ultimately leads them to trade their secular shoes in-for gospel ones.

 

It is also the story of the struggle between core Christian values and the allure of fame and fortune.  This is NOT ‘Dreamgirls.’  It is a story ripped from today’s headlines that begs the question ‘does the “sex sells” mantra leave today’s performers at risk-not only at the hands of the paparazzi who chase them, but also to those determined to reach beyond the velvet ropes to possess the star they read about in magazines?’

 

And how far should sex appeal go?  Should young performers compromise the values they’ve been taught at home in an effort to compete in a market that is more and more about hyper-sexuality and less and less about talent?

 

Through riveting drama, infectious “radio-ready” pop music, and unforgettable performances, “All That Glitters” illuminates the struggle today’s artist are forced to navigate.  With its’ realistic, urban, script by playwright Steven A. Butler, “All That Glitters” deals with the issues of self-respect, dignity, and the elevation of Black womanhood against the backdrop of both booty-bouncing and gospel music.

Cast:
The Restoration Stage Players
by Steven A. Butler, Jr.

Dr. Adrienne Taylor is a professor of mental health at the fictitious Farrington Women’s College.  She’s spent three years researching the plight of the African American woman, a journey that has brought her in direct contact with women from all over the United States.  These women come from various social and economic statuses and range from the self made millionaires to those whose survival depends on government welfare.   Chocolate Covered Ants chronicles the final leg of her research--- and examination of the African American male to determine what effects if any they played on the mental, social and physical survival of the African American female.

 

After an intense search, Dr. Taylor I has invited a select group of men from around the country to take part in this research.  They are her subjects, her Chocolate Covered Ants.  Some have come of their own accord; others by legal obligations, and a few by promises of compensation.

 

Chocolate Covered Ants is Steven A. Butler, Jr.’s latest (and perhaps most groundbreaking) work. The play, set in Dr. Taylor’s office seeks to eradicate once and for all the myth that we women of color are not responsible, nor dependent upon the survival of Black men.

Cast:
The Restoration Stage Players

Successes

"The Very Last Days of The First Colored Circus" made TOP 5! The Bridge Award was established in honor of our upcoming tenth anniversary with the purpose of recognizing an emerging playwright of exceptional talent within the United States military.

My first ten minute play "Standing For Trayvon" was slected to be a part of the MidTown International Theatre Festival.

Named a 2015 playwrighting fellow at Arena Stage in Washinsgton DC. http://www.arenastage.org/artistic-development/new-play-institute/playwr...