Eden Sanaa Duncan-Smith knows all too well how competitive the entertainment industry is, especially when it comes to actors of color vying for limited roles. Now, the 15-year-old is aiming to bring her fellow young actors together for an annual brunch to foster solidarity — rather than competition — among minority actors of her generation.
Keep the Drama Off the Stage is modelled after Alfre Woodard's annual pre-Oscars Sisters Soiree, Duncan-Smith says, with an aim to "dismantle the casting myth that divides [young Black actresses]: There is only room for one."
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“I’m tired of people thinking that girls of color don’t get along. The spirit of competition that keeps us from supporting each other also exhausts me," Duncan-Smith says. "I wanted to support Keep The Drama on The Stage because it would be a first step to humanizing (or sister-izing) us.”
At 15, Duncan-Smith has already beat the odds, starring in a number of productions on Broadway and in Hollywood. Her credits include the feature film Annie and the Tony-winning play Fences, starring Denzel Washington, for which she won the Young Artist Award for Best Live Performance.
The first annual brunch will take place at Ricardo Steakhouse in Harlem, New York on April 25.
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(Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images for 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)