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SC Arts Commission Grants Awards

SC Arts Commission 2018 Media Screenwriting Fellow

Leasharn Hopkins

Jonathan TabbertColumbia native Leasharn M. Hopkins has written a book of poetry, more than 30 full-length plays and eight screenplays. Her play, To Touch God’s Hands, was performed across the U.S, funded by the Ford Foundation and Pfizer Pharmaceutical for a seven-city tour across South Carolina, and received the 2005 SC DHEC Office of Minority Health Award. In 2016, Hopkins wrote, directed, and produced her first short film, A Mother’s Plea. The film was featured on a pay-per-view channel and will be screened in August 2017 at the National Black Theatre Film Festival. Hopkins is the artistic director and founder of New Life Productions, LLC and works as a script consultant, director and co-coordinator at the Garland Lee Thompson’s Reader Theatre of New Works. Locally, she works as a writer, director, producer, and instructor for scriptwriting and acting.


Hopkins’ work with incarcerated females resulted in a full-length play, Hidden Secrets: A Collection of Vignettes. Her pilot program, Project ARC (Arts Rehabilitation in Corrections), was implemented at a maximum security institution for men as Brothers Acquiring Serious Success and resulted in a series of monologues, Metamorphosis: How the Arts Influenced My Life, and a collection of vignettes, Through My Eyes, focusing on victim advocacy.


Hopkins’ plays have been selected for readings at the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF), and in 2005, she was the only non-academic presenter at the NBTF’s International Colloquium. She was the 2010 recipient of the Passing the Torch Award presented by The Renaissance Foundation for outstanding citizens under 50. 


Hopkins is or has been affiliated with the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., the Authors League of America, Atlanta Urban Mediamakers Association, Columbia Writers Alliance, S.C. Performance Arts Task Force, Nickleodeon Community Film Forum, and Scriptwriters of S.C.  Hopkins is on the S.C. Arts Commission’s Artist Roster, an alumni of Artists U and received an Arts Commission Artist Ventures Initiative grant.