Columbus playwright Nanette Hodge's "Mamas' Drama" has been selected as one of 50 plays to be a part of the third annual DC Black Theatre festival in Washington, D.C.

Columbus playwright Nanette Hodge's "Mamas' Drama" has been selected as one of 50 plays to be a part of the third annual DC Black Theatre festival in Washington, D.C.

The dramatic play was first staged in April 2011 by Nia Performing Arts. The original cast will make the trip to Washington for the June 30 performance.

"Mamas' Drama" was selected from a field of more than 350 submissions. Two performances of are scheduled during the festival, at 2 and 6 p.m. June 30 at the Ira Aldridge Theatre on the campus of Howard University.

"It was a glorious day" when

Hodge, who writes under the name Nanette Marie, said "It was a glorious day" when she learned the play had been selected for the festival.

"To say I'm excited is an understatement," she added. "I'm honored."

The festival is a week-long event "celebrating extraordinary stories told by people of African-American descent," according to a statement from the festival. "The festival holds fast in its commitment to provide quality theater to all people, while maintaining a balance of richness and variety."

The work marked the Northland resident's first foray into writing for the stage, and is based on her own experiences growing up not knowing who her real father was.

"I wanted to convey a message of forgiveness and redemption," she said. "The topic of 'mama's baby, daddy's maybe' is touchy, but it touches so many lives."

The play spans seven decades, following main character Josephine from the age of 8 to 83, dealing with how family secrets affected her and members of her family. Four generations of Josephine's family are portrayed.

Hodge first conceived the idea while she was attending the first DCBTF after her mother died.

"I thought, 'I think I'm supposed to write a play about my life,' but it wasn't supposed to be mine, it was my mother's," Hodge said.