Artists First Signs ‘Demascus’ Creator & ‘The Sterling Affairs’ Scribe Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm

EXCLUSIVE: Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, a rising writer-producer coming to television from the world of theater, has signed with Artists First for management.

Chisholm most recently created, exec produced and served as co-showrunner for AMC’s comedic sci-fi series Demascus, produced by Gran Via. While his original pilot was picked up to series and shot its entire first season, it was one of a number of projects axed at the network amid a push for cost-cutting.

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The show, which recently screened in part at SXSW, was set to follow a 33-year-old Black man of the same name on a mission of self-discovery amid the burgeoning field of digital psychiatry that might be the key to defining his truest self. It’s been described as a genre-fluid coming-of-age story with a reality-bending premise that explores the gulf between Black male perspectives, while also attempting to answer Demascus’ personal question: “Who am I?”

Chisholm also wrote on staff of FX’s forthcoming limited series The Sterling Affairs, exec produced by Gina Welch, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, and is currently adapting his play Black Dick for UCP and Sam Esmail.

He wrote and directed the play P.Y.G., which world premiered at Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre in April 2019, also seeing his play Br’er Cotton enjoy a critically acclaimed run at London’s Theatre503, with further productions taking place around the U.S.

Chisholm won a Helen Hayes Award in 2018 for the D.C. production of his play, Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies, that same summer being awarded the National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Theatre, honoring playwrights tackling pressing social-political issues, for his play-in-progress Uncle Vanye

A graduate of Juilliard’s playwriting program who also holds an MFA from D.C.’s Catholic University, Chisholm was named a “Person to Watch” by American Theatre magazine. He continues to be represented by APA.

The talent management and production company Artists First, focused on actors, writers, directors and producers in film, television, and digital media, boasts a roster that also includes Martin Lawrence, Awkwafina, Kenya Barris, Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Niecy Nash, Ed Helms, Will Arnett, Ike Barinholtz, Paul Walter Hauser, Kate McKinnon, Michael Showalter, Jon M. Chu, Lior Raz, Mitch Hurwitz and Cristela Alonzo, among others. Notable past productions across film and TV include Central Intelligence, Like a Boss, Keanu, Black-ish, Mixed-ish, Grown-ish, The Last O.G., Hit and Run and Reno 911!.

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