The DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival
Janea West created GROWN in 2016, a series for black women to see themselves on screen. The concept of the comedy-drama was to create relatable characters experiencing the challenges and difficulties of young adulthood: career uncertainty, paying bills, navigating anti-blackness, sexuality and the patriarchy.
GROWN the web series launched after West attended a writing program at Columbia University, where she met Charlotte Lan Steiner, the series' producer and story editor. They were soon joined by Elnatan Melaku (cinematographer), and close friends Skye Ellis (wardrobe stylist & production designer), Kasharena Horton (production manager), and Mars Santi (production coordinator). Thus, the official GROWN team was born.
The majority of the crew is biracial, creating a unique perspective on a series that centers around blackness. The goal for season two is to establish a writers room that is reflective of the Chocolate City captured throughout season one.
Introducing Janea West:
JANEA WEST (Creator/Writer/Executive Producer) is a creative writer/producer based out of Washington, D.C. Driven by questions about race and her own identity, West began writing stories on black womanhood in college. It wasn't until she worked in television as a production assistant that she decided to pursue TV writing as a career, a decision that soon after birthed GROWN. Upon acceptance into a selective cohort of eight for Columbia University's TV Writing Program, West decided to turn the pilot idea into a web series with hopes to streamline the creative process. Inspired by Toni Morrison’s words, “if there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” Janea is determined to bring strong, relatable characters to the screen.