LOADING ...

Black playwrights's posts - English uPOST

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Sep 10, 2019. 14 comments

'It Should Cost You Something': Playwright Jeremy O. Harris Sets the Record Straight on Slave Play as It Debuts on Broadway

'It Should Cost You Something': Playwright Jeremy O. Harris Sets the Record Straight on Slave Play as It Debuts on Broadway

Black art rarely emerges without controversy. Our creations are inherently political, specifically because this country never intended for them to exist in the first place. In fact, 400 years after the start of the transatlantic slave trade, our trauma is still so present, many of us would prefer to distance ourselves from that history altogether.

Understandable, then, was the concern and...

14 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Jun 07, 2019. 4 comments

‘I Can’t Stop’: With Ms. Blakk for President, Moonlight Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney Campaigns as an Unlikely Candidate

‘I Can’t Stop’: With Ms. Blakk for President, Moonlight Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney Campaigns as an Unlikely Candidate

“The most transparent way is the truth.”

Tarell Alvin McCraney is telling me about the circuitous journey that led him and longtime collaborator Tina Landau to the real-life character of Ms. Joan Jett Blakk. That’s “two t’s, two k’s,” as she reminds us during her run for president at Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre, where McCraney and Landau are both ensemble members.

The two have worked...

4 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai May 16, 2019. 2 comments

Behind Picket Fences: In Sam Kebede’s EthiopianAmerica, the American Dream Masks a Common Nightmare

Behind Picket Fences: In Sam Kebede’s EthiopianAmerica, the American Dream Masks a Common Nightmare

There is palpable energy prior to a theatrical production; a current of excitement that buzzes through an audience anticipating new work on the stage. At the press night for EthiopianAmerica, the newest production from the Chicago-based Definition Theatre Company staged at Victory Gardens, there was also a profound feeling of family, as several members of the city’s entrenched black...

2 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Apr 03, 2019.

Stretching the Exquisite: Why Hearing Black Women’s Voices in Theater Is a Revolutionary Act

Stretching the Exquisite: Why Hearing Black Women’s Voices in Theater Is a Revolutionary Act

Big things were bubbling in Brooklyn two years ago.

The year 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the first community development entity established in the United States. The nonprofit outfit has provided housing, employment, training and culture to residents of Bed-Stuy since 1967; 2017 was also the year the Restoration’s Billie Holiday Theatre...

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Mar 28, 2019. 1 comments

For Colored Girls, Forever: With a Stunning Revival and New Work, Ntozake Shange's Words Remain Timeless

For Colored Girls, Forever: With a Stunning Revival and New Work, Ntozake Shange's Words Remain Timeless
“...bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma/i haven’t conquered yet ... my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender.” —Ntozake Shange, ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf’

For Colored Girls... first arrived on the scene in December of 1974—coincidentally, just a few months before I did. Accordingly, I’ve...

1 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Mar 19, 2019.

‘Racism Is a Soft Target’: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Lynn Nottage on the Prescient Moment That Became Sweat

‘Racism Is a Soft Target’: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Lynn Nottage on the Prescient Moment That Became Sweat

With the endless amount of political rhetoric currently in our orbit, it’s often easy to forget about the people behind it—not just the politicians themselves, but the countless people whose fears make their power possible. It’s the grim reality we faced in 2016 when fear became the battle cry fueling the ascendancy to the presidency.

For playwright Lynn Nottage, there was the recognition of...

Karu F. Daniels Karu F. Daniels Mar 02, 2019. 1 comments

Playwright Loy A. Webb Brings The Light to Where #MeToo, #MuteRKelly and #BlackLivesMatter Converge

Playwright Loy A. Webb Brings The Light to Where #MeToo, #MuteRKelly and #BlackLivesMatter Converge

Three years ago when Loy A. Webb crafted The Light, the burgeoning playwright had no idea where the world would be when her play had its New York premiere last month.

The Logan Vaughn-directed drama is set in today’s Chicago and turns the idyllic concept of millennial black love on its head as a couple, masterfully portrayed by Mandi Masden and McKinley Belcher III, confronts deep-seated...

1 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Jan 31, 2019. 1 comments

Infinite Possibilities: Black Love Matters in Christina Anderson's How to Catch Creation

Infinite Possibilities: Black Love Matters in Christina Anderson's How to Catch Creation

It’s impossible to talk about award-winning playwright Christina Anderson’s How to Catch Creation without talking about love; specifically, black love. In its world premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre on Monday, Anderson’s multigenerational drama introduced six black characters whose love stories span almost a half century and explore the myriad and unique ways in which we love—and how love...

1 Comments

Karu F. Daniels Karu F. Daniels Jan 08, 2019. 19 comments

Rising Playwright Jeremy O. Harris Addresses Backlash Over Controversial Slave Play

Rising Playwright Jeremy O. Harris Addresses Backlash Over Controversial Slave Play

Much to the chagrin of the many detractors who were in an uproar about last month’s world premiere of Slave Play, the controversial drama’s creator is getting the last laugh.

It’s bittersweet, though.

Jeremy O. Harris found his critically acclaimed pet project at the center of a firestorm on the heels of opening at the venerable New York Theatre Workshop on Dec. 9. Upon the reviews of Slave...

19 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Dec 21, 2018. 3 comments

African, American: Danai Gurira Hits Home with Her Latest Play, Familiar 

African, American: Danai Gurira Hits Home with Her Latest Play, Familiar 

An elegantly appointed middle class living room in Minnesota, punctuated with poinsettias and a wreath to celebrate the holidays—plus the rare (and oft-disappearing) piece of African art. Frankly, it could’ve been my childhood home in the same Midwestern state, but instead, it is the setting of Danai Gurira’s Familiar, an emotional family dramedy that explores the impact and importance of...

3 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Oct 29, 2018. 3 comments

In Memoriam: For Colored Girls Who Grew Up on Ntozake Shange

In Memoriam: For Colored Girls Who Grew Up on Ntozake Shange

If you were a colored girl lucky enough (or “enuf,” as she might write) to grow up on the words and work of playwright, performer and author Ntozake Shange, learning of her death at age 70 on Saturday no doubt left you aching. One of the original conjurers of what we now know as “black girl magic” had left the earthly stage.

“I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t...

3 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Oct 29, 2018. 2 comments

Telling Untold Stories: Playwright and Performer Dael Orlandersmith Gets Under Our Skin

Telling Untold Stories: Playwright and Performer Dael Orlandersmith Gets Under Our Skin

A community in the aftermath of unrest. The painful legacy of abuse, as experienced by black boys and men. The intimately insidious effects of colorism. The remembrance of a life lived and love lost, inspired by a chance encounter with a famously tragic jazz singer. Playwright and actor Dael Orlandersmith’s particular skill is to tell the story beneath the story; of looking past the surface...

2 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Jun 09, 2018. 4 comments

A Hero’s Journey: Father Comes Home From the Wars Is a Reckoning with American History

A Hero’s Journey: Father Comes Home From the Wars Is a Reckoning with American History

A war. A hero. A conflict. A journey.

These are the components of any timeless tale, dating as far back as the ancient Greeks. In fact, they are the prototypical “hero’s journey,” as epitomized by the second-oldest known Western text in history, well-known to many high school and college literature students as Homer’s The Odyssey.

The hero’s journey is also the premise of Pulitzer Prize-winning...

4 Comments

Language