Actresses, Broadway Performers, Novelist/Writers and Poets all come together to contribute to the growing field/knowledge of Black Women Playwriting! Here you can find many different Black Women Playwrights who explore many topics in the growing field.
Aishah Rahman, originally named Virginia Hughes, pulled herself out of a desolate childhood into an adulthood full of success. Possibly because of her rocky beginning, Rahman became a talented writer of plays that managed to capture accurately the nuances of the trials and tribulations of women’s lives. She won several awards for her plays and saw them performed all over New York City.
Ms. Woodard is a member of Dramatist Guild Council; the Board of Directors at The La Jolla Playhouse; and, is a fellow at the Sundance Film and Theatre Labs, Ojai Playwrights Conference and Marble House Project. trained at Goodman School of Drama, received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from DePaul University and is a lifetime member of The Actor’s Studio. She completed a TCG/PEW Charitable Trust National Theatre Artist Residency Program Fellowship at Center Theatre Group and has taught at California Institute Of The Arts, and currently at USC.
Dael Orlandersmith - Whiting Award
Dael Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman. Ms. Orlandersmith is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter. She has toured with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (Real Live Poetry) throughout the world and has had plays produced at the McCarter, the Wilma, New York Theatre Workshop, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick in 1999. Works Include: Liar, Liar (1994); Beauty's Daughter (1995); Monster (1996); The Gimmick (1999); Yellowman (2002); Raw Boys (2005); Stoop Stories (2008); Bones (2010); Horsedreams (2011); Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men (2012); Forever (2014-2015).
Danai Gurira was born in Grinnell, Iowa to parents from Zimbabwe, when her father was teaching Chemistry at Grinnell College. When she was 5, the family moved back to Zimbabwe. Gurira studied social psychology at Macalaster College, and received an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She is the co-author of the play, "In the Continuum", with Nikkole Salter.
Elizabeth Brown-Guillory is playwright, performing artist, and Professor of English at the University of Houston (UH) where she has won the Cooper Teaching Excellence Award, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, and (two-time winner of) the English Honor Society's Sigma Tau Delta Distinguished Professor Award. After contacting over 150,000 alums, the UH Alumni Organization recently selected her as one of four "Phenomenal Professors" at UH. Dr. Brown-Guillory teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in African/Diaspora literatures, women writers, American ethnic literatures, playwriting, and American dramatic literature. She has faculty affiliate status in the UH African American Studies Program, the UH Honors College, and the UH Women's Studies Program.
Katori Hall is a playwright performer from Memphis, TN. Hurt Village won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was a finalist for the Ruby Award. Hall will direct the film adaptation of Hurt Village, which will begin shooting in 2015.Her awards include the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, the ARENA Stage American Voices New Play Residency, the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, a NYFA Fellowship, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award. Hall’s journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, UK’s The Guardian, Essence, Newsweek and The Commercial Appeal. The Mountaintop and Katori Hall: Plays One are published by Methuen Drama. Hall is an alumna of the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, where she developed The Mountaintop, and a graduate of Columbia University, the A.R.T. at Harvard University, and the Juilliard School. She is a proud member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, the Dramatists Guild, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Hall currently resides in New York City.
Lydia R. Diamond is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow and a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Her plays include Stage Black (premiered at Arts Consortium of Cincinnati, 3rd place Theodore Ward Prize); The Gift Horse (premiered at the Goodman Theatre, 2nd place Kesselring Prize, 1st place Theodore Ward Prize); Stick Fly (premiered at Congo Square Theatre Company, 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best New Work, 2006 BTAA Award for Best Play); The Inside, premiered at MPAACT Theatre Company and published in TriQuarterly, where she is a contributing editor; and Voyeurs de Venus, premiered at Chicago Dramatists, 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, 2006 BTAA Award for Best Writing, commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre Co. Diamond's adaptation of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre, won the Black Arts Alliance Image Award for Best New Play and was recently remounted at Steppenwolf and moved to a co-production with New Victory Theatre in New York.
Lynn Nottage is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and a screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Nomination, ) moved to Broadway after a sold out run at The Public Theater.
While TV audiences best remember Regina Taylor for her empathic portrayal of housekeeper Lilly Harper in the critically lauded series I'll Fly Away (1991), which rewarded her with a Golden Globe for best actress, an NAACP Image Award, and two Emmy nominations, this Dallas-born talent has made even greater strides in recent years as a playwright. Born on August 22, 1960, she was raised in Oklahoma where she became acutely aware of racial bias while attending a newly integrated school in Muskogee. She went on to study at Southern Methodist University and graduated in 1981, subsequently moving to New York. She made her professional acting debut in the CBS made-for-TV movie Crisis at Central High (1981).
With an impressive body of work that encompasses film, television, theater and writing, Regina Taylor is one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors whose career continues to evolve with exciting and challenging projects.
Shay Youngblood received a B.A. in communications from Clark-Atlanta University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Brown University. She has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean, an au pair, artist's model and poet's helper in Paris. The Georgia-born writer is the author of a collection of short stories called The Big Mama Stories (Firebrand Books) and a novel, Soul Kiss (Riverhead Books/Putnam). Her plays Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery, Talking Bones and Amazing Grace, all published by Dramatic Publishing, have been widely produced. Her other plays include Black Power Barbie, Communism Killed My Dog and Square Blues, a blues musical.
Sonia Sanchez—poet, activist, scholar—was the Laura Carnell Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Temple University. She is the recipient of both the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement, Sanchez is the author of sixteen books.
Parks has written numerous screenplays including Girl 6 for Spike Lee, and she adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for ABC Television’s Oprah Winfrey Presents. Other work in film includes Anemone Me (produced by Christine Vachon & Todd Haynes). She is currently developing an original series for Amazon.
Tanya Barfield’s plays include: The Call (Playwrights Horizons & Primary Stages), Of Equal Measure (Center Theatre Group), Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory and additional theaters), Dent, The Quick, The Houdini Act and 121º West. She wrote the book for the Theatreworks/USA children’s musical: Civil War: The First Black Regiment. Tanya was a recipient of a 2013 Lilly Award and the1st Annual Lilly Award Commission. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory, Primary Stages and Geva Theatre Center. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.