13 Black women playwrights you should know

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| September 20 2016,

08:50 am

No form of scripted storytelling is more intimate than theater. Actors get one shot at delivering their best each night, as the audience brings a different energy and in turn receives a slightly different performance than the night before. With theater, the third wall between actor and audience is fluid, held in place by a delicate agreement and willing suspension of disbelief that transports the audience beyond the limitations set into their own imagination and frames of reference. This kind of intimate exchange creates a divine experience, uniquely tailored to the viewers' perspectives

1. Sarah Jones

sarah jones
Photo: dvf.com


2. Dael Orlandersmith

Dael Orlandersmith
Photo: Joan Marcus


3. Charlayne Woodard

Charlayne Woodard
Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirPretty Fire
Neat, In Real LifeThe Night WatcherFlight

4. Radha Blank

Radha Blank
Photo: beatbrooklyn.com

Kenya, Seed, Nannyland, Reverb, Casket Sharp
American SchemesEmpireThe Get Down

5. Anna Deavere Smith

Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters
Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education,

6. Lydia R. Diamond

Photo: handout
Photo: handout

Stick Fly

7. Lynn Nottage

Lynn Nottage
Photo: kalamu.com


8. Katori Hall

Katori Hall
Photo: Christine Cain-Weidner

The Mountaintop — 

9. Sigrid Gilmer

Sigrid Gilmer
Photo: Angela Webb

Harry and the Thief,

10. Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks
Photo: berkshireonstage.com

The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World.

11. Christina Anderson

Christina Anderson
Photo: Jake Chessum

The Ashes Under Gait City, Good Goods, Man in Love, Blacktop Sky, Hollow Roots, How to Catch Creation

12. Ifa Bayeza

Ifa Bayeza
Photo: chicagomag.com

The Ballad of Emmett Till, aAmistad Voices, Club HarlemHomer G and the Rhapsodies,

13. Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira
Photo: Justin Holt for Byrdie.com


If it's true that art should reflect the times, these ladies definitely have a finger on the pulse of the moment.

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