Wow! Last week I was surprised to learn that I was nominated for the prestigious Hope Professor of the Year Award at SMU! I was at the banquet but didn’t know I was an honoree!( damn glad I showed up, would’ve been embarrassed if I didn’t). Only a handful of faculty are nominated per year. Thank you to all the students who showed me love, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and have tried to contribute to the progress of the University. Thanks for this wonderful surprise!
Posted in NEWS
Tagged Academia, Dallas, DFW, Faculty, North Texas, Playwright, Professor, SMU, Southern Mehtodist University, Texas, Theater, Theater Department, Will Power
Last week worked on three new pieces-an exploration or a young Malcolm X with Arts Emerson and The Alliance Theater, a socio-political-gospel musical called Wade in the Water with Center Theater Group and possibly Dallas Theater Center, and a third new piece don’t know who I’m going to partner with but started writing that one and it feels good. Nothing like an evil president and dire world situations to crank up creativity, sending it into overdrive.
SOME GREAT NEWS, I HAVE BEEN GIVEN A 2016 DORIS DUKE ARTIST AWARD!
The 2016 Artists are: Kyle Abraham (Dance), Sharon Bridgforth (Theatre), DaveDouglas (Jazz),Faye Driscoll (Dance), Janie Geiser (Theatre), MiguelGutierrez (Dance), Fred Hersch (Jazz), Wayne Horvitz (Jazz), Taylor Mac (Theatre),Dianne McIntyre (Dance), Jason Moran (Jazz), Mark Morris (Dance), Lynn Nottage(Theatre), Thaddeus Phillips (Theatre), Will Power (Theatre), Aparna Ramaswamy (Dance), Matana Roberts (Jazz), Jen Shyu (Jazz), Wadada Leo Smith (Jazz), Morgan Thorson (Dance), Henry Threadgill (Jazz).
Thank you to the Doris Duke Foundation for this great honor.
More info on the Doris Duke Award.
My play, Fetch Clay, Make Man has just been released domestically and internationally on Overlook Press.
Purchase book here:
Posted in FETCH CLAY MAKE MAN, NEWS, PHOTOS
Tagged Atlanta Arts, FETCH CLAY, Make Man, Marin Theater, McCarter Theater, New York Arts, New York Theater Workshop, Playwright, Roundhouse Theater Company, True Colors Theater, Will Power
I am honored to received a renewal on the Andrew W. Mellon Residency at the Dallas Theater Center. The renewal will allow me to create more plays and musicals, continue to initiate programs and initiatives, and further engage the communities that reside in Dallas, Texas. In the first three years I was able to write a number of works for the stage, including Fetch Clay, Make Man which had it’s NY premiered at New York theater Workshop and is now being produced in regional theaters, Steel Hammer with SITI Company which premiered at Humana before going on to a successful run at the Brooklyn Academy of music, and Stagger Lee, an epic musical that was premiered at the Dallas Theater Center last year. Through the Residency I was also able to focus on mentoring a number of emerging writers in the area, includingJonathan Norton, who just received his first commission at a LORT Theater and is who is a rising star with an incredible powerful and authentic voice.
I was also able to continue to advocate for more diversity and inclusion at the theater in a variety of ways (being on committees, being a part of the interviewing new candidates for positions, etc). For these next three years, I have a few new works in development. We are also expanding the playwrighting initiative that I created to now include various folks in the community. I am thankful to everyone at the Mellon Foundation of this opportunity.
Steel Hammer opens tonight at BAM. I am honored to be a collaborator on this amazing project. Flying into NY tomorrow to see it. Hope to see yall there!
Check preview articles here:
American Theatre Magazine
Always happy to spend time in Atlanta, where culture is king-where else can you get vegan soulfood and raw southern cuisine that taste heck good? (Ok maybe in Brooklyn too). By chance two of my works where being produced and performed at the same time-my Play Fetch Clay, Make Man at True Colors, and at Spelman College, my Solo piece Flow (which has been reimagined as an ensemble work and done at colleges and theater throughout the country-who would’ve known?). Also my Mom lives down there, so was able to see her which was and is always special. The opening night of Fetch Clay was awesome, with the crowd of mostly African-Americans giving so much love and vocal feedback back to the actors. The Superman shows I wasn’t able to attend, but did sit in on a rehearsal, and very much enjoyed meeting and connecting with the students from Spelman and I assume Morehouse and Clark that skillfully brought the piece to life in 2015. Some of the issues I was exploring in the work 10-12 years ago are still very relevant today-in a way that’s a bit depressing but perhaps it’s a good thing that young folkscan find these older works that speak to them and utilize them to carry on and continue to push for social and spiritual change. A special thanks to Aku Kadogo for bringing Flow to Spelman and directing it. Also a very special thanks to Kenny Leon and everyone at True Colors as well as the cast for bringing this work to Atlanta.
Posted in FETCH CLAY, FETCH CLAY MAKE MAN, NEWS, PHOTOS
Tagged Atlanta, Clark University, Kenny Leon, Morehouse College, Playwrighting, Spelman College, Theater, True Colors Theater, Will Power
I am thrilled to be a part of this very special collaboration. Steel Hammer, a mythological, fantastical deconstruction of the tale of John Henry, is being created by Ann Bogart and SITI Company, the Bang on the Can Orchestra, and four playwrights-Carl Hancock Rux, Kia Corthron, Regina Taylor and me. The piece premiered to sold out audiences and rave reviews at last year’s Humana Festival, and is set to begin a severely cool national tour this fall, culminating in a week-long run at Brooklyn Academy of Music in December. The schedule is:
*Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – September 26, 2015
*Center for the Art of Performance, UCLA – October 23 & 24, 2015
*University of Virginia, Blacksburg – November 17, 2015
*OZ Nashville – November 20 & 21, 2015
*Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival (NY Premiere) – December 2-6, 2015.
If you can make it to one of these cities (I plan to be at BAM in New York, please feel free to join us!)
Wow, this is the most comprehensive documentation of one of my works that has ever occurred. Check out the link below, there are radio pieces, in-depth video interviews, and some amazing footage of the developmental process of our musical Stagger Lee. Part 3 comes out soon. When you’re in it, it’s hard to think about documentation, I am excited that KERA and Jerome Weeks have preserved the process-really great work here! (Click Image Below to Enter Story)