'The impressive array of scholars gathered in this collection, all experts in the field, read the plays with nuance and situate them deftly within their cultural and historical contexts. Scholars of contemporary theater and drama and of African American literature will find value in this engaging collection.' – Choice
'For students and scholars of American theatre and drama generally and African American theatre and drama most particularly, this is an extremely valuable critical source.' – Harry Elam, Stanford University, USA
In the last fifty years, American and World theatre has been challenged and enriched by the rise to prominence of numerous female African American dramatists. Contemporary African American Women Playwrights is the first critical volume to explore the contexts and influences of these writers, and their exploration of black history and identity through a wealth of diverse, courageous and visionary dramas.
Kolin compiles a wealth of new essays, comprising:
- Yale scholar David Krasner on the dramatic legacy of Lorraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, Marita Bonner and Georgia Douglas Johnson
- individual chapters devoted to: Alice Childress, Sonia Sanchez, Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, Aishah Rahman, Glenda Dickerson, Anna Deavere Smith and Suzan Lori-Parks
- an essay and accompanying interview with Lynn Nottage
- comprehensive discussion of attendant theatrical forms, from choreopoems and surrealistic plays, to documentary theatre and civil rights dramas, and their use in challenging racial and gender hierarchies.
Contributors: Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Soyica Diggs, James Fisher, Freda Scott Giles, Joan Wylie Hall, Philip C. Kolin, David Krasner, Sandra G. Shannon, Debby Thompson, Beth Turner and Jacqueline Wood.