Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. She has also received the National Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction. In addition to Desdemona her theatrical work includes writing the text for Margaret Garner (music composed by Richard Danielpour) and Dreaming Emmett, an published play directed by Gilbert Moses and performed at the Marketplace Capitol Repertory Theater of Albany. Ms. Morrison has written lyrics for Kathleen Battle (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Sylvia McNair, Jessye Norman, and Andre Previn. Ms. Morrison founded the Princeton Atelier which for fifteen years has brought actors, composers, writers, and artists of all genres together to work with students on the artists' own projects. Several of her novels including The Bluest Eye have been adapted for the stage.
Rokia Traoré is a Victoires de la Musique award-winning Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist.
Peter Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts in America and abroad. A visionary artist, Sellars is known for his groundbreaking interpretations of classic works.