Overview

'Post-black' refers to an emerging trend within black arts to find new and multiple expressions of blackness, unburdened by the social and cultural expectations of blackness of the past and moving beyond the conventional binary of black and white.

Reflecting this multiplicity of perspectives, the plays in this collection explode the traditional ways of representing black families on the American stage, and create new means to consider the interplay of race, with questions of class, gender, and sexuality. They ...
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The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays

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Overview

'Post-black' refers to an emerging trend within black arts to find new and multiple expressions of blackness, unburdened by the social and cultural expectations of blackness of the past and moving beyond the conventional binary of black and white.

Reflecting this multiplicity of perspectives, the plays in this collection explode the traditional ways of representing black families on the American stage, and create new means to consider the interplay of race, with questions of class, gender, and sexuality. They engage and critique current definitions of black and African-American identity, as well as previous limitations placed on what constitutes blackness and black theatre.

Written by the emerging stars of American theatre such as Eisa Davis and Marcus Gardley, the plays explore themes as varied as family and individuality, alienation and gentrification, and reconciliation and belonging. They demonstrate a wide-range of formal and structural innovations for the American theatre, and reflect the important ways in which contemporary playwrights are expanding the American dramatic canon with new and diverse means of representation.

Edited by two leading US scholars in black drama, Harry J. Elam Jr (Stanford) and Douglas A. Jones Jr (Princeton), this cutting edge anthology gathers together some of the most exciting new American plays, selected by a rigorous academic backbone and explored in depth by supporting critical material.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408176559
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/20/2012
  • Series: Play Anthologies
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 1,224,797
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Eisa Davis was the 2012 Alpert Award winner in Theatre and a 2013 Obie Award winner for Sustained Excellence in Performance. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Bulrusher, and wrote and starred in Angela's Mixtape, named a best of 2009 by the New Yorker.

A former Playwright-in-Residence at Magic Theater, Christina Anderson has gained two PONY nominations, two Susan Smith Blackburn nominations, a Lorraine Hansberry Award, a Wasserstein Prize nomination (Dramatists Guild), and a Lucille Lortel Fellowship (Brown University). Her plays include Good Goods, Man in Love, Inked Baby, Blacktop Sky, Hollow Roots, and Drip. Her work has appeared at Steppenwolf, Penumbra, Yale Rep, A.C.T., The Public Theater, Crowded Fire, and other theatres across the US and UK. Anderson was born and raised in Kansas City, KS.

Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who was awarded the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. His most recent play, Every Tongue Confess, premiered at Arena Stage, Washington. His musical, On The Levee, premiered at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. His play, And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, was produced at The Cutting Ball Theater, San Francisco, and received the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination for outstanding new play.

Robert O'Hara received the 2010 NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed by Danai Guiria. He received 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an OBIE Award for his Direction of the World Premiere of the critically acclaimed In The Continuum at Primary Stages. He wrote and directed the World Premiere of Insurrection: Holding History at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the piece received the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Undergraduate Acting Program at the NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.

J. Nicole Brooks is an actor, director and playwright. As an actor she has appeared in Summertime directed by Joy Gregory, and Race directed by David Schwimmer. Brooks also wrote the Jeff Award nominated political satire Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten which she co-directed with David Catlin. Brooks is a member of Lookingglass, a theatre ensemble based in the US.

Nikkole Salter is an actor and playwright who is known for her co-authorship of In the Continuum with Danai Gurira. For its Off-Broadway run and US State Department and Bloomberg sponsored international tour, Salter received an OBIE Award (2006), and the NY Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Award for Best New American Play (2006), the Seldes-Kanin fellowship from the Theatre Hall of Fame, and the Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations. Another play, Carnaval, was selected to be a part of The New Black Fest 2011-2012 season and received its world premiere to great acclaim as part of Luna Stage's twentieth anniversary season.

Danai Gurira is a playwright and actor. Her plays include Eclipsed, which received premiere productions at the Wooly Mammoth, Center Theater Group and Yale Repertory Theater. It recently won Best New play at the 2010 Helen Hayes Awards as well as Danai winning Best Playwright at the NAACP Theater Awards in August 2010. She co-created and performed in the award-winning two woman play In the Continuum, which premiered off-Broadway and toured the U.S. and Southern Africa. For her work on that production, Danai won a 2006 Obie Award, the 2006 Outer Critics John Gassner Award, and the 2004 Global Tolerance' Award (Friends of the United Nations), in addition to being honored by the Theatre Hall of Fame. Gurira is currently a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University. She is also a commissioned playwright with Yale Rep. She received her MFA in Acting from Tisch, NYU. Danai Gurira was born in the U.S. to Zimbabwean parents and raised in Zimbabwe. She lives in New York City.

Diana Son is the author of the plays Stop Kiss, Satellites, BOY, R.A.W. ('Cause I'm a Woman) and others. Stop Kiss and Satellites premiered at the Public Theater in NYC. Stop Kiss won the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production and Diana won the Berilla Kerr Award for playwriting. Stop Kiss has been produced at hundreds of theatres nationally and abroad.

Young Jean Lee is an OBIE award-winning playwright and director who has been called 'the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation' by the New York Times and 'one of the best experimental playwrights in America' by Time Out New York. She has written and directed nine shows in New York with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company and toured her work to over twenty cities around the world.

Harry J. Elam is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities, and the Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He is author of Taking it to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka; The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson, winner of the Errol Hill Award; and co-editor of African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader; Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama; The Fire This Time: African American Plays for the New Millennium and Black Cultural Traffic: Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture. His articles have appeared in American Drama, Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly as well as journals in Israel, Belgium, Poland and Taiwan and also in several critical anthologies.

Douglas A. Jones, Jr. is Cotsen Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Department of English. He has published several articles and book chapters that span a wide array of issues in (African) American cultural and literary history, race and performance, and American dramatic literature. His first book, The Captive Stage: Black Exception, Performance, and the Proslavery Imagination of the Anetbellum North, is forthcoming from University of Michigan Press. In fall of 2013, he will join the English faculty at Rutgers University.

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