'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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About the Author
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.
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 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. It is published in The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays. The House That Will Not Stand, a critical success which premiered at the Tricycle Theatre, London, in 2014, was published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.