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Black Playwrights Convening

16-17 January 2010 in Washington DC at Georgetown University

On 16-17 January 2010, the American Voices New Play Institute, in partnership with Georgetown University’s Theater and Performance Studies Program, invited more than thirty playwrights and institutional leaders to Washington, DC in order to address the pressing issues facing Black playwrights in the new play development sector. Given the death of revered playwright August Wilson, the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama, and the recent field-wide conversations about the state of Black theatre and new play development (including the Black Women Playwrights meeting in Chicago, the work of Farrell Foreman at the Bear Arts Foundation, and the ongoing inquiry into the state of Black theatre from the August Wilson Center), the Institute wanted to advance the inquiry around these specific questions: What stories are Black playwrights allowed to tell? What impact do the mainstream institutions, culturally specific institutions, and theater patrons have on these stories? How are these playwrights being nurtured? What are the next steps to further developing the field for these individuals?

Convening report: "Black Playwrights - Stories We Tell" by Janine Sobeck