I’ve already deemed 2016 the year of #BlackGirlMagic. 2015 gave us a plethora of Black women shattering glass ceilings in the arts (Misty Copeland! Viola Davis! Danai Gurira!) and I have hope that it will get even better in the new year. We have shows with more women of color gracing the screen and stage, both in front of audiences and behind the scenes.
Which is why Broadway Black has no choice but to share the release of Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works by Sandra Adell. If there is one voice that’s been undervalued on stage, it’s that of the Black woman. That’s what makes this anthology so great. It’s a combined work that includes prominent Black female playwrights and some up-and-coming writers.
It features works from contemporary Black female playwrights including Blue Door by Tanya Barfield; Levee James by S. M. Shephard-Massat; Hoodoo Love by Katori Hall; Carnaval by Nikkole Salter; Single Black Female by Lisa B. Thompson; Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine by Lynn Nottage; BlackTop Sky by Christina Anderson; Voyeurs de Venus by Lydia Diamond; Fedra by J. Nicole Brooks; and Uppa Creek: A Modern Anachronistic Parody in the Minstrel Tradition by Keli Garrett.
The description reads:
African American women have increasingly begun to see their plays performed from regional stages to Broadway. Yet many of these artists still struggle to gain attention. In this volume, Sandra Adell draws from the vital wellspring of works created by African American women in the twenty-first century to present ten plays by both prominent and up-and-coming writers. Taken together, the selections portray how these women engage with history as they delve into–and shake up–issues of gender and class to craft compelling stories of African American life. Gliding from gritty urbanism to rural landscapes, these works expand boundaries and boldly disrupt modes of theatrical representation.
Sandra Adell (Ph.D., UW–Madison) is a professor of Literature in the department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Comparative Literature. Her other works include Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen, Literary Masters: Toni Morrison, Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Culture: African American Culture, and Double Consciousness/Double Bind: Theoretical Issues in Twentieth-Century Black Literature.
Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works was released December 15th and is available for purchase in hardcopy, paperback, and digital copy at Amazon here.