Race, Class and Gender in Post-August Wilson Black Theatre

January 20, 2011

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Danai Gurira, Chuck Smith, Thomas Bradshaw, Kimberly Dixon, and Willa Taylor

August Wilson's Century Cycle helped introduce the world to the stories of African Americans in this country. But there are other playwrights--both Wilson’s contemporaries and predecessors--whose voices are as powerful as Wilson's but whose works are not being produced. For many, Wilson's work--and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun--define Black Theatre. What do the depictions of race and gender in these plays say about African Americans today? Are there stories that are not being told or produced because they do not fit this norm? And who gets to set that agenda? Join us as four panelists and a moderator discuss the landscape of African-American theater today and whether it produces a diversity of stories that reflects the realities of our society.

PANELISTS:

Chuck Smith, Goodman Resident Director

Kimberly Dixon, Managing Director, Chicago’s Literary Guild Complex

Thomas Bradshaw, playwright (his play Mary opens at the Goodman in February)

Danai Gurira, playwright (her play The Convert will be read immediately following the discussion)

Willa Taylor, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Goodman Theatre, moderates this discussion.

Recorded Saturday, January 15, 2011 at the Goodman Theatre.