Valencia, CA, November 14, 2017—ArtChangeUS (Arts in a Changing America)
and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
announce the release of the second edition of the groundbreaking anthology Contemporary Plays by Women of Color
(Routledge Press, 2017), edited by ArtChangeUS Director Roberta Uno
“The need for the voices in this anthology—and the voices of the vast diversity of the people of this country—is critical,” says editor Uno, “Women of color and our communities embody the transformational promise of a new America. The plays of this volume are evidence of this change—artistically brilliant, original, eclectic, and not simply relevant—they are written for a future that is already present in a demographically shifting America.”
Gathering some of theater’s leading artists—artists—including playwright, performer and CalArts faculty member Marissa Chibas, acclaimed actress and Tony Award-winning playwright Danai Gurira and Pulitzer Prize recipient Quiara Alegría Hudes, Contemporary Plays by Women of Color is a cornerstone in the conversation of diversity in the arts. Updated for the first time in two decades, the anthology preserves and ensures access to the significant and too-often unheard contributions from women of color in theater.
Each of the anthology’s 22 works shares a distinctive and fiercely independent perspective from a leading playwright in contemporary theater. From a cartel-wracked Texas border town to an early-aughts rebel camp in civil-war-torn Liberia, women in Contemporary Plays by Women of Color,
protagonists and playwrights alike, navigate their relationships to each other, to their communities and their cultures, and to dominant historical narratives that have long hidden their voices.
Two events in Southern California will celebrate the book’s publication.
Uno and and Duende CalArts director Chibas, will host a launch event featuring staged readings from the book at the Autry Museum of the American West in in Los Angeles. The event takes place in the Autry’s Wells Fargo Theater on Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. and is part of their acclaimed Native Voices series. CalArts School of Theater students will read selections from plays including What Would Crazy Horse Do? by Larisa FastHorse, The Wong Street Journal by Kristina Wong, Dionna Michelle Daniel’s Gunshot Medley and Chibas’ Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary.
“The writers in this anthology have been major sources of inspiration for me, and it is an honor to be included with them,” said Chibas. “Their voices are not heard enough in our culture. They call out to us, with great passion, skill, and strength, to see ourselves in our fullest hues. In these stories, we encounter communities who, all too often, have been shut out of the theater. At a moment when much is being discussed about our systems of exclusion, these plays offer a way forward by bringing to light voices that have frequently been silenced.”
ArtChangeUS Performing Arts Fellow Morgan Camper will host a second celebration with staged readings on the CalArts campus in Valencia on Thursday, December 7 at 4:30 p.m. Featuring anthology contributors and students from the CalArts School of Theater, readings are directed by multidisciplinary artist Manon Manavit, an MFA candidate in the Directing Program in CalArts’s School of Theater.
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.