Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Jane T. Peterson; Suzanne Bennett | Go to book overview

SUZAN-LORI PARKS

( 1964- )


BIOGRAPHY

Born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, the daughter of an Army man, Parks traveled across the United States, from Texas to Vermont, until the family was transferred to Germany where she attended junior high school and quickly learned to speak German. She remembers her childhood fondly because of the way her parents experienced the places they lived. After graduating from Mt. Holyoke with a BA in English and German literature and thinking that she wanted to become an actress, Parks studied at the Drama Studio, London, where she received a postgraduate degree in 1986.

Her interest in playwriting was piqued earlier through a writing class she took with James Baldwin, who suggested that she try plays because of her fondness for writing dialogue. Parks's emergence into theatre-world visibility was explosive. Productions of parts of Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom at BACA Downtown, Fringe Series, in Brooklyn, New York, beginning in 1986, attracted such attention that the theatre opened its 1989 season with all four parts of Parks's play, the first time the theatre had brought back any work for a second showing. The play was well received, and the Manhattan Theatre Club presented Part 4 in 1990, the year it won an Obie for Best Play. The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World followed with presentations at BACA and a production at Yale Repertory's 1992 Winterfest, where she shared a bill with veteran playwrights Colette Brooks and Maria Irene Fornes. Parks was interviewed, and her works were heralded by serious critics, analyzed in theatre journals, and widely published.

Her work has found a home at several major nonprofit theatres, including the Public Theatre in New York, as well as Yale Rep and the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, and a major interpreter in director Liz Dia

-270-

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Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction: The Challenges of Diversity 1
  • The Sista Masses (1970s-1990s): African American Women Playwrights 7
  • Brave, Bold, and Poetic: The New Generation of Asian American Women Playwrights 13
  • Beyond the Festival Latino: (Re)Defining Latina Drama for the Mainstage 17
  • Lesbian Playwrights: Diverse Interests, Identities, and Styles 27
  • PLAYWRIGHTS 35
  • Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro 37
  • Claudia Allen 42
  • Lynne Alvarez 45
  • Jane Anderson 49
  • Valetta Anderson 53
  • Janis Astor Del Valle 56
  • Jeannie Barroga 59
  • Martha Boesing 63
  • Claire Chafee 69
  • Jane Chambers 72
  • Eugenie Chan 76
  • Denise ChÁvez 79
  • Theresa Chavez 83
  • Kitty Chen 87
  • Pearl Cleage 90
  • Kathleen Collins 94
  • Kia Corthron (1961- ) 97
  • Clare Coss 101
  • Migdalia Cruz 104
  • Linda Faigao-Hall 109
  • Evelina Fernandez (1954- ) 112
  • Five Lesbian Brothers (fl. 1989- ) 116
  • Maria Irene Fornes (1930- ) 120
  • J. E. Franklin 128
  • Terry Galloway 131
  • Terry Garner 135
  • P. J. Gibson 137
  • Gloria Gonzalez (1940- ) 142
  • Silvia Gonzalez S. (1958- ) 145
  • Judy Grahn (1940- ) 150
  • Jessica Hagedorn 153
  • Wendy Hammond 157
  • Kim Hines 160
  • Endesha Ida Mae Holland 163
  • Velina Hasu Houston 166
  • Holly Hughes 171
  • Naomi Iizuka 175
  • Marsha A. Jackson 178
  • Mercilee M. (lee) Jenkins 181
  • Julie Jensen 184
  • Michael Angel Johnson 188
  • Karen Jones-Meadows 191
  • June Jordan 194
  • Honour Kane 197
  • Adrienne Kennedy 201
  • Susan Kim 206
  • Tina Landau 209
  • Cherylene Lee 212
  • Lisa Loomer 216
  • Josefina LÓpez 220
  • Nikki Nojima Louis 223
  • Lynn Martin 226
  • Robbie Mccauley 230
  • Cassandra Medley 234
  • Marlane Meyer 238
  • Susan Miller (1944- ) 242
  • Chiori Miyagawa (1961- ) 246
  • CherrÍe Moraga (1952- ) 249
  • Lesli-Jo Morizono 254
  • Phyllis Nagy 256
  • Lynn Nottage 260
  • Madeleine Olnek 264
  • Monica Palacios 267
  • Suzan-Lori Parks 270
  • Estela Portillo-Trambley 276
  • Dolores Prida 279
  • Aishah Rahman (1937- ) 283
  • Sandra Rodgers (1956- ) 287
  • Kate Moira Ryan (1966- ) 290
  • Milcha Sanchez-Scott 293
  • Joan Schenkar 297
  • Ntozake Shange 302
  • Anna Deavere Smith 307
  • Beverly Smith-Dawson 312
  • Diana Son 316
  • Split Britches 318
  • Caridad Svich 323
  • Regina Taylor 327
  • Carmelita Tropicana 330
  • Alice Tuan 334
  • Edit Villarreal 337
  • Paula Vogel 340
  • Lucy Wang 345
  • Cheryl L. West 349
  • Elizabeth Wong 353
  • Charlayne Woodard 356
  • Marian 358
  • Wakako Yamauchi 362
  • Shay Youngblood 366
  • Appendix A Playwrights by Cultural/Ethnic Grouping 371
  • Appendix B Additional Playwrights 375
  • Appendix C Nominators--Theatres 377
  • Appendix D Nominators--Individuals 379
  • Selected Bibliography 381
  • Index 385
  • About the Authors 400
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