Kia Corthron created and acted out stories as a child in her home in Cumberland, Maryland. However, it was her first playwriting class, taken her senior year in college, that convinced her to pursue the art in earnest. She earned a BA in communications at the University of Maryland at College Park, and after graduation she settled in the Washington, D.C., area. Corthron was selected for a year-long workshop at George Washington University under the direction of playwright Lonnie Carter. Four years later, she moved to New York City to study playwriting at Columbia University. She received her MFA in playwriting in 1992 and currently resides in New York City.
Corthron is a member of the Women's Project Playwrights Lab, Playwrights Horizons' African-American Playwrights Project, and the Dramatists Guild.
Kia Corthron combines political and social issues with richly textured characters and original, rhythmic language. Yet, her explorations of private pain are suffused with humor and hope. In Cage Rhythm, Corthron delineates the lives of women inside a prison. Through the gritty depictions of Avery, T. J., Montana and other women, she addresses the issues of racial inequality in sentencing (white women go to rehab after being arrested for drug use, black women go to prison) and the dissolution of the family unit when women are incarcerated. However, these issues never overshadow the real lives of these women who are struggling, each in their various ways, to survive. Avery, a drug addict, relies on Narcotics Anonymous and astral projection to keep her going. In her projections she joins her children on idyllic jaunts in the park; in reality, her chil