Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays: A Biographical Directory and Dramatic Index is a comprehensive reference work, providing, in encyclopedia format, a convenient source of information on more than 700 contemporary black American and U.S. resident dramatists, screenwriters, radio and television scriptwriters, musical theatre collaborators, and other originators of theatrical and dramatic works, written, produced, and/or published between 1950 and the present. In this Preface, all these writers are called playwrights, and their works are called plays.
Information contained in Contemporary Black American Playwrights will be of obvious value to producers, directors, agents, performing groups, other playwrights, and all persons connected with the theatre. As a reference tool, it will be of inestimable value to graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, librarians, and individuals and institutions engaged in black studies, black literature, or black drama.
The Directory is not a "Who's Who Among Contemporary Black American Playwrights." It represents and includes a wide range of writers, from wellknown dramatists (whose reputations in the American theatre and/or their respective media have been securely established and who have been awarded or nominated for one or more of the coveted annual dramatic prizes) to little-known playwrights whose plays have been produced primarily by regional, community, educational, or church-related theatre groups, or which remain largely unproduced.
The information contained in Contemporary Black American Playwrights has been based primarily on the continuing research and the collection of black theatre materials by the writer over a period of more than 20 years, as well as on questionnaires, telephone calls, and mailgrams to more than 2,000 playwrights, directors, agents, heads of theatrical and writers' organizations, and other resource persons in the fields of black American drama and theatre.
The playwrights included in the Directory were selected from a list of nearly