Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop

We have produced Utah’s first world premiere by an Asian American playwright (2010) and Utah’s first world premiere by an African American playwright (2015). 

In June of 2017, we hosted the first-ever gathering of Theatre Artists of Color in Salt Lake City. We had three goals: (1) to get to know each other and create a stronger network, (2) to provide a space to discuss the challenges of working as theatre artists of color in and around Salt Lake City and (3) to dig deep to see what stories we are able to authentically explore onstage in future seasons and how we can diversify who writes them, who tells them onstage and who designs them. Fifty-one artists attended that gathering. The desire to tell stories was at the forefront of the conversation.

This was something we could take action on immediately!

So we organized the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop for the attendees who expressed interest. The Workshop was taught by Utah’s most produced playwright, Julie Jensen, in November and December of 2017. There was much discussion regarding whether a white playwright should teach this workshop – it was unanimously agreed that each potential participant was anxious to learn the craft specifically from Julie. She taught the basics of the craft; the writers wrote; a private showing was held in December of 2017.

Then three pieces were selected as the final reading of the 2017/18 Script-In-Hand Series.

Then we as a group decided to continue the Workshop with quarterly meetings, now under Jerry’s direction.

Then four pieces were selected as the as the final production of the 2018/19 season, …OF COLOR : DRIVER’S LICENSE, PLEASE by Olivia Custodio, THE FRAILEST THING by Bijan Hosseini, AMERICAN PRIDE by Iris Salazar and ROAR by Darryl Stamp, which we believe includes the first world premieres in Utah history by Latina and Persian playwrights.

The members of the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop are Christopher Curtlett, Olivia Custodio, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Bijan Hosseini, Tito Livas, Shane Mozaffari, Iris Salazar and Darryl Stamp.

Artists of Color please join the Theatre Artists of Color in Salt Lake City Facebook group!

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