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 network of support, (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.

Creating opportunities for first-time playwrights of color to develop work and see it produced was something we could commit to immediately. So we did.

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 by all those who expressed interest that they were  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 we, as a group, decided to continue the Workshop with quarterly meetings, now under the direction of Artistic Director Jerry Rapier, providing regular opportunities for each member to share work with the group.

The Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop is a true community of color, one where those who often feel voiceless are creating the conversation. The work of its members is increasingly integral to each of our programs.

Full history of plays read in the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop

The Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop is Tatiana Christian, Chris Curtlett, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Bijan Hosseini, Tito Livas, Brandan Ngo, Iris Salazar, and Darryl Stamp. 

Alumni: Emilio Casillas, Olivia Custodio, Shane Mozaffari, and Peihui Wu.

Theatre Artists of Color Facebook group