Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop

We have produced Utah’s first world premiere by an Asian American playwright (2010), an African American playwright (2015) and Persian & Latina playwrights (2019).

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, where each playwright enjoys regular opportunities to share work with the group.

Then two more pieces were selected for one of the three slots of the 2018/19 Script-In-Hand Series as part of the 10th Annual Edward Lewis Theatre Festival.

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 included the first world premieres in Utah history by Latina and Persian playwrights.

The final slot of the 2019/20 Script-In-Hand Series will feature two short plays TBA as part of the 11th Annual Edward Lewis Theatre Festival.

The 2020/21 Season will feature LOCAL COLOR, comprised of short plays by the workshop participants not represented in …OF COLOR.

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

Alumni: Emilio Casillas, Shane Mozaffari and Peihui Wu.

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

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