Making the invisible visible : black women, Broadway, and post-blackness

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Jackson, Kristen Bailey

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Prior to the fall of 2011, only eight African American female playwrights had ever been produced on Broadway. In this context, the 2011-2012 Broadway season made theatre history when it featured the work of three black women playwrights: Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond, The Mountaintop by Katori Hall and an adaptation of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess by Suzan-Lori Parks. This project, which focuses on Diamond’s Stick Fly and Hall’s The Mountaintop as Broadway debuts of new plays, seeks to situate these works within a post-black aesthetic that rejects narrow and limiting constructions of blackness. This project also recognizes the significance of Diamond and Hall as female African American playwrights whose texts allow for complex representations of black womanhood, and proposes that the relationship between post-blackness and black feminism is fluid and permeable, allowing us to better understand both the meanings of blackness and the experiences of black women.



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