Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the most acclaimed playwrights in American drama today. She is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama (for Topdog/Underdog in 2002), is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, was awarded the prestigious Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts, and was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave.” Her project 365 Days/365 Plays (where she wrote a play a day for an entire year) was produced in over 700 theatres worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theatre history. Her other plays include The Book of Grace, Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical, In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist), Venus (1996 Obie Award), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 Obie Award, Best New American Play), The America Play, and Fucking A. Her adaptation of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Her newest plays, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) – set during the Civil War – was awarded the Horton Foote Prize, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, and was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Ms. Parks has written numerous screenplays including Girl 6 for Spike Lee, and she adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for ABC Television’s “Oprah Winfrey Presents.” She is currently developing an original series for Amazon. Her first novel, Getting Mother’s Body (Random House, 2003), is a novel with songs and is set in the West Texas of her youth. Ms. Parks recently performed Watch Me Work, a free, weekly, live-streamed, writing workshop, open to artists of all disciplines. Her plays are published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Samuel French, and Dramatists Play Service. She is also at work on a stage-musical adaptation of the film The Harder They Come, and a new musical project in collaboration with Timbaland and Harmony Samuels. She is the Residency One playwright at Signature Theatre for their 2016-2017 Season and her band, Sula & The Noise, is also in residence. Ms. Parks teaches at New York University, and serves at The Public Theater as its Master Writer Chair. She is an alumna of New Dramatists and of Mount Holyoke College.

(As of January 2017)