BHM Heroes: Suzan Lori-Parks

During the month of February, BRTW ensemble members are selecting personal Black heroes to highlight everyday. These heroes may have spoken the magic words that first made them see their Black beauty, the people who inspired them to become artists, or even the person who taught them how to make proper mixed greens.

Suzan Lori-Parks has a special place in my heart. She is the playwright behind such works as Father Comes Home From the Wars, In the Blood, Venus, and Topdog Underdog. But she is also a screenwriter, novelist and poet. She made history with Topdog Underdog by becoming the first African American woman to receive a Pulitzer prize in drama. She is a recipient of the MacArthur genius award and has garnered several grants from esteemed places such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Ford foundation and the Rockefeller foundation. She holds a doctorate from Brown University and cites James Baldwin as her greatest writing mentor.

If you don’t already know her work, then you are committing an egregious act. TopDog Underdog is my dream play. I have been trying to produce this play for 5 years, unsuccessfully. It shall happen, or I will die trying!

Her love of the fantastical, myths, Goddesses and Gods have inspired her works. Her plays always seem to match magical realism with an adept examination into pop culture. Pulling from cultural references and American history, her plays are windows into the revolution.

Here’s an introductory video into Suzan Lori-Parks’ work below:

Jovan Davis,
Ensemble Member