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HomeTheatreAMERICAN THEATRE | Zharia O’Neal Is Sound Theatre’s First William S. Yellow...

AMERICAN THEATRE | Zharia O’Neal Is Sound Theatre’s First William S. Yellow Gown Playwright 

Zharia O’Neal.

SEATTLE: Sound Theatre has named Los Angeles playwright Zharia O’Neal the inaugural recipient of their new Making Waves William S. Yellow Gown Jr. Playwright Residency. Chosen out of 120 candidates from across the nation, O’Neal will obtain a $10,000 stipend, journey and housing reimbursement, and Sound Theatre’s in-house help in growing a brand new play. The residency is known as for the legendary late Native playwright.

“This new residency program will present a possibility for the playwright, Sound Theatre Firm, and our neighborhood to concentrate on how theatremaking can profit from participating in robust conversations,” mentioned Janet Hayatshahi, incoming professor of appearing at Seattle College, in a press release. “Zharia is a drive. Her dynamism is obvious each in her writing and in how she speaks about creating story. She is pushed by methods to articulate tales that look past conventional types, questioning current values and constructions, breaking their inflexible edges and permitting in a viewpoint completely different than the one anticipated.” 

Via the residency O’Neal will work on Roost, a comedy about Black girls’s expertise and relationship with actuality tv, media illustration, respectability politics, and hotep-ery. The residency will embody a neighborhood studying that may welcome suggestions in December 2022, and can result in a public staged studying in March 2023. O’Neal may even be instructing a playwriting course beginning January 2023 for college kids from underserved communities. which can culminate in a 10-minute play competition. The residency will take a hybrid format with Zoom and in-person occasions positioned in Seattle. 

“William S. Yellow Gown Jr. spoke in an interview about having to fill cultural information gaps and combat Native stereotypes within the improvement course of earlier than he may even start the essential work on his play,” mentioned O’Neal in a press release. “That’s the insidiousness of monolithic constructions—there’s a lot to work via earlier than you possibly can start your work. Creating numerous, culturally knowledgeable rooms provides us much less to work via earlier than we are able to get to the work. The room round a play builds it, so fill it properly…The reality is, if you wish to develop tales from BIPOC, intersectional playwrights that talk to their dynamic, kaleidoscopic experiences, you can not require them to be instructed in a sure method, form, and construction that’s acquainted or snug to you—that may ‘promise ticket gross sales.’”

O’Neal is a poet, playwright, and multi-medium storyteller from the British Virgin Islands. She identifies as an Afro-Caribbean Queer playwright. Her works embody the blood of hibiscus, Seven Stage Circle, and a poetry assortment, rottincrop.

Finalists for this residency will obtain honoraria, and they’re Alex Chand of Southlake, Texas, whose pattern, Avonte Oquendo, instructed the story of a 14-year-old autistic pupil in Queens, N.Y., who went lacking from college in 2013; Zachariah Ezer of Austin, who wrote The Stones of Life, a courtroom drama about māhū (a pre-colonial third gender) and the pōpolo (Black Hawaiians) in Nineteen Seventies Honolulu; Kennedy Dawson Healy of Chicago, whose pattern Care is a musical about 4 disabled folks and their care staff; and Wind Dell Woods of Tacoma, Wash., whose Aaliyah within the Underland is a hip-hop remix/Black feminist subversion of Alice in Wonderland.

The Making Waves Yellow Gown residency is being supported by the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts, Seattle Workplace of Financial Improvement’s Neighborhood Financial Restoration Fund, and the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Basis.  

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