A conversation with Dael Orlandersmith; actor, playwright, and poet.
December 4, 2015
About the Work: Dael Orlandersmith. Part of the Guest Artist series at the School of Drama, The New School.
Conversation involved exploring complex stories as artists.
DAEL ORLANDERSMITH (playwright, Lady in Denmark) collaborated with the Goodman on Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men during the 2012-2013 season and Stoop Stories during the 2009-2010 season. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Orlandersmith first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, DC’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. Her new play Forever, commissioned by the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles ,was performed at the Mark Taper Forum last fall. The show was then performed at the Long Wharf Theatre in winter 2015 and New York Theatre Workshop in spring 2015; it will be performed at Portland Center Stage this fall. Orlandersmith is currently working on a play about the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Her play Horsedreams was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011. Bones was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum, where it premiered in 2010. Orlandersmith premiered The Blue Album, in collaboration with David Cale, at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007. Yellowman was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with the Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman in 2002. The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and was performed to great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick in 1999. Her play Monster premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. Ms. Orlandersmith has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Yellowman and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim, and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter.