While the past decade proved to be some of the most tumultuous times in modern US history, the Black community has been resilient, opening up dialogues and sustaining advocacy. Nowhere has this been more apparent than at the Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival in New York City.
Since being founded in 2009, this theater festival has become the destination for emerging and early career playwrights from the African diaspora. Inequality in education and healthcare, skewed and negative images of Black people in mainstream media, racism in policing, widespread gentrification and its effects on multi-generational Black neighbourhoods, and the growth of Black love; these conversations have been happening in the US, and The Fire This Time Festival
has borne witness.
25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resilience, Rebirth, and Black Theater
reflects this fantastic legacy, containing 25 ten-minute plays originally produced by the eponymous festival. Together, these pieces bookend the Black experience in the US from 2009 to the present day: from the hope for further progress and equity under the Obama administration, to the existential threat faced by Black people under the Trump presidency.
Edited and curated by Kelley Nicole Girod, the anthology divides the plays into seven thematic sections concerning multi-faceted aspects of the Black experience, featuring work by seminal writers such as Katori Hall, Antoinette Nwandu, Dominique Morisseau, C.A. Johnson, and Marcus Gardley. Both timely and timeless, 25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival
presents an exciting, eclectic mix of 21st century theater that is perfect for study, performance, and reflection.