Sundance Playwrights Sound Off on Female Emergence, Blacklisting and Advocacy Group The Kilroys

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25 Jul 2014

Dominique Morisseau
Dominique Morisseau

Sundance Theatre Lab participants Dominique Morisseau, Annie Baker and Sheila Callaghan open up to Playbill.com about the roles women are playing in the theatre — both onstage and off.

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"We have the power of artists to move our society forward. We can't be behind it," Dominique Morisseau said, reflecting on the lack of diversity in theatre.

This diversity — sexual, racial and economic — was one of many topics that Morisseau, Annie Baker and Sheila Callaghan discussed with Playbill.com. The three playwrights are currently participating in the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, a three-week play development retreat designed to support the creation of new work by playwrights, directors, composers and librettists. And while all three playwrights are women, their experiences and work reflect a great deal of diversity.

Morisseau's Detroit '67 won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. She is also the author of Sunset Baby and Follow Me To Nellie's. Her produced one-acts include Third Grade; Black at Michigan; Socks; Roses Are Played Out; Love and Nappiness; love.lies.liberation; Bumrush; and The Masterpiece.

Baker, a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Flick, is also author of Body Awareness, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens and an adaptation of Uncle Vanya. At Sundance, she is writing and will direct The Last of the Little Hours.

Callaghan's works include Scab; Lascivious Something; Dead City; That Pretty Pretty (Or, The Rape Play); Everything You Touch; and Port Out, Starboard Home.

The trio of playwrights shared their opinions the list recently distributed by The Kilroys, personal advocation of work and the lack of diversity in the theatre.

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