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Black writers are having a moment with these three plays in North Texas

A woman stands on stage in front of a wooden table. She wears a white suit and raises her hands, smiling.
Smiley N. Pool/Staff Photographer
The Dallas Morning News
Denise Lee portrays Wiletta Mayer in a Dallas Theater Center production of "Trouble In Mind" at the Kalita Humphreys Theater on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Dallas.

Plays by Black playwrights have been showing up on Broadway and in regional theaters in unprecedented numbers.

Explore more stories from Arts Access.

Plays by Black writers are having a moment, hitting local and national stages in increasing numbers. It’s a trend fueled by a nationwide reckoning around race, which has thrust arts groups into action.

The trend is evident on Broadway and at regional theaters, including here in North Texas.

Kevin Moriarty, artistic director of Dallas Theater Center Black says writers are creating a “golden age of playwriting.”

Here’s where their work has been on display in the area.

‘Fairview’ at Undermain Theatre and Bishop Arts Theatre Center

The last four Pulitzer Prizes for Drama and five of the last six have gone to Black writers. That list includes 2019 winner "Fairview," written by Brooklyn playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury, which opened Oct. 21 in Dallas in a co-production by Undermain Theatre and the Bishop Arts Theatre Center.

In "Fairview," white characters watch and comment on a birthday party in an upper-middle-class Black household. The drama examines race in a highly conceptual, layered structure, bringing audiences into the actors’ community to face deep-seated prejudices.

‘Trouble in Mind’ at Dallas Theater Center

Through Oct. 29, "Trouble In Mind," a classic written by the late Alice Childress, will be performed by Dallas Theater Center at the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas.

"Trouble In Mind" is set in the mid-1950s on a stage at a Broadway theater in New York and focuses on racism and sexism in American theater.

‘What to Send Up When It Goes Down’ at Stage West Theatre

In April, Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth staged Aleshea Harris’ "What to Send Up When It Goes Down." The performance was dedicated to Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Fort Worth woman who was shot to death in 2019 inside her home by a Fort Worth police officer.

Manuel Mendoza contributed to this report.

Arts Access is a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and KERA that expands local arts, music and culture coverage through the lens of access and equity.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.

Tommy Cummings has worked at The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the San Francisco Chronicle as an editor/writer/digital producer.