[PAST EVENT] Africana First Friday with Isaiah Wooden

March 4, 2016
12pm - 1pm
Boswell Hall (formerly Morton Hall), Room 314
100 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Since his arrival onto the international theater scene in 2007, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney has distinguished himself as one of the most sophisticated commentators on the existential conditions of contemporary black life. He has also emerged as one of the most critically lauded and awarded playwrights of his generation, receiving, among other accolades, a ?Genius Grant? from the MacArthur Foundation in 2013. Sharpening focus on The Brothers Size, the middle drama in McCraney?s celebrated trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, this talk will examine some of the compelling ways McCraney interrogates the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality and space in his dramaturgy. In particular, I will explore how, by reimagining prison as a site of queer and erotic possibility in the play, McCraney opens crucial space to talk back to discourses that aim to suppress difference and, indeed, to pathologize blackness.

Isaiah Matthew Wooden?is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at American University where he teaches courses in the history, theory, and practice of theatre. An interdisciplinary scholar of twentieth and twenty-first century American drama and ?post? era black expressive culture, Dr. Wooden has published in academic and popular venues (Callaloo, Theatre Journal, Theatre Magazine,?and?The Huffington Post, among others) and has lectured at various universities and cultural institutions (most recently, Yale University, Trinity College, Ithaca College, and the Goethe-Institut). As a director, Dr. Wooden has staged a diverse range of canonical and new works both in the U.S. and abroad over the past decade?from A Raisin in the Sun to Beyond My Circle, the multidisciplinary performance he co-devised and presented at the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda. He holds a bachelor?s degree from Georgetown University and earned his Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University.?