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As Soho Rep. launches debbie tucker green’s play generations, we hope to pique your interest in the work of Black-British playwrights. generations will be Soho Rep.’s second production of green’s work, following 2010’s born bad. There is a rich vein of writing across the UK by writers who identify as black, Asian (Indian/Pakistani/other south Asian countries), and Caribbean. The National Theatre created this archive to make this production history available to all. The project was executed by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Simeilia HodgeDallaway. debbie tucker green is a featured playwright. Click here to explore this amazing resource.

A screen shot from The National Theatre’s Black Plays Archive, featuring an introductory video by the playwright and Baltimore CentreStage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah

The National Theatre writes the following:

“The National Theatre’s Black Plays Archive project was initiated by the playwright and former NT Associate Kwame Kwei-Armah, who expressed a wish to explore and engage with African, Caribbean and black British writers produced in the UK, a number of which had been largely forgotten.

The playwright Roy Williams, whose work was featured in Soho Rep.'s 2010 Black-British Festival of Play Readings

The playwright Roy Williams, whose work was featured in Soho Rep.’s 2010 Festival of Black-British Play Readings

The aim of the project is to document the first professional production of every play by black British, African and Caribbean writers in the UK. The Black Plays Archive does not include performance poetry and art, readings, revues, cabaret, recitations, sketches or puppet shows. The project focuses solely on the premieres of these plays and as a result does not provide information for all subsequent productions.

 Aim

The Black Plays Archive seeks to engage with the discourse on the development of African, Caribbean and black British theatre in the UK. It follows the work of a number of organisations and projects such as ‘Blackgrounds and Blackstage’ (Talawa/V&A), Future Histories, ‘Moving Here’ (National Archives and partners) and Unfinished Histories.

Playwright Bola Agbaje who was also featured in Soho Rep.'s 2010 Festival of Black-British Play Readings. (Photograph: Ibbolya Feher for the Guardian)

Playwright Bola Agbaje who was also featured in Soho Rep.’s 2010 Festival of Black-British Play Readings. (Photograph: Ibbolya Feher for the Guardian)

The Black Plays Archive defines the use of ‘black’ to refer to playwrights of African and/or Caribbean heritage and covers a wide range of ethnic identities and hugely varied heritage. Ideas on what constitutes Britishness, blackness and culture continue to be fiercely debated and developing a project that begins to map this history in UK inevitably raises more questions than it answers. The Black Plays Archive aims to provide a more effective way of making archival material available and easy to access in order to address the forgotten histories of black playwrights and practitioners in the UK.”

Click here to explore this amazing resource.

Playwright Mustapha Matura, one of the greatest West Indian-British dramatists.

Playwright Mustapha Matura, one of the greatest West Indian-British dramatists.

 

One Response to “The National Theatre’s Black-British Play Archive”

  1. Adam Garth says:

    This is a National Black Theatre Treasure! No other theatre in New York dares to go out on this sort of limb.
    Please consider the plays of Winsome Pinnock (if you haven’t already).
    Cheers
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