Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Jeremy O. Harris Talks SLAVE PLAY, Race and Sexuality in American Theatre

The talk also featured cast members Chalia La Tour and Ato Blankson-Wood, and Playwright C.A. Johnson.

Jeremy O. Harris Talks SLAVE PLAY, Race and Sexuality in American Theatre

Last week, Jeremy O. Harris joined Tony-nominated cast members of Slave Play, Chalia La Tour and Ato Blankson-Wood, in a talk hosted by the Human Rights Campaign for a celebration of the play and a conversation centered on race and sexuality in the American theater. Playwright C.A. Johnson also joined the conversation, which was moderated by HRC chairwoman Jodie Patterson and hosted by HRC president Alphonso David.

Harris talked about why he does theater and what it means to him, Variety reports.

"I do theater because theater is the first political form," he said. "In the commodification of the industry, we've forgotten that. In the 'Wicked' and 'Rent' of it all, we forgot that theater is supposed to affect the catharsis to make people do something differently in their lived lives and real communities."

He also discussed what it's like being a Black, queer person on Broadway, and members of those communities need their stories to be told.

"There are so many collective nightmares that we as Black people, we as queer people, women in the room, have had to deal with, and only five of us have told the story," said Harris. "Literally, there are only two other Black men who are alive right now who have written plays that have gone to Broadway in the last 40 years: Tarell McCraney, and George C. Wolfe."

Because of this, Harris, the producers of "Slave Play" and the Human Rights Campaign launched the Golden Collection. As BroadwayWorld previously reported, this archive of 15 essential Black plays will be donated to public libraries and community centers in all 50 states and territories.

"I started having conversations about what to do with this chunk of money that people usually stow away for awards campaigns, and it started to feel really icky that I had resources from a play about systematic racism that weren't going anywhere near the people who needed them most," Harris explained.

Read more on Variety.

Regional Awards

Related Stories

More Hot Stories For You


Photos: First Look at New Line Theatre's SOMETHING ROTTENPhotos: First Look at New Line Theatre's SOMETHING ROTTEN
September 25, 2022

New Line Theater will present SOMETHING ROTTEN Sept. 22-Oct. 15, 2022, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, all at 8:00 p.m., at the Marcelle Theater. Check out photos of the production here.

Pearlman Music Program Suncoast Announces 22/23 SeasonPearlman Music Program Suncoast Announces 22/23 Season
September 25, 2022

Lisa Berger, executive director of The Perlman Music Program Suncoast (Perlman Suncoast), announced that the PMP Winter Residency will be returning to Sarasota from December 28 through January 7—after a two-year hiatus.

Tony Danza, Chita Rivera, and More to Play 54 Below Next WeekTony Danza, Chita Rivera, and More to Play 54 Below Next Week
September 25, 2022

Next week, 54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, presents some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz, and beyond. A recipient of the 2022 Tony Awards® Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, 54 Below celebrates Broadway musicals and writers of the past and present, promoting an ongoing engagement with their work.

THEN SHE RAN to Play Scranton Fringe Festival Starting This MonthTHEN SHE RAN to Play Scranton Fringe Festival Starting This Month
September 25, 2022

The creators of Then She Ran, a new 90-minute musical, have announced that Catie Davis will be directing three performances of the show during the weekend of September 30th through October 2nd, 2022 as part of the Scranton Fringe Festival.  Ms. Davis is an accomplished New York City director, and an Associate Director of Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge, both of which are currently on Broadway.

LEGENDS OF SWING By Moonriver Duo Will Play Agrovino Wine Bar LofouLEGENDS OF SWING By Moonriver Duo Will Play Agrovino Wine Bar Lofou
September 25, 2022

LEGENDS OF SWING by MOONRIVER DUO will play Agrovino Wine Bar Lofou on Thursday 27 October 8pm. Tickets: €15. Doors open at 7pm.