Erika Dickerson-Despenza Headshot

Erika Dickerson-Despenza

Birth Place: Chicago, IL

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Erika Dickerson-Despenza BIO

Erika Dickerson-Despenza is a Blk feminist poet-playwright, cultural worker, educator and grassroots organizer from Chicago, Illinois. She's the recipient of the 2019 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting/Fellowship at New Dramatists and was a 2018 Relentless Award Semifinalist. She’s the 2019-2020 Tow Playwright-in-Residence at the Public Theater, a 2019 Writers' Gathering Jerusalem Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 New York Stage and Film Fellow-in-Residence, a 2019 New Harmony Project Writer-in-Residence, a 2018-2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and was The Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellow. Erika is a 2019-2020 member of Ars Nova Play Group and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Obie-winning Youngblood collective. Her work has been developed at The Lark, Vineyard Arts Project, New York Stage and Film, Public Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Fault Line Theatre and Jackalope Theatre. Current plays in development include: ocean's lip/ heavn's shore, took/tied, hung/split, shadow/land, and cullud wattah (2019 Kilroys List; Public Theater, 2020). In addition to this water tetralogy, Erika is developing a 10-play Katrina Cycle, including [hieroglyph] (2019 Kilroys List), focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its state-sanctioned man-made disaster.

Erika Dickerson-Despenza Photos

Erika Dickerson-Despenza Awards and Nominations

Drama Desk Awards - 2022 - Outstanding Play

Erika Dickerson-Despenza, cullud wattah

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2022 - John Gassner Award

Erika Dickerson-Despenza, cullud wattah

Erika Dickerson-Despenza Videos

Erika Dickerson-Despenza News

The New Harmony Project Announces Inaugural PlayFest Indy

The New Harmony Project introduces PlayFest Indy, a new festival celebrating innovative plays and playwrights in Indianapolis.
Rattlestick Theater Reveals Alex Lin and Kanishk Pandey as 2024-2025 Van Lier New Voices Fellows

Rattlestick Theater will host playwrights Alex Lin and kanishk pandey as its 2024-25 Van Lier New Voices Fellows. This program provides substantial support to two emerging playwrights of color annually, including a $35,000 living stipend, a $5,000 artistic fund, mentorship with a chosen playwright, workshops and readings of new work, as well as participation in Rattlestick's larger artistic network.
James Ijames' GOOD BONES, Delacorte Theater Reopening & More Set for The Public Theater 24-25 Season

The Public Theater has revealed the line-up for The Public’s 2024-25 Season. See full programming and learn how to purchase tickets.
THE ART OF CARE World Premiere & More Set for Mosaic Theater Company 2024-25 Season

Mosaic Theater Company is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a season centering iconic artists and new plays. See the full lineup and learn how to purchase tickets.
Dramatists Guild Foundation Awards Zeniba Now With 2023 Thom Thomas Award

The Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) has announced multifaceted artist Zeniba Now as the recipient of the 2023 Thom Thomas Award, given annually to an alumnus of the DGF Fellows program who demonstrates great artistic skill. 
Actor's Express to Present CULLUD WATTAH by Erika Dickerson-Despenza Beginning Next Month

Actor's Express will conclude its 35th anniversary season with the winner of the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, cullud wattah, a play about strength and survival in a family of women.
The New Harmony Project Now Accepting Applications For 2024 Conference

The New Harmony Project announced that it is now accepting applications for the 37th annual conference to be held May 22-June 2, 2024.
Rattlestick Theater Reveals 2023-2024 Van Lier New Voices Fellows

Rattlestick Theater announced that it will host playwrights AriDy Nox and a.k. payne as its 2023-24 Van Lier New Voices Fellows.
Final Week to Submit Applications for Fault Line Theatre's IRONS IN THE FIRE

There is only one week left to apply for Irons in the Fire, the year-round new play development series from Fault Line Theatre.
4th Wall Theatre Company To Present IN THE AMAZON WAREHOUSE PARKING LOT

In honor of the 45th Anniversary of the internationally prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 4th Wall Theatre Company is hosting a special one-night only reading of this year's Prize Winner, IN THE AMAZON WAREHOUSE PARKING LOT by U.S. playwright Sarah Mantell.  Presented on Sunday, June 4 at 7pm, the reading will be followed by a reception and conversation with the playwright.
Photos: Go Inside Opening Night of SHADOW/LAND at The Public Theater

Check out photos from opening night of The Public Theater’s world premiere staging of shadow/land!
Review Roundup: SHADOW/LAND Opens At The Public Theater

The world premiere staging of shadow/land by Erika Dickerson-Despenza opens tonight at The Public Theater. Read the reviews!
SHADOW/LAND Extends Through Late May at The Public Theater

The world premiere staging of shadow/land by Erika Dickerson-Despenza has been extended at The Public Theater through Sunday, May 28.
Photos: First Look at SHADOW/LAND at The Public Theater

Get a first look at photos of the staged world premiere play shadow/land at The Public Theater.
SHADOW/LAND World Premiere to Begin Performances at The Public Theater Next Week

The Public Theater will begin performances for the staged world premiere play shadow/land written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones. See how to purchase tickets!
Playwright Erika Dickerson-Despenza Releases SHADOW/LAND Playlist - Listen Here!

To celebrate the upcoming production of shadow/land, playwright Erika Dickerson-Despenza has released a playlist. The production begins performances in the LuEsther Hall with a Joseph Papp Free Performance on Thursday, April 20 and runs through Sunday, May 21. shadow/land officially opens on Thursday, May 4.
Photos: Go Inside Rehearsals for SHADOW/LAND at The Public Theater

Check out rehearsal photos of shadow/land at The Public Theater!
THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN & More Lead Top Off-Broadway Shows for April 2023

What's happening off-Broadway? BroadwayWorld is helping you pick what to see next by rounding up our top recommended theatre each month. Coming up off-Broadway this April is the return of a long-running musical, a debut play by a bestselling author, and more. 
Suzan-Lori Parks' PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR to Return to The Public Theater in April

The Public Theater has announced complete casting for the remount of the theatrical concert PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR. See performance dates and learn how to purchase tickets!
Video: Tina Fey, Erika Dickerson-Despenza & More Honored at 2023 PEN America Literary Awards

Watch video of Tina Fey and more being honored at the 2023 PEN America Literary Awards!


How many shows has Erika Dickerson-Despenza written?

Erika Dickerson-Despenza has written 2 shows including Cullud Wattah (Playwright), shadow/land (Playwright).

What awards has Erika Dickerson-Despenza been nominated for?

Erika Dickerson-Despenza has been nominated for Outstanding Play at the Drama Desk Awards and the John Gassner Award at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "cullud wattah."

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