Suzan-Lori Parks

Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater

Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks

Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater

Biography

Suzan-Lori Parks is a playwright, novelist, essayist, performer and songwriter. She wrote Topdog/Underdog for which she won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” Ms. Parks’ plays include The Book of Grace, In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist), Venus (1996 OBIE Award), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Fucking A, and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 OBIE Award for Best New American Play). Parks also performs Watch Me Work, her experimental performance piece/writing workshop, in theatres throughout United States and abroad. In 2003 she wrote a play a day and in 2007, her project 365 Days/365 Plays was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history. Parks is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient and has been honored with grants and awards from many other institutions. She’s written screenplays for Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington and Jodi Foster, among others.She wrote the screenplay Girl 6, which was directed by Spike Lee, and adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, which starred Halle Berry and premiered on ABC’s “Oprah Winfrey Presents.” Parks’ first novel, Getting Mother’s Body, is published by Random House. A former writing student of James Baldwin, with whom she credits the launch of her interest in playwrighting, Parks is an alumna of Mount Holyoke College and New Dramatists. Her work is the subject of the PBS film The Topdog Diaries. She is at work on her second novel and a new play. Currently, running on Broadway, is her adaptation of the libretto of The Gershwins’ classic Porgy and Bess. Parks teaches at NYU and is in residence at the Public Theater, where she serves as their Master Writer Chair. Please visit Suzan-Lori-Parks online.

Overview
RelSci Relationships

730

Number of Boards

4

Birthday

05/10/1963 - Fort Knox, KY, United States

Age

57

Number of Awards

5

Contact Data
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Relationships
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Managing Director at Victory Gardens Theater

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Artistic Director Emeritus at Victory Gardens Theater

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Chief Executive Officer at Warburg Realty Partnership Ltd.

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Executive Director, Treasurer, Vice President at Harkness Foundation for Dance

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Member, Council of Advisors at American India Foundation

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Member, the Artists' Committee at The Actors Fund of America

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Member, Leadership Council at New York Foundation for the Arts

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Program Director, Culpeper Arts & Culture at Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc.

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Vice President & Executive Director at Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation Inc.

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Suzan-Lori Parks
Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater
Education
B.A. in English & German Literature, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Class of 1985

In 1837, Mary Lyon did the unthinkable. She founded the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later became Mount Holyoke College — the first of the Seven Sisters. Radical moves for a woman wearing a bonnet. In doing so, she forever changed the landscape of higher education — not just for women in South Hadley, Massachusetts, but for women around the world. She built a place where women could develop their intellects, hone the power of their voices and cultivate courage. These days, change is all around us, happening at a pace too fast to measure. And while Mary Lyon couldn’t have foreseen a digitally connected world, she did understand that a woman would need to be agile, creative and brave to live the life she wanted. Her vision still drives Mount Holyoke.

Attendee
Class of 1981
Attendee
Career History
Master Writer Chair
Current

The Public Theater produces and performs plays, musicals and classics. It offers tickets through online for its customers. The company was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is headquartered in New York, NY.

Awards & Honors
2007
American Academy of Achievement - Golden Plate Award
2002
Pulitzer Prize
2001
MacArthur Fellowship
Other Affiliations

Suzan-Lori Parks is affiliated with The Public Theater

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