Kia Corthron

Through her command of dramatic spectacle, Kia Corthron places often unheard and marginalized characters within a historical and political context that gives their lives an urgent and poetic resonance.

Kia Corthron came to national attention in the early nineties with her play, Come Down Burning. Its highly unusual stylistic blend of emotion and subject matter drawn from the obscure and unknown histories of her characters’ lives has been widely admired and imitated. Portraying characters who live in extreme poverty or crisis, whose lives are otherwise invisible, her plays paint a disturbing picture of American history and its repercussions on our most intimate relationships. She is the author of more than fifteen plays, including Breath, Boom, The Venus de Milo is Armed, Tap the Leopard, and A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick. She has also written episodes for the acclaimed television series The Wire and The Jury. Among her numerous awards are The Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theater Woman, the VCCA Wachtmeister Award and the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award.

Tears came to my eyes when I was told I had won the Windham-Campbell Prize. I have been so broke that I needed Medicaid in order for necessary surgery last summer--so I was shocked by the call and deeply, deeply grateful. KIA CORTHRON