Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks is an artist whose ethical imagination confronts rather than consoles; she acknowledges in the fissures of language and human relations the complexities of a fraught world.

Named among Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave,” Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the most acclaimed and original playwrights working in American theater today. Her work excavates history to unearth profound and surprising connections to the present, showing how the political, philosophical, and dramatic go hand-in-hand. For instance, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog (2001), Park finds mythic and national resonances within the intimacy of family, as two brothers struggle to negotiate both their relationship and the legacy of slavery. The often-thin line between history and myth plays a similarly large role in her latest play, the Obie Award-winning Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3) (2017). In this work, intended to be the first in a nine-part trilogy, Parks transforms Homeric epic, telling the story of a slave named Hero who journeys through the battlefields and plantations of the Civil War-ravaged American South seeking liberty. A winner of a Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2015), a Pulitzer Prize (2002), a MacArthur Fellowship (2001), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2000), among many other honors, Parks has written numerous scripts for radio and screen, as well as a novel, Getting Mother’s Body (2003). Her latest project is Watch Me Work, a free live-streamed writing workshop for artists of all disciplines. She lives in New York City, where she is a professor at New York University, and serves as the Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair.

Thank you for thinking of my work. SUZAN-LORI PARKS