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How a Theater Director and a Dramaturg Are “Exploding” the Classical Canon

“We’re thinking about plays by Black playwrights but also Black performance history.”

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Episode Notes

This week, host Isaac Butler talks to theater director Awoye Timpo and dramaturg Arminda Thomas. In the interview, Awoye and Arminda first describe their collaborative relationship and define the roles of director and dramaturg. They also discuss their group CLASSIX, which aims to revive the work of Black playwrights and to “explode” the classical canon. Then Awoye and Arminda talk about their latest play Wedding Band, written by the mid-twentieth-century playwright Alice Childress.

After the interview, Isaac and co-host June Thomas discuss the pleasures of archival research and the challenges of directing a play that was written during an earlier time period.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Awoye explains what it’s like to direct child actors, especially in a play that contains very adult subject matter.

Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com or give us a call at (304) 933-9675.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.

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