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Cocktails with the Canon is an interview-based podcast series hosted by colleagues and friends, the Globe’s Literary Manager and Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato and Associate Producer Lamar Perry. Through a series of informal but hard-hitting conversations, Amato and Perry will take audiences on a journey that investigates the “traditional” Western dramatic canon, along with the writers, groups, identities, and aesthetics that have historically been excluded. Over the course of the season, they will welcome to the podcast an acclaimed group of American playwrights to reflect on the forces that have historically shaped—and continue to shape—the American theatrical canon, and to discuss the works they consider canonical within their own communities. The hosts and guests will also dive into personal stories and share their dreams and action plans for the future of the American theatre. Ultimately the podcast hopes to ask the question: how can we expand the canon and create access for all? Listeners will walk away from Cocktails with the Canon feeling like they’ve just left a night at the theatre and a gathering with their community over drinks and food. Cheers!
Lamar Perry (he/him/his) is a Queer Black director, producer, and writer originally from Connecticut who came to the Globe by way of Classical Theatre of Harlem. He recently served as the associate director on I Gotta Home as part of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Refocus Project. His other recent projects include the audio plays Punchbowl Spaces and The Family Sound (Blindspot Collective/La Jolla Playhouse) and a developmental workshop of Run/Fire (Cygnet Theatre Company). He also served as the assistant director of Katori Hall’s The Hot Wing King directed by Steve H. Broadnax III at Signature Theatre. Recently he taught and directed first-year M.F.A. acting candidates in a devising-theatre workshop at UC San Diego. He is a 2020–2021 member of the Roundabout Directors Group and a 2020 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Observer. @mrlamarperry.
Danielle Mages Amato holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy and a Ph.D. in Drama and Theatre from UC San Diego. She currently works as Literary Manager and Dramaturg at The Old Globe. She is a past president and board member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. She spent four years as the dramaturg and literary manager of Studio Theatre in Washington DC. At the Globe, she has overseen eight years of the Powers New Voices Festival and has dramaturged world premieres of plays by Sam Hunter, JC Lee, Matthew Lopez, Itamar Moses, Anna Ziegler, and others. She is the author of The Hidden Memory of Objects, a novel published by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins.
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And follow @mrlamarperry and @daniellemamato on social media!
Photo by Dorin Ciobanu.
Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philadelphia. He is the Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. His play Tambo & Bones will be produced at Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group, and his play Exception to the Rule will be produced at Roundabout whenever theatre allows. His work has been seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Roundabout Underground, Manhattan Theatre Club, Center Theatre Group, Goodman Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor, and Ojai Playwrights Conference, among others. His honors include the 2019 Ollie Award, The Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting, a Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize International Award, Lark Play Development Center’s 2018 Venturous Playwright Fellowship, and a Cave Canem fellowship, among others. His adapted film Summertime had its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and will be in theatres in 2021. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, was published in May 2019 from Button Poetry.
Photo by Brandon Nick.
Donja R. Love (he/him/his) is Black, Queer, HIV-positive, and thriving. A Philadelphia native, his work examines the forced absurdity of life for those who identify as Black, Queer, and HIV-positive—a diverse intersection filled with eloquent stories that challenge the white supremacist, heteronormative structures that exist in American culture. He is the recipient of the inaugural Langston Hughes Award from the Antonyo Awards, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, and the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting. His other honors include Lark Play Development Center’s Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, and The Playwrights Realm’s Writing Fellowship, and he is the Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. He is the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility through art and advocacy for LGBTQ+ People of Color. He is also the creator of Write It Out, a playwrights’ program for writers living with HIV. Love’s plays include soft (MCC Theater), one in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club; Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), and The Trade. He sits on the board at Lark Play Development Center and is an Artistic Councilmember at People’s Theatre Project. theeachotherproject.com.
Ryan Victor Pierce, or “Opalanietet,” is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal nation. Upon graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Opalanietet has performed in workshops and productions at such renowned New York theatrical institutions as New Dramatists, La MaMa, and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. In November of 2020, Opalanietet made history by giving the first-ever Lenape Land Acknowledgement at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. In 2012, Opalanietet founded Eagle Project, a theatre company dedicated to exploring the American identity through the performing arts and Native American heritage. Through his leadership, Eagle Project has collaborated with and performed at The Public Theater, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and ASHTAR Theatre in Palestine. In April 2020, Eagle Project collaborated with the American Indian Community House of New York City and First Nations Theater Guild to create Native Theatre Thursdays, a virtual reading series of new Native work. eagleprojectarts.org.
Whitney White is an Obie Award– and Lilly Award–winning director, writer, and musician originally from Chicago. She is a believer of alternative forms of performance, multidisciplinary work, and collaborative processes. She is the current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing Award, is part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, and is an Associate Artist at Roundabout Theatre Company. Her recent directing credits include The Amen Corner(Shakespeare Theatre Company), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord(WP Theater, Second Stage Theater; The New York Times Critic’s Pick), Aleshea Harris’sWhat to Send Up When It Goes Down (The Movement Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, American Repertory Theater, The Public Theater; The New York Times Critic’s Pick), An Iliad (Long Wharf Theatre), Jonathan Caren’s Canyon (IAMA Theatre Company; Los Angeles Times Critic’s Choice, Center Theatre Group’s Block Party Grant), and the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Charly Evon Simpson’sJump (PlayMakers Repertory Company). White’s digital projects include Ming Peiffer’s Finish the Fight(The New York Times, 24,000+ viewers), Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s Animals (Williamstown Theatre Festival/Audible), and Aleshea Harris’s Soft Light (The Movement Theatre Company). Her original musical Definition will debut at The Bushwick Starr in 2021, and her five-part cycle deconstructing Shakespeare’s women and female ambition is currently in development with American Repertory Theater in Boston. Her past residencies and fellowships include Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Colt Coeur, The Drama League, Roundabout Theatre Company, and the 2050 Artistic Fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop. She received her M.F.A. in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company and her B.A. from Northwestern University.
Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.
Lauren Yee was the second-most produced playwright in America for the 2019–2020 theatrical season (per American Theatre magazine). Her plays include Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, City Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre) and The Great Leap (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Her honors include the Doris Duke Artist Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, Horton Foote Prize, Kesselring Prize, Francesca Primus Prize, Hodder Fellowship, and No. 1 and No. 2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys’ List. Yee is an alumna of New Dramatists, Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Writers Lab, and The Playwrights Realm. Her television credits include “Pachinko” (Apple) and “Soundtrack” (Netflix). BA: Yale. She received her M.F.A. from UC San Diego. laurenyee.com.
Karen Zacarías was recently hailed by American Theatre magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S. Her plays include The Copper Children, Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, and the adaptations of Just Like Us, The Age of Innocence, Into the Beautiful North, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, and a bilingual Romeo y Juliet. She has been produced at The Old Globe, The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Alliance Theatre, Repertorio Español, Latino Theater Co. at The LATC, Milagro, and many more. She is the author of 10 renowned TYA musicals and the librettist of several ballets. She is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage; a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, a large national organization of artists seeking to update the American narrative with the stories of Latinx; and the founder of the award-winning Young Playwrights’ Theater, noted as one of the best arts educational programs by the Obama White House. Zacarías was voted a 2019 Washingtonian of the Year for her arts advocacy by Washingtonian Magazine. She was awarded 2019 Sine Fellowship at American University School of Public Affairs for connecting art with policymaking. She is a recipient of 2019 Lee Reynolds Award for “social, cultural, or political change with theatre,” awarded by the League of Professional Theatre Women, and she was honored with the 2019 Medallion Award by the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. She was a 2019 speaker at TEDxBroadway. She is a 2021 recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship. Zacarías lives in Washington DC with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She is represented by The Gersh Agency. She is published by Concord Theatricals and Dramatic Publishing and has a collection of plays with Oberon Books.