suspension by Kristiana Rae Colón, Resident Playwright
in partnership with UIC
For the students of Climb & Succeed Charter Academy, a high school in a dystopian near future, the slightest defiance is met with riot-gear-clad security who patrol the halls informed by an AI bot. Armed and ready with each student’s protocols, she deploys harrowing new disciplinary codes that take ‘in-school suspension’ (ISS) to a haunting extreme. In search of their mysteriously missing sister and guided by a mystic teaching artist, Voltaire & Yansa learn to wield their ancestral magic and black girl badassery to combat the harrowing militarization of public education.
About Kristiana Rae Colón
Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow, creator of #BlackSexMatters and co-director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective. She was awarded 2017 Best Black Playwright by The Black Mall. In 2016, her plays good friday had its world premiere at Oracle Productions, Octagon its American premiere at Jackalope Theater in Chicago, and but i cd only whisper had its American premiere at The Flea in New York. Octagon was the winner of Arizona Theater Company's 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater's Dionysos Festival of New Work, and had its 2015 world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London. In 2013, she toured the UK for two months with her collection of poems promised instruments, winner of the inaugural Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize and published by Northwestern University Press. Kristiana is an alum of the Goodman Theater's Playwrights Unit where she developed florissant & canfield, an epic reimagining of the Ferguson protests, which was featured in the 2016 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Kristiana’s writing, producing, and organizing work to radically reimagine power structures, our complicity in them, and visions for liberation.
About the Monday Night Series
On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.
All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.
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