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A Must See

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Watch Me Work Series Returns

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, the master writer chair at New York’s The Public Theater, launched a new season of her “Watch Me Work” series Sept. 14. Through December, the public is invited to watch her work on her newest writing project in the newly built mezzanine of the theatre’s lobby. Other writers are encouraged to share the space to progress their own writing work. During the last 15 minutes of the event, Park will answer questions from the audience regarding their own work and creative process.

Part performance piece – as meditation on the artistic process – and part actual work session, Parks demonstrates why writer James Baldwin (her creative writing teacher) stated “she may become one of the most valuable artists of our time.” It’s probably safe to say that she has become one of the most important voices of our time.

Parks became the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer for her 2001 Topdog/Underdogher first Pulitzer nod came in 2000 for In The Blood. Her latest work Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) – which ran at The Public (October-December 2014) and at Harvard University’s The American Repertory Theater (January-March) – received the 2015 Kennedy Prize for Drama and was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Parks talked with Arise 360 about her critically-acclaimed trilogy play which follows Hero, a slave, from West Texas to the Confederate battlefield.

A special “Watch Me Work” installment, during which she performed songs she wrote and composed for Father Comes Home, took place in January at The A.C.T. It was livestreamed by the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at HowlRound.TV.

The free “Watch Me Work” performances at The Public Theater – also to be livestreamed by HowlRound – begin at 5pm and last 75 minutes. Questions can be sent via Twitter at #watchmeworkslp or via email to watchmeworkslp(at) Remaining dates are:

  • September 28
  • October 5, 12, 26
  • November 2, 16, 30
  • December 7, 14

You can watch the first performance in its entirety below:

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