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In Conversation: Lisa B. Thompson and E. Patrick Johnson

September 16, 2020 @ 7:00 pm8:30 pm

A virtual discussion about contemporary Black theater with scholars and artists Lisa B. Thompson and E. Patrick Johnson

About this Event:

Join Northwestern University Press on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 pm CT as we present In Conversation: Lisa B. Thompson and E. Patrick Johnson. The award-winning scholars and theater artists will reflect on how their newly published plays examine complex Black experiences from the Great Migration to the post-Obama political era. The event will be hosted by Liz Murice Alexander, Mellon Fellow at Northwestern UP.

Please register to receive a link to the Zoom event via email.

  • If you have any questions or need assistance, please email Olivia Aguilar at olivia.aguilar@northwestern.edu
  • This conversation will be recorded and will premiere live on Northwestern UP’s Facebook (@northwesternup)
  • Attendees will receive a discount code during the event

About the Books:

Lisa B. Thompson explores the challenges and radical triumphs of the Black middle class in her new collection Underground, Monroe, & The Mamalogues (Northwestern University Press). The three plays, first produced at the Austin Playhouse and The Vortex in Austin, TX, depict twentieth-century Black family life and the effects of racist violence on Black people and communities. Through her nuanced characters’ subversive humor, Thompson invites audiences to question the assumptions we create and hold about others.

E. Patrick Johnson claims in the collection’s foreword that “[Thompson’s] plays compel us to engage the whole person—as human—such that we ourselves can become more human in the other’s eyes.” The same is true of his recently released Sweet Tea: A Play (Northwestern University Press). In this adaptation of his groundbreaking 2008 Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History, Johnson stages the stories of eleven Black gay men and one gender non-conforming Black person born, raised, and living in the South. Transforming Sweet Tea from a scholarly text into a theater performance has allowed Johnson to bring new life to the twelve stories, challenging audiences to visually and viscerally contend with the complexities of queer Black subjectivity.

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