The Intersection of Activism and Art
Series of four headshots collaged together of a white woman with short hair parted on the side, a Black woman with very short hair and her chin resting on her hand, a white man with white hair and beard, and a young Black man with short, dark hair shaved on the sides and back, with his head resting on his hand.
Carolyn Gage, Pearl Cleage, Robert Schenkkan, and Keelay Gipson

Lorraine Hansberry considered her work as a playwright and activist as inseparable. Do you feel the same? What are your feelings about the intersection of your plays and activism?


“I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.” – G.K. Chesterton

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Monochromatic photo of Carolyn Gage, a white woman with short hair parted on the side
Carolyn Gage

 is an autistic playwright, performer, director, and activist. The author of nine anthologies of plays and 83 musicals, dramas, and one-woman shows, she specializes in nontraditional roles for women, especially reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history.

Pearl Cleage
Pearl Cleage

 is Distinguished Artist in Residence at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre. She serves as the city’s Poet Laureate and is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dramatists Guild and the 2022 Paul Robeson Award from the Actors’ Equity Association and the Actors’ Equity Foundation.

Robert Schenkkan

 is the winner of Pulitzer, Tony, Humanitas, WGA awards, and three-time Emmy nominated writer. Author of eighteen plays and a musical, The 12. Member of the DG Council, The Lillys, National Theater Conference, and President of the Board of The Orchard Project.

Monochromatic photo of Keelay Gipson, a young Black man resting his head on his hand. His hair is cropped very close on the sides and back, but stands about three inches on top of his head. He wears a patterned vest over a white, open collared shirt.
Keelay Gipson

 is an activist, professor, and award-winning playwright whose plays include demons. (JAG Fest/Dartmouth HOP Center), #NewSlaves (Finalist; Princess Grace, The O’Neill, Seven Devils), imagine sisyphus happy (Finalist; The O’Neill, P73 Summer Residency) CRH, or the placenta play (Semi- Finalist; The O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference, AADA Main Stage Live!), Nigger/Faggot (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), The Lost Or, How to Just B (Kernodle New Play Award), What I Tell You in the Dark (Finalist; Premiere Stages at Kean University), and Mary/Stuart, a dramatic queering of Friedrich Schiller’s classic play (BAM Next Wave Festival, partnership with Wendy’s Subway and Lambda Literary).