Kristoffer Diaz is a New Dramatists resident playwright, speaker, and educator living and working in Brooklyn. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and has gone on to more than twenty-five productions nationwide. Other full-length titles include Welcome to Arroyo’s, #therevolution, The Upstairs Concierge, and The Unfortunates. His work has been produced, commissioned, and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Theater Company, The Atlantic, InterAct, Mixed Blood, The Orchard Project, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Lark, Summer Play Festival, Donmar Warehouse, and South Coast Repertory, among many others. Awards include the Guggenheim, Jerome, Van Lier, NYFA, and Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowships; New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; Lucille Lortel, Equity Jeff, and OBIE Awards; and the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant, among others. As a screenwriter, he has developed original television pilots for HBO and FX. Kristoffer holds a BA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing, and an MFA from Brooklyn College’s Performing Arts Management program. He teaches playwriting at New York University.
Friday Conversation Series:
Throughout the Spring 2016 semester, Tisch Artist-in-Residence Kristoffer Diaz conducted weekly informal conversations with some of New York City's most exciting theater artists, producers, and thinkers.
playwrights Dominique Morisseau (Skeleton Crew, Detroit '67) and Eisa Davis(Pulitzer finalist for Bulrusher; performer in Passing Strange and House of Cards) discuss the art of playwriting and social responsibility as part of Black History Month;
Director/Producer Kamilah Forbes (Artistic Director of Hi-ARTS, formerly known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) discussing hip-hop theater, television, and the links between art and community as part of Black History Month.
About Kamilah Forbes: Kamilah Forbes is a director, producer, playwright, actor, activist, and the artistic director of Hi-ARTS. Since 2000, she has curated Hi-ARTs programming presented annually in NYC, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco. Forbes has received numerous accolades for her work in the arts including a Josesphine Abady Award, DC Commission Distinguished Artist Award, Tony Award, and The Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist. Forbes has earned many prestigious nominations such as Best Director for Sunset Baby at the Audelco Awards and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress. Additionally, Forbes has been featured in many popular publications like The Source, American Theater, and ranked highly amongst Uptown Magazine’s Women on the Rise and Vibe Magazine’s Top 100 Influential People. Hi-ARTS received the Union Square Arts Award under Forbes’ direction and a special award given by the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers or “its innovative approach for addressing socio-political issues in NYC and beyond”. Forbes has worked with Hip-Hop’s heavyweights like Nas and John Legend who were accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Forbes was Associate Director for Broadway’s Holler If Ya Hear Me and the Tony Award winning play, A Raisin in the Sun. Her other directorial work includes Fences and NY Times Critic Pick and Audelco nominated, Sunset Baby. Forbes is a Jamaican naturalized citizen and graduate of the British-American Drama Academy at Oxford University in England. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, NY.
About Hi-ARTS: Hi-ARTS (formerly known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) is a leading organization within the urban arts movement. For fifteen years, Hi-ARTS has consistently broken new ground, advancing urban art by empowering artists to develop bold new works, while creating a lasting and positive impact on urban communities. Hi-ARTS is adding to the legacy of the HHTF at an exciting stage of growth that engages Hip-Hop while creating the new urban arts. With the move to our new home at PS 109, Hi-ARTS is poised to grow into new realms of artistic creativity, advocacy and service to the arts and the communities in which we live.
Actor/writer John Leguizamo (Carlito's Way, Ice Age, Ghetto Klown) and actor Desmin Borges (You're The Worst,The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) discuss their place in the tradition of Latino performers on stage and screen
Writer Robert Schenkkan (Pulitzer winner for The Kentucky Cycle, Tony winner for All The Way, coming to HBO this spring) and actor Sarah Schenkkan (Wicked, Amazon's Z: The Beginning of Everything) discuss their work, the field, and the role of family in a creative life.