Conversation Starters: PS After Hours with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Carmelita Tropicana

Branden and Carmelita

Please join the Department of Performance Studies for a special evening and fundraiser to support the Performance Studies scholarships. Join us for a conversation between award-winning playwrights and performance theorists Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (M.A. ‘07) and Carmelita Tropicana. We will listen along as they discuss their composite histories of NYC, the various experimental worlds that shaped their work, and how they bring this all to the page, stage, and classroom. The conversation will be moderated by PS Department Chair, Alexandra T. Vazquez with a reception to follow. 

Proceeds from this Alumni Lecture Series event will directly support the Department of Performance Studies’ Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Scholarship Fund and José Esteban Muñoz Memorial Scholarship Fund. NYU alumni and community members are encouraged to reserve their ticket via Eventbrite RSVP link and make a donation to one of the PS scholarship funds linked above if they are able to do so. 


Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and producer and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Recent theater credits include The Comeuppance (Signature Theatre), Girls (Yale Rep), Everybody (Signature Theatre), War (Yale Rep; Lincoln Center/LCT3), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre), Appropriate (Obie Award; Signature Theatre), An Octoroon (Obie Award; Soho Rep, Theatre for a New Audience), and Neighbors (The Public Theater). He was showrunner, executive producer, and writer for HULU/FX’s drama series, Kindred, based on Octavia E. Butler’s groundbreaking novel. He currently teaches at Yale University and serves as Vice President of the Dramatists Guild council and on the boards of Soho Rep, Park Avenue Armory, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. Honors include a USA Artists fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, the MacArthur fellowship, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award

Carmelita Tropicana’s performances and plays have been presented/produced in theaters, museums, alternative performance spaces, and galleries including: Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Sevilla, Hebbel am Ufer Theater, Berlin, Kirk Douglas Theater-Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, Performance Space NY (formerly PS 122) and INTAR theater, NY. She has received a United States Artists Fellowship (2021), CLAGS, Center for Lesbian and Gays Studies José Muñoz Award (2021), Guggenheim Fellowship (2017), Creative Capital (2016) Anonymous Was A Woman (2005), and an Obie (1999). Her writing has appeared in many anthologies, most recently in Animal Acts, Performing Species Today ((University of Michigan Press, 2015). A collection of scripts, short stories and essay appear in her book I, Carmelita Tropicana, Performing Between Cultures was published by Beacon Press. She co-edited with Holly Hughes and Jill Dolan the Lambda Award-nominated book Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the Wow Café Theater (University of Michigan Press, 2015). She has served on the Board of Directors of Performance Space New York (PS 122), and presently serves on the New York Foundation for the Arts Board of Directors. She is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Dramatist Guild.

Photo Credit: Branden - John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Carmelita - Carlos David


Branden Jacobs-Jenkins & Carmelita Tropicana


Branden Jacobs-jenkins


Carmelita Tropicana

Branden and students

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins & PS B.A. Students