Plays by BIPOC, LGBTQ, & Women Playwrights
The Perpich Library has an extensive selection of scripts and play anthologies in its collection that are free and available for you to peruse! This list features plays by BIPOC, LGTBQ, and women playwrights. Check these out (literally!), and check in with Perpich’s Librarian and Theater Education Specialist to see what else we have in the collection. Don’t see something you think we need? Drop us a line and let us know! We’re continuously updating the collection to best serve Theater Educators across the state.
|Disgraced (2012) – Ayad Akhtar
New York. Today. Corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor is happy, in love, and about to land the biggest career promotion of his life. But beneath the veneer, success has come at a price. When Amir and his artist wife, Emily, host an intimate dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment, what starts out as a friendly conversation soon escalates into something far more damaging. Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
|The Flick (2014) – Annie Baker
In a rundown movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees sweep up popcorn in the empty aisles and tend to one of the last thirty-five-millimeter projectors in the state. With keen insight and a ceaseless attention to detail, The Flick pays tribute to the power of movies and paints a heartbreaking portrait of three characters and their working lives. Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
|The Wolves (2016) – Sarah Delappe
Follow nine teenage girls as they warm up for their indoor soccer games. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. As the teammates warm up in sync, a symphony of overlapping dialogue spills out their concerns. By season’s and play’s end, amidst the wins and losses, rivalries and tragedies, they are tested and ready–they are The Wolves.
|Take Me Out (2002) – Richard Greenberg
Star center fielder Darren Lemming’s announcement that he is gay causes a great deal of turmoil and hostility for his teammates on the champion New York Empires, especially for racist and homophobic pitcher, Shane Mungitt.
|Slave Play (2018) – Jeremy O. Harris
The old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation-in the breeze, in the cotton fields…and in the crack of the whip. It’s an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master’s House. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems. Nominated for a record twelve 2020 Tony Awards, Slave Play rips apart history to shed new light on the nexus of race, gender and sexuality in 21st century America.
|Water by the Spoonful (2012) – Quiara Alegría Hudes
Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. Somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts forge an unbreakable bond of support and love. The boundaries of family and community are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and online families collide. Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
|The Laramie Project (2000) – Moisés Kaufman
The Laramie Project chronicles the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the brutal 1998 murder of a young gay man, Matthew Shepard, using eight actors to embody more than sixty different people in their own words–from rural ranchers to university professors. The result is a complex portrayal that dispels the simplistic media stereotypes and explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.
|The Inheritance (2018) – Matthew López
Inspired by E.M. Forster’s novel Howards End, and set in New York three decades after the height of the AIDS epidemic, The Inheritance wrestles with what it means to be a gay man today, exploring relationships and connections across age and social class and asking what one generation’s responsibilities may be to the next.
|Giving Up the Ghost: Teatro in Two Acts (1986) – Cherríe L. Moraga
A play about a young Chicana lesbian who has survived racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, nationalism, and sexual exploitation.
|Pipeline (2017) – Dominique Morisseau
With profound compassion and lyricism, Morisseau brings us a powerful play that delves into the urgent issue of the “school-to-prison” pipeline that ensnares people of color. Issues of class, race, parenting, and education in America are brought to the frontlines, as we are left to question the systematic structures that ultimately trap underserved communities.
|Vietgone (2017) – Qui Nguyen
An all-American love story about two very new Americans. It’s 1975. Saigon has fallen. He lost his wife. She lost her fiancé. But now in a new land, they just might find each other. Using his uniquely infectious style The New York Times calls ‘culturally savvy comedy’ – and skipping back and forth from the dramatic evacuation of Saigon to the here and now – playwright Qui Nguyen gets up-close-and-personal to tell the story that led to the creation of…Qui Nguyen.
|Sweat (2015) – Lynn Nottage
In one of the poorest cities in America, Reading, Pennsylvania, a group of down-and-out factory workers struggle to keep their present lives in balance, ignorant of the financial devastation looming in their near future. Based on Nottage’s extensive research and interviews with residents of Reading, Sweat is a topical reflection of the present and poignant outcome of America’s economic decline. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
|Pass Over (2017) – Antoinette Nwandu
Moses and Kitch stand around on the corner–talking, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans. Emotional and lyrical, Pass Over crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, exposing the unquestionable human spirit of young men stuck in a cycle that they are desperately trying to escape.
|Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (2012) – Rey Pamatmat
Three kids — Kenny, his sister Edith, and their friend Benji — are all but abandoned on a farm in remotest Middle America. With little adult supervision, they feed and care for each other, making up the rules as they go. But when Kenny’s and Benji’s relationship becomes more than friendship, and Edith shoots something she really shouldn’t shoot, the formerly indifferent outside world comes barging in whether they want it to or not.
|The White Card (2019) – Claudia Rankine
A play about the imagined fault line between black and white lives by Claudia Rankine, the author of Citizen. The White Card stages a conversation that is both informed and derailed by the black/white American drama. The scenes in this one-act play, for all the characters’ disagreements, stalemates, and seeming impasses, explore what happens if one is willing to stay in the room when it is painful to bear the pressure to listen and the obligation to respond.
|Indecent (2015) – Paula Vogel
When Sholem Asch wrote God of Vengeance in 1907, he didn’t imagine the height of controversy the play would eventually reach. Performing at first in Yiddish and German, the play’s subject matter wasn’t deemed contentious until it was produced in English, when the American audiences were scandalized by the onstage depiction of an amorous affair between two women. Paula Vogel’s newest work traces the trajectory of the show’s success through its tour in Europe to its abrupt and explosive demise on Broadway in 1923—including the arrest of the entire production’s cast and crew.
All items are available at the Perpich Library.