An interview with playwright and novelist
Kia Corthron SOA'92
M. S. J. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
CEO, Brown Paper Bag Media
In an all-encompassing interview with journalist Tetiana Anderson, Kia Corthron will share her story from growing up in a small industrial town in Appalachia to her time at Columbia, and to writing award-winning plays and novels. She will also discuss how Anna Julia Cooper, the Black liberation activist and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in America inspired her to write the acclaimed play Tempestuous Elements currently performed at Arena Stage.
Time will be allocated for audience Q&A.
Kia Corthron is a playwright and novelist. Tempestuous Elements was commissioned by Arena Stage and will premiere there, running from February 16th through March 17th. In March, Fish will premiere in New York, a co-production of Keen Company and the Working Theater. Awards for her body of work for the stage include the Windham Campbell Prize, Horton Foote Award, Flora Roberts Award, United States Artists Jane Addams Fellowship, McKnight National Residency, and Lee Reynolds Award. Other plays, including A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick, Breath, Boom, and Force Continuum, have been produced in New York by Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club; regionally by Yale Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Children’s Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, New York Stage and Film, and D.C.’s Studio Theatre; in London by the Royal Court Theatre and Donmar Warehouse; and elsewhere. She was the 2017 resident playwright of Chicago’s Eclipse Theatre which produced three of her plays, including the premiere of Megastasis. Her second novel Moon and the Mars was praised by The Wall Street Journal and The Irish Times, and her debut novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and the winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Edgar and Writers Guild Outstanding Series awards for David Simon's The Wire. She serves on the Dramatists Guild Council, is a New Dramatists alumnus, and is a member of the Authors Guild.
Kia grew up in Cumberland, Maryland; graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park; received her MFA from Columbia University; and lives in New York City.
Tetiana Anderson has dedicated her career to the importance of storytelling from Baghdad to Brooklyn and from Washington D.C. to Riyadh. Weaving narratives for readers, listeners,
and viewers around the world, she currently consults with executives from major corporations including L’Oréal and Bank of America, NGOs like United Way Worldwide, foreign governments, and others on all aspects of communications, strategy, messaging, performance, and branded content development. She works with executives, diplomats, journalists and more on formulating narratives, and coaches them on how to best present them.
A two time Emmy nominee, Tetiana also hosts Comcast’s national public affairs program, “Newsmakers” that can be seen on television stations across the country. The show highlights
topics on equity, inclusion and access in areas including fair housing, corporate board diversity, Indigenous life, prison reform, veteran affairs, Black women in politics, mental health
awareness, women’s rights and more. Tetiana also produces branded content including a recent, nationally aired public information spot for United Way Worldwide. Before that, she worked as a journalist for two decades. During that time, Tetiana spent extensive time in the Middle East and has reported from conflict zones, U.S. presidential races, and more. Tetiana has interviewed notables from U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights activist John Lewis to eight-time platinum recording artist 50 Cent. Whether she is in front of the camera, behind it, or instructing clients on how to express their messages, Tetiana has a passion for a good story and relishes the chance to relay one. Her work has appeared on networks including CNN, CBS Evening News and the network’s nationwide affiliates, Maryland Public Television, NY-1, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, MSNBC, Voice of America, Vatican Radio, Comcast, and others.
She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and did her undergraduate work at Fisk University. As part of her philosophy on the importance of giving back, she serves as the
National Board Secretary for Easterseals, an organization that has focused for over 100 years on providing care, access, and equity to those living with disabilities. Tetiana heads her own
communications company, Brown Paper Bag Media, as well as a production company, Starfield Media. She hails from the great state of Michigan but calls Washington D.C. home.