Kia Corthron, SOA'92
Tempestuous Elements reveals the struggle of educational luminary Anna Julia Cooper as she fights for her students’ rights to an advanced curriculum. In a scandal orchestrated by the government, her tenure as principal of D.C.’s historic M Street School is sabotaged by her colleagues and neighbors leading Cooper's professional and personal relationships to become fodder for innuendo and social ostracization. Witness the journey of this formidable Black feminist’s fight for educational equity, freedom, and legitimacy at the turn of the 20th century.
"A big chunk of hidden history…and hidden D.C. history" Molly Smith, fmr. Artistic Director at Arena Stage
Metro: 2 blocks from Waterfront-SEU Station (Green Line)
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.