May 6, 2003 |
Oh, there she is, the raging wildfire of a playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who zips toward the outdoor stage in chunky sandals five minutes before her first-ever reading of her much-anticipated debut novel. Under the coolness of sycamore trees, an audience of about 75 waits on folding chairs on a UCLA lawn. It's a sleepy scene compared to the electric Broadway opening last April of her Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Topdog/Underdog," in a 1,125-seat theater.
November 17, 2006 |
Inside the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum on Wednesday night, the usual actors performed the usual theatrics for the usual audiences, with comfortable seats and high production values for all. Outside was another story. Ten plays were promised. Free. In an hour. Part of what might be the largest American theater collaboration ever. What? "Look at the people!" said a beaming woman, who wore dreadlocks and a black leather jacket and glided up the stairs like the belle of a postmodern ball.
July 23, 2006 |
IF Suzan-Lori Parks and Bonnie Metzgar could sell Chevys the way they're selling plays -- without a test drive, without even a peek under the hood -- they'd be rescuing General Motors instead of Pied Pipering several hundred American theater companies toward destinations unknown. Parks is the livewire MacArthur "genius" grantee and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Topdog/Underdog." Metzgar, her low-key friend of 20 years, is producer, artistic confidante and, for this mission, her prod.
April 10, 2002 |
Suzan-Lori Parks is very much the top dog of Southern California playwrights at the moment, even though her work has hardly been seen in the Southland. Parks, 38, who lives in Venice, won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday for "Topdog/Underdog," a day after the play opened on Broadway to positive reviews. Her Pulitzer triumph followed an announcement last fall that she won one of the annual $500,000 fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, commonly referred to as "genius" grants. Yet her only play to receive a professional production in L.A. was an early work, "Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom," staged at the 99-seat Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. in 1993.
July 8, 2001 |
The phone rings, again, but playwright Suzan-Lori Parks lets the machine get it, again. She has just realized something. "We came here a year ago. A year ago today!" In the tiny office on the second floor of her Venice Beach rental house, down the hall from her friendly faced pit bull, Lambchop, Parks jumps up to check the wall calendar. Confirmed. One year to the day. She likes the timing. And when she likes the timing of something, her face turns into, well, a sunny day in Venice.
October 29, 2008 |
It looks like the Big Orange is soon to lose another playwright to the Big Apple. Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright ("Topdog/Underdog"), has been awarded the first Master Writer Chair at the Public Theater in New York City. Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the full-salaried post affords the chosen writer the chance to develop his or her work using the resources of the Public Theater and to participate in "the artistic life of the theater."