Every year, an amazing grass-roots organization, The Kilroys, selects fifty promising new scripts by women, trans, and nonbinary playwrights that have not yet been produced. While reading through this year’s list, the pandemic struck and alas, we had to furlough much of our staff. But one member of our literary committee, Marie-Claire Erdynast, kept reading and in late summer called to jump up and down about a play called [hieroglyph] by a playwright named Erika Dickerson-Despenza. Infected by Marie-Claire’s enthusiasm, I read the play and did some jumping up and down of my own, for it was one of those rare scripts that screamed “produce me!”
My mind immediately went to the inimitable Margo Hall, who had directed and acted with us numerous times and been a part of all three of our previous collaborations with Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, where she had just been appointed artistic director. Margo read the script, spoke with Erika, and we were off to the races.
– San Francisco Playhouse Artistic Director
Erika Dickerson-Despenza has a lot to say about Hurricane Katrina and her family legacy in New Orleans and I am thrilled to be part of the journey. The idea that she is creating a ten-play cycle makes me super inspired. I am proud to have [hieroglyph] as the first production under my leadership because it represents the kind of work I want to do. Work that speaks to issues around Black women, Black female empowerment, and true history that we are not taught in schools or told about in the media. I applaud the actors for their commitment to this process and I look forward to sharing this amazing play with the community.
– Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Artistic Director