Marcus Gardley


Monday, February 6, 2017, 5pm, Kresge 1515

RSVP recommended, to RSVP email

First came Shade then Reading: 

A meditation on the divine in black LGBT literature, culture, and history 

Gayness is a spiritual gift, a calling, a blessing and an energy. By stepping back into buried histories, pouring light on literature and art (past and present) and calling out truths that we know to be self-evident – this lecture puts black queerness on its proverbial throne. What if a queen really is a Queen? What if butch and femme energy were viewed as sacred in the bodies of queer folk? What if bi-sexuality were a beautiful depiction of balance? And transitioning seen as a spiritual journey of the self? What if the labels we gave ourselves were actually crowns? What if we transcended these labels and embraced our divinity? What does it mean for a community to define itself out of pride and self-love? And who are we – now in this moment? Who were we before? What can we learn from those who came before us? What are their stories, secrets and wisdoms? This lecture not only answers these probing questions, it raises many. This is a meeting of the minds and not just a lecture. This is an opportunity to change the narrative and add to the conversation. This is an opportunity to sit under the shade and analyze the art of “reading.”

Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who was awarded the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. His most recent play, Every Tongue Confess, premiered at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon. It was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award and was a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. His musical, On The Levee, premiered last summer at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. Last spring, his play, And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, was produced at The Cutting Ball Theater and received the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination for outstanding new play and was extended twice. He has had six plays produced including dance of the holy ghost at Yale Repertory Theatre (now under a Broadway option,) (L)imitations of Life, at the Empty Space in Seattle, and like sun fallin’ in the mouth at the National Black Theatre Festival. He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild, and The Lark Play Development Center. He is an Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University.