WMU News

Playwright OyamO reads from his work at Little Theatre

Feb. 14, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Playwright OyamO, a prominent influence in the growing canon of African-American playwriting, reads from his work Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Little Theatre at Western Michigan University. OyamO's presentation is part of the Gwen Frostic Reading Series, which is free and open to the public.

OyamO has helped pave the way for what is becoming a new theatrical genre with searing work that, according to some critics, has the capacity to disturb even the most complacent audience members. With work that captures historical events in a new light and adaptations of plays of the past, OyamO numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ohio Arts Council Award, a McKnight Foundation Award, three fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and numerous award nominations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

His critically acclaimed play "I Am a Man" was optioned by HBO, and TriStar Pictures has contracted him to work on "Ota Benga, the Pygmy in the Zoo." He has taught at Princeton, the College of New Rochelle, Emory University and the University of Iowa Playwright's Workshop. This winter the Denver Theater Company is running OyamO's adaptation of Ibsen's "A Doll's House," titled "A Selfish Sacrifice." He now teaches at the University of Michigan.

OyamO is scheduled for a live interview on student radio station WIDR, 89.1 FM, Wednesday, Feb. 23. The interview is part of WIDR's "Nonchalant Cafe" program and will begin shortly after the noon start of the program.

Other readings remaining in the Spring 2005 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

Tuesday, March 8, poets Hugh Seidman and David Dodd Lee

Wednesday, March 16, novelist Diane Williams

All readings begin at 8 p.m. and are in the Little Theatre, which is located at the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street on Western Michigan University's East Campus. There is free off-street parking behind the theatre.

For more information about the Gwen Frostic Reading Series, contact Dr. Arnie Johnston, chair of the Department of English, at <arnie.johnston@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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