Lambda Literary is pleased to announce that The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation has awarded its Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices a $5000 grant per year for the next four years to establish a playwriting workshop at the popular summer residency. Legendary playwright, poet and essayist Cherríe Moraga will teach the new playwriting workshop.

The Retreat will be held June 22-29, 2015 at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.  Applications are now open online.

“The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation was established by one of the first out gay playwrights to portray gay life unapologetically,” said Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation President, James Waller. “For the past twenty years, we’ve supported LGBT performing and media arts through our production grant program and annual playwriting competition. Now, by helping Lambda Literary establish a playwriting workshop at its Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, we are making a commitment to the future of LGBT theater. Lambda Literary has long been our community’s greatest advocate for a robust, diverse LGBT literature, and we are very, very happy to be able to support and expand its work.”

Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat is a residency designed to offer intensive and sophisticated instruction to selected lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer emerging writers over a carefully designed one-week period. The Retreat provides open access to industry professionals and the opportunity for writing fellows to create an ongoing community of practice as they advance in their craft and careers. It is one of Lambda’s most important initiatives: it represents the future of LGBTQ literature and theater.

In additional to the new playwriting workshop led by Moraga, other Retreat faculty include Justin Torres (Fiction workshop), Linda Villarosa (Nonfiction workshop), Kazim Ali (Poetry workshop), and Sara Ryan (Genre Fiction workshop-emphasis on Young Adult Fiction and Graphic Novels). Applications to the summer residency are open online through January 5, 2015 (with an extension of 2 weeks for the playwriting workshop only because it was added late).

Entering its 9th year, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices has gained an international reputation for nurturing our most talented writers and building a highly accomplished, diverse and engaged community of artists committed to advancing LGBTQ literary arts.

“We’re grateful to The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation for expanding our workshop offerings to include LGBTQ playwriting,” said Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela. “To have the incredible Cherríe Moraga teach the first year is an additional gift to the program. I encourage LGBTQ writers to apply for this one-of-a-kind opportunity.”

Cherríe Moraga

Cherríe Moraga:

Moraga is playwright, poet, and essayist whose plays and publications have received national recognition, including: a TCG Theatre Artist Residency Grant, the NEA’s Theatre Playwrights’ Fellowship, two Fund for New American Plays awards, the Pen West Award, a Drama-logue and Critic Circles Award, two Gerbode-Hewlett Playwrights Collaboration Awards, and several Creative Work Fund and MAP Fund Grants. In 2007, she was awarded the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature (Drama) and is a recipient of The American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, she received the “Pioneer” Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation.

Moraga is the co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, which won the Before Columbus American Book Award in 1986. She is the author of several titles, including Waiting in the Wings–Portrait of a Queer Motherhood (Firebrand, 1997). In 2011, Duke University Press published her most recent essay collection, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings 2000-2010. Her three volumes of drama are published through West End Press of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They include: Heroes and Saints and Other Plays; Watsonville/Circle in the Dirt; and, The Hungry Woman.

A Bay Area playwright, Moraga plays have been developed and presented in San Francisco and throughout the Southwest, as well as in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and New York. In 1995, Heart of the Earth, Moraga’s adaptation of the Maya Popol Vuh, premiered at the Public Theatre. Her most recent play, NEW FIRE-To Put Things Right Again (with visual artist, Celia Herrera Rodríguez), had its world premiere at Brava Theater Center in January 2012, where over 3,000 people witnessed the work in its 10-day run.

For over 15 years, Moraga has served as Artist in Residence in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University, with a joint appointment in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. She is a founding member of La Red Xicana Indígena, a network of Xicanas working in education, the arts, and international organizing.

Read other Retreat faculty bios here.

Apply to the Writers Retreat here

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