Lauren Whitehead
Lauren Whitehead

2022 Finalist

The Play Which Raises the Question of What Happened in/to Low Income Black Communities Between 1974 and 2004 and Hints at Why Mass Incarceration Is Perhaps a Man-Made Disease and Highlights the Government’s General Lack of Empathy for Poor People of Color and Dispels the Notion That Our Condition Is Our Fault and Helps Make Visible Why We Riot When We Mourn and Also Tells the Story of Anita Freeman & Her Kids

Synopsis: It’s just the story of a Black american mother tryin to keep her kids safe during the War on Drugs in the Midwest, U.S.A. Anita tries everything to keep her family well fed and free but despite her efforts, she still loses everything and the story ends in the most american way: with loss, destruction and unbridled rage.

Cast Breakdown: 3 Black Women, 4 Black Men, 1 White Passing Latinx Man, and 1 White Man
(Plus ancillary characters)

Set/Costume Requirements: The material used to create the world of this play must be able to be both convincingly destroyed and reusable again and again. Consider cardboard or something equally firm yet flimsy, something that can fall but that when faced front appears solid and functional. It may even have a working door. Still, it’s clearly not made of much. It looks three dimensional but it’s flat.


Agent: Alec Ring (Manager)

Other: @Lady_Whitehead (Instagram) and @LadyWhitehead (Twitter)

Bio: Lauren Whitehead is a writer, performer and dramaturg. She writes in several forms including poetry, nonfiction, adaptations and drama. Her poems have been published in several online and print magazines including POETRY, Apogee Journal and Winter Tangerine, as well as in selected anthologies such as Break Beat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic. Last year, a poem in dedication to her grandfather who was a barber and a sharecropper was featured on The Slow Down with former Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. In 2018, Whitehead adapted Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award winning memoir, Between the World and Me for staging at the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and for the TV adaptation on HBO. In her most recent performance, Whitehead originated the lead role of “Un/Sung” in the opera We Shall Not Be Moved, which she performed at the Wilma Theater, the Apollo Theater and at the Stadsschouwburg Theater in Amsterdam (Dir. Bill T. Jones). Whitehead has been a Sundance Theater Lab Fellow, a Sundance Talent Forum Fellow and she has worked as a dramaturg at The Public Theater, Hedgebrook and at The Denver Center for Performing Arts. Currently, Whitehead is a Professor of Drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.