AARON JAFFERIS
November 2015

New Haven, CT – “I am a hip-hop playwright. Honors include a Creative Capital Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Sundance Institute / Time Warner Fellowship, NEFA National Theatre Project Grant, two MacDowell Fellowships, Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, Barbour Playwright’s Award, NYMF Most Promising New Musical Award, and The Dramatist’s “50 To Watch.” Stuck Elevator (music by Byron Au Yong, direction by Chay Yew) premiered at the American Conservatory Theatre in 2013, where it won two San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, including best original musical, and was named “high point of the theatrical year” by the San Francisco Chronicle. How to Break (music by Rebecca Hart and Yako 440) headlined the 2012 Hip-Hop Theatre Festival at HERE in New York City and the 2014 SPKRBOX Festival at Norway’s National Theatre; it was recently selected for the 2014 National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) festival.

Kingdom (music by Ian Williams), my hip-hop/rock musical that connected me to Antonio “King Tone” Fernandez – my collaborator for my proposed project for Millay – was developed by The Public Theatre, Atlantic Theatre, Village Theatre, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Queens Theatre in the Park, and NAMT, and premiered at The Old Globe, where it was named a “Critic’s Choice” by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The east coast premiere of Kingdom, at ReVision Theatre, was named Best Musical and Best Book of 2008-2009 by the Newark Star-Ledger. My new oratorio Trigger (music by Byron Au Yong) has been developed in artist residencies with the Sundance Theatre Institute (MASS MoCA, 2014), International Festival of Arts & Ideas (2014), and Virginia Tech’s Center for the Arts (2014). I’ve written poetry for the Urban Bush Women and The Nation, and performed at the Kennedy Center and the National Poetry Slam Championships, where I am a former Open Rap Slam champion.”

Visit the November 2015 residency homepage >