Dael Orlandersmith
Shades Between Two Worlds

Shades Between Two Worlds will be a play with movement by Dael Orlandersmith. Originally drawn to the subject of death by a collection of historical suicide notes, Dael became keenly interested in what would lead a person to take their own life and what they really hoped to accomplish. From there, the idea bloomed into a broader examination of death itself: What is this dark frontier that we all cross? What do we/should we/can we do when we face it? Is Death simply the absence of life itself? If so, then what of joyless, stultifying, tedious lives – without satisfying lives are we just awaiting Death?

A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Dael is known for her fierce, poetic, and deeply intelligent approach to difficult topics. Shades Between Two Worlds will be developed at Artists Rep during the 2017/18 season.


TABLE|ROOM|STAGE (T|R|S) was established in 2015 and is Artists Rep’s new play program whose mission is to develop and produce new work that vividly expresses Artists Rep’s aesthetic values.

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Dael Orlandersmith

Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman in 2002. The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick in 1999. Her play Monster premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. Orlandersmith has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Orlandersmith first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, DC’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009.  Black n’ Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Her play Horsedreams was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011.  Bones was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum where it premiered in 2010. Orlandersmith premiered The Blue Album, in collaboration with David Cale, at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007. Yellowman was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Yellowman and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service.  Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career.  She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter. Orlandersmith’s new play, Forever, is currently a solo play which was commissioned and performed at the Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theatre Fall of 2014, the Long Wharf Theatre Winter 2014/15, and New York Theatre Workshop. Orlandersmith performed her solo play Until the Flood about the Michael Brown shooting at the St. Louis Repertory Theatre in 2016.

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