Shawntai Genell Brown


Playwright - Poet - Literacy Advocate

About

Shawntai Brown is a Detroit playwright, poet and literacy advocate with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing emphasis) from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Literacy Learning from Marygrove College. Her plays center oral testimony, queer identity and Black community. She serves on the education sub-committee for Extra Mile Playwrights Theater.

She is the founder and writer of eLLe, an episodic play series following 6 lesbian, bi and queer women. eLLe was created in 2010 and has been in production since 2011.

Over the decade, Brown has birthed more than 16 plays centering queer people of color.

"My work isn’t to fill in the gaps, it is made to create new spaces. My characters are not the best friend or brief anecdotes in a larger story. Queer characters of color are the center. Honoring diversity within queer characters (gender presentation, relationship structures, age, race, SES and career) has provided lgbtq+ actors more opportunities to play characters they intersect with, and provided an entry point for conversations and community building."

You can find her poetry in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine and Wayne Literary Review (coming 2020).

Plays Produced
“Church Hats,” New Play Workshop, Western Michigan University, 2008
“eLLe 1: The L Word continued,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2010.
“eLLe 2: The L Word continued,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2010.
“eLLe 3:,” PULSE Organic, Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2011.
“eLLe 4: Going the Distance,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2011.
“eLLe 5: You’ve Made Your Bed,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2011.
“eLLe 6: Shift,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2012.
“Breadcrumbs: Journey to Authenticity,” Kalamazoo Black Arts and Cultural Center, 2013
“eLLe 7: Can We Talk,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, 2013
“Ghost Town,” (author) Detroit, NY 10-minute Play Festival, The Dirty Blondes Theatre, New York, NY, 2014.
“eLLe 8: Every Door the Closes,” Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, theatrical series, 2015.
“A Detroit Carol,” (co-authors, acting) Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, Light Up Livernois, 2016.
“eLLe 9: New Positions,” Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, theatrical series, 2018.
“We’re Here,” (co-author, acting) Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, Light Up Livernois, Voices from the Neighborhood, 2018.
“We Own Everything,” 48 Hours Detroit, Alessee Hall, 2019.
“When the Moon Yells,” Detroit Fringe Festival, Jam Handy, 2019.
“eLLe 10: This Lane Open,” Face Off Theatre, Epic Center Kalamazoo, Mi, 2019.
“Don’t Break Up Over Text,” Violet Surprise: Lez Beaus, The Martin, Chicago, Il, to be staged Feb. 2020.


Staged Readings
“Covert: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement,” Douglas Center DYAC, Kalamazoo, 2013.
“Morgue,” staged reading, The Play’s the Thing, Ann Arbor Civic Theater, 2015.
“Hardyman,” Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, Community Night, 2015.
“Bridge to Canada,” Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, Community Night, 2015.
“67 Rebellion: A memoir play,” Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, Northwestern Unitarian Universalist, 2018.
“Her Name Was A’laika,” The Plays The Thing, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Ann Arbor, Mi, to be read Jan. 2020.
“Don’t Break Up Over Text,” The Plays The Thing, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Ann Arbor, Mi, to be read Jan. 2020.


Speaking Engagements and Workshops
Horizontal Hostility, Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, 2013.
First Friday Poetry, feature poet, performance, Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, 2015.
Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre creation workshop, Brainstorm: Summer Institute, InsideOut Literary Arts Project, Detroit Public Library, 2019.
“Uncover Your Ears: When Youth Voice is the Loudest in the Room,” Luncheon speaker, MCTE Conference, Lansing, Mi, 2019.
“In Tune with Social Justice,” workshop, MCTE Conference, Lansing, Mi, 2019.

Contact

For links to
For inquiries on literacy advocacy or writing workshop, send an email to [email protected]

For playwriting and theatre inquiries, email [email protected]

https://blacklgbtplays.carrd.co/
sbscribes.com
shawntai.wordpress.com