Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” in 2002 Suzan-Lori Parks became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her Broadway hit TOPDOG/UNDERDOG.
A MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, she has also been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was most recently awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for 2015. Her new play FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (Parts 1, 2, & 3) made its world premiere at the Public Theater in New York, followed by a celebrated run at the A.R.T in Cambridge, MA. The play was named a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was awarded the 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History as well as the 2014 Horton Foote Prize. Parks’s work on THE GERSHWIN’S PORGY AND BESS was honored with the 2012 Tony Award.
Her numerous plays include THE BOOK OF GRACE, IN THE BLOOD (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist), VENUS (1996 OBIE Award), 365 DAYS/365 PLAYS, and THE DEATH OF THE LAST BLACK MAN IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD, among others. She’s written a novel, GETTING MOTHER’S BODY, published by Random House. Her first feature-length screenplay was GIRL 6, written for Spike Lee. She’s also written screenplays for Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Oprah Winfrey, adapting Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD which premiered on ABC’s Oprah Winfrey Presents.
Parks is currently writing an adaptation of the film THE HARDER THEY COME for a live stage musical. Suzan-Lori is the Master Writer Chair at the Public Theater, and she also serves as a professor in dramatic writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.