Lynn Nottage, born in Brooklyn in the sixties has become one of the most prominent playwrights of her generation. She focuses her attention on the marginalized groups in society, a topic given extra weight in the modern world. The daughter of a teacher and a psychologist Lynn Nottage would write her first play before she even left highschool, The Darker Side of Verona about a touring group of African-American actors, touring a Shakespeare production through the South of America.
Her best known work is Sweat. Written in 2015 against the backdrop of the election of Donald Trump. With the desiccation of the rust belt and the simmering racial tension that has defined America since its inception, Sweat is a powerful examination of race, class, friendship, gender and crime against the backdrop of a factory about to move out to Mexico. Her writing style is personal, visceral and exceptionally relatable. All of Nottage’s characters are flawed and are desperately trying to find they’re own way in the world, an aspect I think we can all relate to.
I’ve been looking back at her work as giant protests grip the United States and it is hard to think of a playwright who more accurately captures the dispossession and the angst of working people and marginalised communities more than Lynn Nottage. Her work is exceptional and you should read her plays if you get the opportunity.
The Best Plays of Lynn Nottage
- Intimate Apparel
- By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
- Las Meninas
- Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine
- Mud, River, Stone
- The Grey Rooster
- Crumbs from the Table of Joy
“I feel it’s my social responsibility to shine a light on areas that don’t get seen. My personal feeling is that it’s an artist’s responsibility to be engaged with the culture. And when the culture is going through turmoil, I think an artist can’t ignore that.” – Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage is a powerful modern playwright now working out of Columbus University, she is also an excellent speaker and lecturer. If you have the opportunity to read her work or listen to her speak, you should grab it with both hands! Hopefully this article has given you some guidance on somewhere to start on her catalog. If youre interested in acting but dont know where to start, check out the StageMilk Scene Club below.