March 31, 2016–Kara Lee Corthron, Playwright and Inspiration


Playwright Kara Lee Corthron

Kara Lee Corthron started this. I’m so happy she did.

“My hunger for knowledge is practically pathological,” writes Corthron.

So is her passion for storytelling and sharing what she learns with her fellow travelers on this big blue marble.

Every day for this past month, I have been profiling a different woman to celebrate Women’s History Month, along the way enlarging my world and finding connections to positive role models. I got the idea from Corthron who did the same kind of thing in February on her blog, Things I Think About.

“For each day of February, I’m going to feature a Black individual on my blog who falls into one of the following categories: 1) someone who rarely or never receives any attention during Black History Month, 2) someone whom I’d like to learn more about, or 3) someone I’ve only just heard of!” writes Corthron in her introduction to the project.

“Keep in mind that these entries will be very casual—I’m not a historian or a biographer—so please feel free to add other facts that I’ve left out or to add your own discussion questions/topics in the comments section. I want this to be an interactive project so I hope readers will be inspired to contribute.”

She inspired me, all right. I saw her February profiles scroll by on Facebook and every day they would make me happy and hopeful as part of the human race–no small feat in these dark times of psychopaths and presidential elections. The profiles were a gift to us each day. And every time I saw one, I knew somewhere on the other end of the newsfeed scroll was a woman at her laptop allowing herself the time each day for discovering something new in the world so she could share it with us.

Susie King Taylor, Jim McHarris, Bricktop, Wole Soyinka, Septima Poinsette Clark… these are some of the people she introduced to me.

I was lucky enough to meet Corthron the first time in person a few years ago at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. She was there as a panelist in the Play Lab. I remember she was shy at first, and then she was brilliant. She had that kind of smile that reminds me of the kinds of flowers that open with sun. I was also lucky enough to see one of her plays, Julius by Design, in New York City, where she lives, and was totally blown away by her honesty and compassion for her characters.

Click here for a bio on Corthron, and see for yourself how prolific and amazing this award winning playwright really is. She also teaches playwrighting at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts and is currently awaiting the publication of her first young adult novel, The Distance From Me to You, forthcoming from Simon and Schuster this fall. (I can’t wait!)

Corthron and I live far away from each other. I hope someday soon our paths cross again. Until then, our connection is over woven over social media, our imaginations and some of the stories we share with the world. And that’s huge. I want to say thank you to her, and to all the women who’ve helped make this a memorable month.


2 Comments on “March 31, 2016–Kara Lee Corthron, Playwright and Inspiration

  1. Oh, what a perfect ending to your month-long series. I love what you wrote about Corthron: “She had that kind of smile that reminds me of the kinds of flowers that open with sun.” So beautiful!
    P.S. I am so going to miss these posts. I really looked forward to them, and it was nice to take a pause in my day to meet gutsy, forward-thinking woman from other cultures, other times. Cheers and thanks so, so much for all of your hard work and effort.


    • They’re our sisters, all of them! Thank you for reading and doing the posting. I think this will become a yearly thing. I’m gonna miss them! Onward!


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