NEW YORK CITY: Award-winning playwright Donja Love and the National Queer Theater have announced their third annual 10-week virtual playwriting workshop, Write It Out!, a free opportunity for artists living with HIV to help develop and sharpen their playwriting skills and artistic voice. The workshop aims to create a community for the participating artists and amplify the voices of those living with HIV.
Love began the program in 2019 in an effort to combat the loneliness felt by many diagnosed with HIV. According to Love, outdated but still lingering stigmas often contribute to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety among those suffering from HIV. By navigating these feelings and expressing them through creative endeavors, Love, who also lives with HIV, has found strength and greater confidence.
“I started Write It Out! as a way for people living with HIV to be in a creative space void of shame and stigma, to be in a community,” said Love in a statement. “Now in its third year, I realize Write It Out! is more than just a writing workshop. It’s a family that helps people grow as artists and people living with HIV.”
“Write It Out! has been life-altering for me, effectively changing the trajectory of my life as an artist and my outlook on living with HIV,” said Dwayne, a Write It Out alumni who asked for his last name to remain confidential, in a statement. “Completing writing prompts that encourage us to be honest and transparent, under the excellent guidance of Donja, while connecting to fellow artists of different backgrounds but a shared lived experience, was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. I am so grateful for Write It Out! and the community that it has built.”
Love is an award-winning playwright, arts educator, and HIV advocate. His credits include, soft (MCC), one in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company) and Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club). Love is the recipient of the Antonyo Awards’ inaugural Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Terrence McNally Award, and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. He is the co-founder of the Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility through art and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people of color. Love is also a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School.
Applications for this year’s cohort have closed. There will be a Zoom presentation at the end of the workshop on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. EST featuring professional actors.
Along with Love and National Queer Theater, Write It Out! is presented in partnership with Pride Plays, Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative, and the Each-Other Project with the support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. In 2021, Write It Out! awarded $5,000 to Domnic Colón, a playwright living with HIV, for his work The War I Know. The award was funded by Emmy-winning actor Billy Porter and LGTBQ nonprofit GLAAD to hire a dramaturg in order to develop new work.
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