Down For My [Queer] Niggaz: Claiming Black Queer Theatrical Culture



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Non-black queer theatre-makers have asserted that a queer theatrical culture does not exist. This thesis resists this notion and seeks to claim a distinct black queer theatrical culture. Through a close reading of three scripts and a lens of black queer theory, this thesis marks the characteristics of a black queer theatrical culture. Additionally, in interrogating black studies and queer theory, I argue that a black queer theatrical is markedly distinct from both black theatre and queer theatre. The field of black queer studies has grown tremendously within the past two decades. However, in most anthologies of black queer studies and the arts, there is nothing specifically dedicated to black queer theatre. In putting black queer studies in conversation with black queer theatre, this thesis hopes to expand the possibilities of black queer theatre within discussions of black queer studies as well as theatre-makers’ understandings of black queerness. In highlighting and claiming a black queer theatrical culture, this thesis aims to highlight narratives of black queerness within the theatre that showcase the multiplicity and fluidity of black culture and queer culture.



Black Theatre, Queer Theatre, Black Queer Theatre