PlayCo is proud to announce the public presentations for our 2021 Residency for Black Women Theatre Makers*, a four-month period of process-oriented creative support provided to artists from around the world. The program provides financial support, time for new work development and artistic experimentation, and connectivity and community-building with fellow resident artists and PlayCo’s local and international networks.
While the residencies are geared towards process and incubation rather than finalizing work for production, they conclude with these free-with-RSVP, digital presentations of works-in-progress, conceived by the artists in collaboration with PlayCo. Recordings of presentations are available upon request–please email Annie Wang ( for access.

You can access our digital program here.

Schedule of Events

Selected through an invitation to apply process in collaboration with curatorial consultant Kathy A. Perkins, here are our four participating artists and the projects they have been developing:

Friday, September 17 at 10am EST

Join Daaimah, Katlego, Zainabu, and Dione for a spirited and multifaceted discussion on process, collaboration, and the culmination of their PlayCo residency. This conversation will be moderated by PlayCo Artistic Associate Charlene Adhiambo, and will be open to the public.

Watch on Facebook Live or Youtube!


Monday, Sept 27 at 6:00PM EST

With this panel, Mubashshir and an esteemed gathering of speakers including Dr. Joy James (Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities, Williams College) and Dr. AnnMarie Mingo (Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State) will discuss the unnamed work of Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement.

Daaimah Mubashshir is a playwright and theatre-maker. Her work has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater and 3 Hole Press. Awards include a 2020-2022 WP Theater Lab Fellowship, 2019-2022 Core Writer Fellowship (Playwrights Center, MN), an 2018 Audrey Residency (New Georges), a MacDowell Fellowship, a Catwalk Institute Residency, a Foundation of Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. She is also a proud alumna of Fire This Time Festival. Her published works include “Molasses and A Blue Coat” – Kenyon Review Online, “The Zero Loop” (No Tokens Journal), “Come with Me – Solve for X in The Occasional 2,” edited by Will Arbery (53rd State Press), and The Immeasurable Want of Light (MacDowell, 3 Hole Press). Selected stage plays include Night of Power, Room Enough (MacDowell, Fire This Time Festival, Clubbed Thumb, Pride Plays, Playwrights Center), The Chronicles of Cardigan and Khente and Emily Black is A Total Gift (New Georges). Daaimah is currently on faculty at Bard College and has also been a guest speaker at Yale School of Drama, Williams College, Skidmore College, and Kennesaw State University. She is the Artistic Director of {EDAP} which produces moving image work, text and performance to give audiences a kinetic experience of black bodies freeing themselves from the bondage of our past. For more information please visit – or


Tuesday, Sept 28 at 2:00PM EST

This event takes three parts: “ONE DAY I JUST APPEARED!” — an introduction of Brazilian Arthur Bispo do Rosario, a patient of a psychiatric institution in Rio de Janeiro for over forty years, where he created works of art with found objects as part of a “divine mission.” Jallo’s residency project surrounds his work and representations of memory within it; SYMBOLIC MEMORY AND PERFORMATIVE HISTORIOGRAPHY — a roundtable discussion with art curator Ricardo Resende, translated by Theatre Director, Camila Santos; and a READING: Excerpts from two situations of A Divine Mission – directed by Velani Dibba from the six situations of Jallo’s work-in-progress play.

Zainabu Jallo‘s academic and creative work have been conveyed through Fellowships at the Sundance Theater Institute, The Institute for World Literature, Harvard University, The Mellon School of Theater and Performance at Harvard (Migrations session), Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, ResidenzTheater Munich, Chateau de Lavigny, House of Writers in Switzerland. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts England, and UNESCO Coalition of Artists for the General History of Africa. Her scholarly interests include Diaspora studies, Iconic criticism, and Material Culture. Zainabu’s award-winning plays include Onions Make Us Cry, White Elephants, and Holy Night.


Wednesday, Sept 29 at 12:30PM EST

Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile entered the residency fascinated with bereavement and its complementary fortitude. As such, she presents Meriti, a new absurdist, bilingual, Afrofuturist exploration of modes and tactics of managing grief. Taking on multidisciplinary forms of communication, Kolanyane-Kesupile and her cast will deliver a staged reading of the play, and engage the audience in introspective dialogue about grief, rituals, abandonment, community, and perseverance. Meriti is a meditation on bridging the performative and personal domains of feeling and living.

Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile is an international award-winning cultural architect, Development Practitioner and Interdisciplinary Artist from Botswana. Her work in human rights, education, and communications centers decoloniality, feminism and Disability theory. Katlego is a classically trained singer and composer, theatrical performer and designer. Her published writing ranges from contemporary critiques, creative work in poetry, music and theatre, and scholarly research. Katlego is the founding director of the Queer Shorts Showcase Festival (Botswana’s premier LGBTQ-themed theatre festival) – for which she has written numerous works and mentored performers and writers, and founder of the Writers’ Meet Social Club. Her accolades include being a TED Fellow, Chevening Scholar, OkayAfrica #100Women honoree in the Arts, Mandela Washington Fellow, and CACE Africa Writivist. She holds an MA in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice from Goldsmiths University of London, and a BA (Hons) in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand.


Thursday, Sept 30 at 6:00PM EST

Dione Carlos’ residency project takes as its point of departure work by visual artist Rosana Paulino, whose work has prompted discussions about race and gender since the 1990s, calling into question the “Brazilian racial democracy” imaginary—created to erase the devastating legacy of the enslavement of the country’s Indigenous and Black populations. A dramaturgy based on Paulino’s visual art, Carlos’ project takes the forms of both a written text and audiovisual material, with the objective of materializing what visual art expresses with images using the poetry of words. She will present a short video of a reading from her play, in Portuguese with English subtitles, followed by a live conversation about the work.

Dione Carlos is a Brazilian playwright, screenwriter, actress, and curator. She has seventeen plays staged nationally and internationally in countries like Mexico, Colombia, Belgium, and Portugal. She has six published drama books, as well as articles in magazines and specialized websites. In 2019, she represented Brazil on the International Day of the Portuguese Language in Greece, having lectured at the Acropolis Museum. Currently, she develops scripts for TV and cinema.


About the Residency

Artists receive an $8,000 stipend and a $4,500 project budget. Support in the form of community will be built through biweekly virtual meetings between artists, as well as frequent communication and collaboration with and guidance from the PlayCo artistic team and a meet-and-greet with the PlayCo staff. PlayCo will also facilitate individual coffee dates, group meetings, teach-ins/Q&As, feedback sessions, and more with artists and theatre makers the resident artists are interested in meeting with. While the residencies are geared towards process and incubation rather than finalizing work for production, they will culminate in open, public-facing presentations of works-in-progress—potentially including readings, digital presentations, panel conversations or town halls – conceived by the artists in collaboration with PlayCo.
* We have intentionally titled this residency “Black Women Theatre Makers” first and foremost because we sought out and selected four women for our inaugural cohort. We gladly acknowledge and anticipate that any future cohorts may include artists of different underrepresented genders. If and when this time comes, we look forward to adjusting the name to best represent the artists in residency.