Suzan-Lori Parks, one of the most acclaimed playwrights in American drama today, will give the Winton J. Tolles Lecture at Hamilton College on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., in the Romano Flexible Theatre, Kennedy Center, on Hamilton’s campus. The lecture is free and open to members of the public who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have received a booster. Masks are required for all indoor events.
In her lecture titled “A Million Suggestions,” Parks will discuss the origins of her own writing career, and offer ideas to encourage the creative genius in each audience member.
A MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, Parks is the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. She was named among Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave,” and in 2015 was awarded the prestigious Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts.
Parks’ project 365 Days/365 Plays (where she wrote a play a day for an entire year) was produced in more than 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history.
Other grants and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts. She also received a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, a CalArts Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant.
Parks’ other plays include Topdog/Underdog (2002 Pulitzer Prize winner); In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist); and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 OBIE Award, Best New American Play). Her adaptation of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Parks’ newest play, Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) — set during the Civil War — was awarded the Horton Foote Prize, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, and was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
The Winton Tolles Lecture Series was established in 1991 by members of Hamilton’s Class of 1951 in memory of Winton Tolles, Class of 1928 and former dean of the College from 1947 to 1972. The Fund provides support to bring to the campus distinguished writers in the fields of literature, journalism and theatre to lecture and meet with students.