Theater and Performance Studies graduate student wins So.Queer Playwrights’ Festival

KARI BARCLAY, a PhD candidate in Theater and Performance Studies, has been named winner of the inaugural So.Queer Playwrights’ Festival, sponsored by the Richmond, VA, Triangle Players.

Kari Barclay
Kari Barclay

Barclay’s winning Stonewallin’ is a queer coming-of-age story in the American South that the Richmond Triangle Players (RPT) said is “full of witchcraft, war re-enactors and ghosts.”

Over the course of the next year, RTP will collaborate with Barclay to develop Stonewallin’ further through a series of workshops and public readings, as well as consultations with local artists and mentorship from theatre experts. The goal is to give the play a full mainstage production in a future RTP season, possibly as early as 2022.

“I’m thrilled to be selected as the winner of the So.Queer Festival,” said Barclay. “Not every theater would take on a play that fearlessly explores racial politics, queer and trans identities, and the many layers of life in the South, and I’m grateful to Richmond Triangle Players for being a leader in our field. The opportunity to develop this play in Richmond in dialogue with community members is a tremendous gift.”

Barclay’s play was chosen among 90 submissions using weighted survey results from patrons who viewed all four finalists and by an RTP review team. The review team found that Barclay wrote a compelling piece that represents the mission of the So.Queer Playwriting Festival, which is to find stories rooted in the South that reflect the diversity within the queer community.

Barclay is the author of six plays, including Can I Hold You, one of the first comedies in the United States to explore asexual identities. Barclay grew up in Lexington, VA, and Bethesda, MD, and lives in Berkeley.