In her supple and sincere commitment to words and their worlds, Adrienne Kennedy asserts the profundity of the first impression of words as meaningful onto the child’s mind. – Tracie Morris
letter to sixteen year old
It is crystal clear a person has to be in love with
writing. writers culture. in order to
continue. with all the disappointments
You have to be in love with words
I would tell the sixteen year old to
continue if they have that love
otherwise it is too difficult
Childhood is the map
writers are made in childhood
© Adrienne Kennedy
(excerpted from “a letter to Erica Hunt,” p 171 in Letters to the Future)
Adrienne Kennedy has been a force in American theatre since the early 1960s. She is a threetime Obie award winner, for Funnyhouse of a Negro in 1964, June and Jean in Concert in 1996 and Sleep Deprivation Chamber which she co-authored with her son Adam Kennedy. She is the winner of the 2008 Obie Lifetime Achievement Award. Among her honors are the American Academy of Arts and Letters award, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and a Modern Language Association Honorary Fellow in 2005. She has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard University, among others, and has been commissioned by The Public, the Royal Court, Juilliard and by Jerome Robbins. Signature Theatre devoted its entire 1995-96 Season to her work, and in 2016 Kennedy closed out Signature Theater’s 25th anniversary program. In 2016 a new staging of her one-act play A Rat’s Mass (1967), directed and produced by Hilton Als, was staged at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art. Her memoir People Who Led To My Plays was recently reissued by Theatre Communications Group. She is a 2017 Hutchins Fellow at Harvard and in this 2017-18 season, her play The Owl Answers will be at Harvard in Farkas Hall and her play He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box will be at Theatre for a New Audience in New York City.
Photograph by Signature Theatre Mural NYC.
FUTURE is part of KPI’s small experiments of radical intentseries:Postcards to the Future: Protest in Place that began during the BLM protests while on pandemic lock down in summer 2020. The series runs through August 2021 and focuses on the voices in Letters to the Future: Black Women / Radical Writing, with the intent to uplift and celebrate Black women’s voices.
The KPI Postcards to the Future: Protest in Place team
Tracie Morris, Lisa Bowden, Desiree Maultsby, Denise Uyehara, Dulce Botello, Casely Coan, Liz Burden, Tina Howard