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Kia Corthron, Award-Winning Playwright and Cumberland Native, to Speak at FSU

Playwright Kia Corthron, whom The Village Voice called "one of the most adventurous young women now writing," will speak at Frostburg State University Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Drama Theatre.

A Cumberland native, Corthron is known for her plays that "give voice to a segment of society that she finds to be voiceless." American Theatre magazine said her characters "are men, women and children who, for whatever reason, society would like to forget, and Corthron is determined to put them on stage and let them tell their stories."

She was quoted in The New York Times recently about how openly she embraces the issues she writes about. "I consider myself a political writer with a political point of view. ...I think the point gets across much stronger if the audience feels something rather than being told something intellectually. But every play of mine starts from a socio-political issue."

Corthron graduated from Allegany High School in 1979 and attended Frostburg State before transferring to the University of Maryland to earn a degree in communications. She later earned a master of fine arts degree at Columbia University in New York. She is the daughter of Shirley E. Corthron and the late James L. Corthron.

Her plays include "Breath, Boom," "Millenium Mambo (Safe Box)," "Splash Hatch on the E Going Down," "Digging Eleven," "Seeking the Genesis," "Life by Asphyxiation," "Wake Up Lou Riser," "Catnap Allegiance," "Cage Rhythm," and "Come Down Burning." One of her latest plays, which is receiving much acclaim, is "Force Continuum," about an African American family of police officers - three generations - living in Harlem. Her plays have been produced in New York and London.

Among her many honors are a 1996 Kennedy Center Fund Award for New American Plays for "Seeking the Genesis," a 1994 Young Playwrights Inc.'s Joe A. Callaway Playwriting Award for "Come Down Burning" and her selection as the first minority female recipient of the Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship in 1992.

"An Evening with Kia Corthron, Playwright" sponsors include the FSU Black Student Alliance, the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Office, the Diversity Center, the Division of Performing Arts, the FSU Chapter of NAACP and African American Studies.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Carmen Jackson of the FSU Diversity Center at (301) 687-4050.

Corthron will also speak at Ebenezer Full Gospel Baptist Church, 861 Columbia Ave. in Cumberland the night before, Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589