The lack of diversity in the publishing industry is set to be the focus of a new comedic play by award-winning writers Yvette Edwards and Irenosen Okjie. The writers say they want this play to be a “subtle and pertinent” reminder of the obstacles facing black writers.
The play is entitled The Green Room and will be directed by Roy Alexander Weise who said he hoped the play would be a “reminder for publishers and writers of all backgrounds of what black creatives have to navigate in their chosen careers.”
The play focuses on six authors who are backstage at a diversity in literature award they are all nominated for. It is described as “a timely and clear-eyed exploration of the publishing industry”, as well as the additional obstacles black writers face as they try to create a career in the UK.
Edwards has said that her play’s edgy comedy mirrors the dark humour black authors use as a means of protection “against the trauma of having to constantly relive all the mechanisms that obstruct our access to fair and equal inclusion and progress” in real life. She also added that some black authors were still being invited to literary discussions to explore the issue the of diversity instead of to promote their own work,
She added that black authors were still being invited to literary festivals to discuss the issue of diversity instead of promoting their own work, “as if the resolution rested with them and not with the industry itself”.
Okojie went on to add: “We chose comedy to tell the story because we want to impact people in ways that are subtle and pertinent, while leaving them with something to think about.”
As of now the cast has still not been announced.
If you wish to view the play yourself it will be livestreamed from Theatre Peckham on the 4th of July.