(Bio as of May 2008)
Ifa Bayeza most recently collaborated with the Goodman Theatre on The Ballad of Emmett Till during the 2007/2008 Season. Ms. Bayeza is an award-winning playwright, producer and conceptual theater artist. She has received numerous honors for The Ballad of Emmett Till, including an artist-in-residence fellowship from Brown University’s Rites & Reason Theatre and Providence Black Repertory Theatre; the inaugural fellowship from the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Media at Columbia College in association with Goodman Theatre; and a fellowship at The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s 2007 National Playwrights Conference. Her works for the stage include Amistad Voices, Club Harlem and Homer G & the Rhapsodies, for which she received a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays fellowship. Ms. Bayeza is co-founder of DBA Studios, doing business artistically, creating innovative theater-based work to encourage dialogue among races, cultures and people. The company’s premiere youth audience initiative, Ms. Bayeza’s hip-hop musical Kid Zero, with music by Harvey Mason, has been seen by more than 12,000 public school students in Chicago, St. Louis and New York. Ms. Bayeza served as the original dramaturg and set designer for her sister Ntozake Shange’s landmark production of for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf at New Federal Theatre and The Public Theater. She and Ms. Shange are collaborating on a new novel, Some Sing, Some Cry for St. Martin’s Press. Other awards include two fellowships to the Tuck School Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) and the 2003 Arna Bontemps Centennial Writer’s Fellowship. A graduate of Harvard University, Ms. Bayeza is a board member of the SonEdna Literary Foundation and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.