Jeremy O. Harris is donating a collection of plays by Black writers to libraries across the country.
On Late Night with Seth Meyers this week, Slave Play and Daddy playwright Jeremy O. Harris announced he is donating a collection of 15 plays by Black playwrights to 53 libraries and community centers across the United States—and is donating one such collection to Northwestern University in Seth Meyers’s name. The Golden Collection, named after Harris’s grandfather Golden Harris, is being launched in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign and can be purchased from the Black woman-owned independent bookstore Books and Crannies.
The Golden Collection’s selected work ranges from the 1920s to the present day, ending with—of course—Slave Play, which received a record-breaking 12 Tony nominations this year. Said Harris, the collection is intended to “complicate who we consider to be in the canon,” just like Harris’s project Black Work Broadway, a comprehensive record of all performances in Broadway houses created by Black artists.
The Golden Collection is just the latest entry in Harris’s substantial work supporting playwrights and audiences, funding 152 financial relief grants for playwrights at the beginning of the pandemic; producing two digital theatre projects, Fake Friends’ Circle Jerk and Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning, as part of his funding deal with HBO; creating the Golden and Ruth Harris Commission with New York Theatre Workshop, which will offer two $50,000 commissions for new theatrical works by Black women artists; and advocating for Joe Biden to bring back the Federal Theatre Project. (And this is just during COVID!) Said Harris, “There’s a lot of reason to feel despondent right now. Over 3 million people are out of work in the theatrical industry. Even more people . . . can’t even envision what life working in the theater might be like right now because they don’t know when it’s coming back. But in this moment we get to reframe and reimagine who the theater is for, how we get it to them, and how to change some of the dynamics that make theater so difficult to get to.”
More information on The Golden Collection can be found here.