Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle Gomez is the author of 8 books including the cult favourite vampire novel THE GILDA STORIES as well as the musical based on the book: "Bones and Ash" which was commissioned by Urban Bush Women Company and toured 13 US cities. The novel will soon be adapted for a television mini-series. Words and Music is my trilogy of plays about African American artists in the first half of the 20th century...
Jewelle Gomez is the author of 8 books including the cult favourite vampire novel THE GILDA STORIES as well as the musical based on the book: "Bones and Ash" which was commissioned by Urban Bush Women Company and toured 13 US cities. The novel will soon be adapted for a television mini-series. Words and Music is my trilogy of plays about African American artists in the first half of the 20th century. It includes "Waiting for Giovanni" about an imagined moment in the life of James Baldwin and "Leaving the Blues" about singer/songwriter, Alberta Hunter. I have taught playwriting, women's literature, and speculative fiction at institutions of higher learning around the country. I am currently playwright in residence at New Conservatory Theatre Center.

Plays

  • Leaving the Blues
    The real-life Alberta Hunter was a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with. Born in poverty in Memphis in 1895 she was an international star by 1917; starred on Broadway by 1928 and by the 1940s she'd written and recorded innumerable blues songs. This play looks at why she succeeded, why she retired and why she made a come back in her 80s. To capture the story she travels backward through time with a ghostly...
    The real-life Alberta Hunter was a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with. Born in poverty in Memphis in 1895 she was an international star by 1917; starred on Broadway by 1928 and by the 1940s she'd written and recorded innumerable blues songs. This play looks at why she succeeded, why she retired and why she made a come back in her 80s. To capture the story she travels backward through time with a ghostly, Vaudeville conductor to relive her triumphs and her heartbreaks. Reputed to be acerbic and tight-fisted the play examines what a Black, female entertainer/ entrepreneur had to be to succeed in the early part of the 20th century. With a few (6) songs, a little tap dancing and many laughs we meet her fellow entertainers and her lover who sustain her through the decades.
  • Waiting for Giovanni: a dream play
    It's the 1957 and bombs are exploding in Black churches; the African American community is still mourning the murder of 15 year old Emmett Till; and the lynchings continue. A young, Black, gay writer is hitting his stride and working on his second novel, which is not about African Americans or the Civil Rights Movement. The topic-a gay affair in Paris-stirs a different kind of protest and the young writer...
    It's the 1957 and bombs are exploding in Black churches; the African American community is still mourning the murder of 15 year old Emmett Till; and the lynchings continue. A young, Black, gay writer is hitting his stride and working on his second novel, which is not about African Americans or the Civil Rights Movement. The topic-a gay affair in Paris-stirs a different kind of protest and the young writer has to decide whether or not to publish the book. Despite warnings from other Black writers and activists his French lover encourages him; but is it worth the risk to his career? This is an imagining of the dilemma faced by James Baldwin before finishing his now classic novel, Giovanni's Room.
  • Bones & Ash: A Gilda Story
    This full length, musical/dance piece is based on the double Lambda Literary Award-winning vampire novel, THE GILDA STORIES which has been in print for more than 25 years. A Black young girl escapes from slavery in the US South in 1850 and is rescued by a young appearing madam and her life partner. She grows up in their unusual bordello in New Orleans until she agrees to embrace life as a benevolent vampire....
    This full length, musical/dance piece is based on the double Lambda Literary Award-winning vampire novel, THE GILDA STORIES which has been in print for more than 25 years. A Black young girl escapes from slavery in the US South in 1850 and is rescued by a young appearing madam and her life partner. She grows up in their unusual bordello in New Orleans until she agrees to embrace life as a benevolent vampire. One hundred years later the girl, now called Gilda, living in the North, recognizes a young woman who is escaping from her pimp. Gilda must risk her own life and those she loves to save her.