Harrison David Rivers

Harrison David Rivers

HARRISON DAVID RIVERS is the winner of the 2018 Relentless Award. His produced plays include: When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award, NYFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, NYFringe, Diversionary Theatre, TheatreLAB, Real Live Theatre), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination for Best Play, National Black Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This (20% Theatre Company, The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms Are Born (...
HARRISON DAVID RIVERS is the winner of the 2018 Relentless Award. His produced plays include: When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award, NYFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, NYFringe, Diversionary Theatre, TheatreLAB, Real Live Theatre), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination for Best Play, National Black Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This (20% Theatre Company, The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination for Best New Play, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Williamstown), A Crack in the Sky (History Theatre), Five Points (MN Theatre Award Nominee for Exceptional New Work, Theatre Latte Da) This Bitter Earth ((MN Theatre Award Nominee for Exceptional New Work, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Penumbra, About Face) and To Let Go and Fall (Theatre Latte Da).

His unproduced plays include: the bandaged place, The Sea & The Stars, and all the dead lie down, and The Salvagers.

Harrison was named a Runner-up for the 2018 Artist of the Year by the Star Tribune and a 2017 Artist of the Year by City Pages. He has received McKnight and Many Voices Jerome Fellowships, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship and New York Stage & Film’s Founders’ Award. He was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Harrison is an alum of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers' Group, Interstate 73, NAMT and The Lincoln Center Directors' Lab. He is a NYTW Usual Suspect and a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center where he is also a member of the Board of Directors.

BA: Kenyon College.
MFA: Columbia School of the Arts.

Plays

  • the bandaged place
    Jonah is a dancer.
    Jonah is injured.
    Jonah has an ex-boyfriend.

    A brutal and lyrical play about the things we hang on to and the price of moving forward, the bandaged place tells the story of one man’s attempt to free himself from the abuses of his past. Jonah is forced to turn to his precocious daughter and tough love grandmother for support when a former lover resurfaces, re-opening a painful wound.
  • This Bitter Earth
    A protest brought them together. But now, as his white lover, a Black Lives Matter activist, immerses himself in the struggle, Jesse, a black man, must confront his own political apathy or risk his rights and their love. This gripping and intimate new play asks what is the real cost of standing on the sidelines?
  • The Sea & The Stars
    Simon is a lifeguard.
    Finn is terrified of water.
    Both, broken-hearted and adrift, have returned to the tiny beach town of Jupiter and to families who need them.
    A play about love, karaoke, and the sea.
  • Where Storms Are Born
    Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go. With wit and empathy, this play reminds us of the courage and resilience it takes to chart a better way forward for the ones we love.
  • And All The Dead Lie Down
    When an unexpected phone call upsets Alvin (HIV-) and Foss' (HIV+) usual Saturday routine, the couple must navigate a minefield of long suppressed resentments, past histories and hurt feelings.
  • Sweet
    Retha and Nina Baker have always been close-folding laundry together, chasing fireflies together and enduring the summer heat together. But when their mother dies unexpectedly and their neighbor, George returns home from college, the sisters' relationship begins to fray and long-held desires threaten to tear them apart. Set on the outskirts of an all-black town in rural Kansas, "Sweet" is a...
    Retha and Nina Baker have always been close-folding laundry together, chasing fireflies together and enduring the summer heat together. But when their mother dies unexpectedly and their neighbor, George returns home from college, the sisters' relationship begins to fray and long-held desires threaten to tear them apart. Set on the outskirts of an all-black town in rural Kansas, "Sweet" is a coming of age story about the sacrifices we make to hold on to the ones we love.
  • When Last We Flew
    After stealing his local library’s only copy of Angels in America, misfit teenager Paul locks himself in the bathroom to begin reading the landmark play. He soon finds that his life and the lives of those around him in his small Kansas town are about to take flight, and over the course of a seemingly ordinary day, extraordinary things start to happen…