Dave Harris

Dave Harris

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. His plays include EVERYBODY BLACK (WORLD PREMIERE: Actor's Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival 2019, Kennedy Center Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and Mark Twain Playwriting Award), WHITE HISTORY (Manhattan Theater Club Reading Series, Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, finalist O'Neill, semi-finalist The Relentless Award), INCENDIARY (...
Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. His plays include EVERYBODY BLACK (WORLD PREMIERE: Actor's Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival 2019, Kennedy Center Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and Mark Twain Playwriting Award), WHITE HISTORY (Manhattan Theater Club Reading Series, Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, finalist O'Neill, semi-finalist The Relentless Award), INCENDIARY (Venturous Fellowship at The Lark, NNPN/The Kennedy Center MFA Workshop), EXCEPTION TO THE RULE (Roundabout Underground Reading Series, finalist O'Neill), and TAMBO & BONES (Black Swan Lab at Oregon Shakespeare Fest, SPACE on Ryder Farm) amongst others. He is a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, and a 2018 Venturous Fellow at The Lark. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, will be published in May 2019 from Button Poetry. Dave received his B.A. from Yale and is a second year MFA playwright at UC San Diego.

Plays

  • TAMBO & BONES
    Tambo and Bones are two characters in a minstrel show. They soon come to realize that they are, in fact, just two characters in a minstrel show. This realization brings them great distress. All they want is some quarters and a nap. They decide that there is only one solution: they must find and kill the source of all their troubles. TAMBO & BONES interrogates the intersection of race and capitalism, and the...
    Tambo and Bones are two characters in a minstrel show. They soon come to realize that they are, in fact, just two characters in a minstrel show. This realization brings them great distress. All they want is some quarters and a nap. They decide that there is only one solution: they must find and kill the source of all their troubles. TAMBO & BONES interrogates the intersection of race and capitalism, and the connection between pain, profit, and audience.
  • EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
    Five Black high school students are stuck in detention on the Friday before a long weekend. Business is as usual until ERIKA, the college-bound star of the worst high school in the city, shows up to her very first detention. As the play progresses, we learn why each of them has been sentenced to seemingly never-ending detention. Exception to the Rule attacks the issue of surviving in an institution that was not...
    Five Black high school students are stuck in detention on the Friday before a long weekend. Business is as usual until ERIKA, the college-bound star of the worst high school in the city, shows up to her very first detention. As the play progresses, we learn why each of them has been sentenced to seemingly never-ending detention. Exception to the Rule attacks the issue of surviving in an institution that was not built for you. Maybe you smoke some weed in detention. Maybe you find love in detention. Maybe you wait for something to change in detention. But no matter how we survive, maybe we're all stuck here together.
  • INCENDIARY
    Incendiary tells the journey of a Black single mother who is preparing to break her deathrow-bound son out of prison. She navigates the practical steps of planning her son's prison break, like purchasing guns, getting a personal trainer, and preparing her daughter for a lonely life ahead. A collision between the absurd and the tragic, Incendiary complicates topics like generational violence, heroism, and...
    Incendiary tells the journey of a Black single mother who is preparing to break her deathrow-bound son out of prison. She navigates the practical steps of planning her son's prison break, like purchasing guns, getting a personal trainer, and preparing her daughter for a lonely life ahead. A collision between the absurd and the tragic, Incendiary complicates topics like generational violence, heroism, and the gendered expectations of emotional labor in Black families.
  • WHITE HISTORY
    BONNIE and TODD, a cage-free, kale-bred, colorblind white couple have just moved into a new home after accidentally burning down their previous homes. They are surprised when an exiled KKK Member kicks in their front door with a rope and a revolver, mistaking them for the Black couple that also just moved in next door. Naturally, there is a dinner party. An unapologetic and bold new comedy, White History...
    BONNIE and TODD, a cage-free, kale-bred, colorblind white couple have just moved into a new home after accidentally burning down their previous homes. They are surprised when an exiled KKK Member kicks in their front door with a rope and a revolver, mistaking them for the Black couple that also just moved in next door. Naturally, there is a dinner party. An unapologetic and bold new comedy, White History contends with the violence of America's foundation and the comedy of American progress.
  • EVERYBODY BLACK
    A MAD BLACK HISTORIAN is offered lots of money to record the definitive version of THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICATM even though he has never met another Black person before. With capitalism and white approval on his side, he assembles a pastiche of Blackness in America a la George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum, which includes a Slave and a Black Millennial arguing about whose day was harder, a talk show for...
    A MAD BLACK HISTORIAN is offered lots of money to record the definitive version of THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICATM even though he has never met another Black person before. With capitalism and white approval on his side, he assembles a pastiche of Blackness in America a la George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum, which includes a Slave and a Black Millennial arguing about whose day was harder, a talk show for Black people who are addicted to dating white people, a Tyler Perry spoof, and a visit from Barack Obama.
  • WATCH ME
    How can I get over slavery if I can't even get over my ex? WATCH ME takes place in subconscious void of an interracial couple from their first date, to their first time, to a reckoning with heritage, ancestry, and Black Jesus.
  • COLOR TV
    Originally commissioned by New Haven Arts and Humanities Co-Op High School:

    An all-Black television station is bought by a white television station, and soon the characters realize what it means to be "cancelled." A play about space, performance, and what it means to own your story.

    "Why we gotta die to see heaven?"
  • CONSTITUTION AVE
    Originally commissioned by New Haven Arts and Humanities Co-Op Highschool:

    Constitution Ave. place on the front porches of two homes in the city. A group of ol' folks lament the changing neighborhood. Two cops search for stolen property. Some white private schoolers try to "save the hood." A squad of teenagers protect their home and each other from a country that does not view them...
    Originally commissioned by New Haven Arts and Humanities Co-Op Highschool:

    Constitution Ave. place on the front porches of two homes in the city. A group of ol' folks lament the changing neighborhood. Two cops search for stolen property. Some white private schoolers try to "save the hood." A squad of teenagers protect their home and each other from a country that does not view them as people. A play about home, love, and finding peace in world of oppression and violence.

    "All that sky and you still smiling. Ain't that magic? Ain't fighting? Ain't that home?"
  • THE BIRTH OF TOBY
    TEN MINUTE PLAY:

    A white couple has to confront their own racism once they discover that, after an anonymous sperm donation, they've given birth to a Black child.