Pearl Cleage's New Play Illuminates The Murky Intersections Of Society, Aging And Identity

Mar 21, 2019

Atlanta-based playwright and author Pearl Cleage invites people to examine the messy, frequently irrational parts of being human. In several best-selling novels and plays, she explores issues of race, gender and identity. Her newest play, "Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous," premieres at Alliance Theatre in March.

Cleage joined "On Second Thought" to discuss her start as a writer, her piece, "Mad at Miles," in the era of the #MeToo movement, and how her newest play tackles aging in the public eye.

Cleage said that while she loves writing novels and poetry, there's something unique about writing for the stage.

"You can read from your novel. You can read your poem," Cleage said. "But, if you can create characters that move around and make a story come alive for people ... there isn't anything else like that."

She also discussed how her writing tackles her experiences of racism and sexism as a black woman.

"You can't be black Monday, Wednesday, Friday; a woman Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday; and [then] you get Sunday off," said Cleage. "You can't do that. I'm black and female every single day, so I get to talk about being black and female every single day."

Cleage is the playwright in residence at Alliance Theatre. Her play, "Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous," premieres in Atlanta on March 20 and runs through April 14.


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