When you want to get experimental and learn about something new, that’s when The LAB comes in.

The LAB is a free public event on the second Friday of each month. These events are curated by local and national artists who are in residency at our theatre the month prior to their event. The subjects that are explored in The LAB are as dynamic as the artists that host them. In a year where change is the status quo, join The LAB for an empowering venture into curiosity, innovation, and creation in real time.

For our next LAB on Friday, July 9 at 1:00 PM EDT, join us for…

Donja Love

Donja Love will welcome Raul Avila, Isaac Q, Cece Suazo for a roundtable about HIV+ narratives in theatre. These four playwrights will also reflect on their own lived experiences with HIV after a performance by Timothy DuWhite. Join them for this thoughtful venture into their creative worlds.

The LAB is made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Resident Artist Curating the Lab

DONJA LOVE

Donja R. Love (he/him/his) is Black, Queer, HIV-Positive, and thriving. A Philly native, his work examines the forced absurdity of life for those who identify as Black, Queer, and HIV-Positive –  a diverse intersection filled with eloquent stories that challenge the white supremacist, heteronormative structures that exist in American culture. He’s the recipient of the Antonyo’s inaugural Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Laurents/Hatcher Award and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. Other honors include The Lark’s Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, The Playwrights Realm’s Writing Fellowship, and the Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. He’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ+ People of Color. Plays include softone in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nominations), and The Trade. He’s a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School.

Panelists and Performers

Timothy DuWhite

Timothy DuWhite (he/they) is a Black/queer poet, actor, and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY. His essays and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, and elsewhere. In the summer of 2018, DuWhite debuted his one-man show NEPTUNE as the headliner for Dixon Place’s annual “Hot Festival.” Following rave reviews and sold-out performances, NEPTUNE was then restaged as the 2019 kick-off event for Brooklyn Museum’s acclaimed “1st Saturday” series. DuWhite was named a “Black LGBTQ+ playwright you need to know ” by Time Out NY. He is an alumnus of the Public Theater’s #BARS program, brainchild of actors/writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. He is a current member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group 2020-2022 cohort. A 2020-2021 BAM Resident Artist. DuWhite is the Senior Editor at RaceBaitr.com, Program Director at NY Writers Coalition, and is represented by A3 Artist Agency for Acting & Playwriting. 

Timothy DuWhite (he/they) is a Black/queer poet, actor, and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY. His essays and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, and elsewhere. In the summer of 2018, DuWhite debuted his one-man show NEPTUNE as the headliner for Dixon Place’s annual “Hot Festival.” Following rave reviews and sold-out performances, NEPTUNE was then restaged as the 2019 kick-off event for Brooklyn Museum’s acclaimed “1st Saturday” series. DuWhite was named a “Black LGBTQ+ playwright you need to know ” by Time Out NY. He is an alumnus of the Public Theater’s #BARS program, brainchild of actors/writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. He is a current member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group 2020-2022 cohort. A 2020-2021 BAM Resident Artist. DuWhite is the Senior Editor at RaceBaitr.com, Program Director at NY Writers Coalition, and is represented by A3 Artist Agency for Acting & Playwriting. 

Cece Suazo

Activist, Playwright, Actress

Cece (she/her) was honored with the 2018 Advocate Magazine Award for her contributions in the ballroom community and performing arts. Ms. Suazo’s ballroom career began in 1988 as the youngest member in the Iconic House Of LaBeija and in the ballroom community. She became “Mother” of the house briefly. Earned Legendary status in 2010. In 2013 she departed the house after 27 years to pursue acting full time.

She has appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions at Rattlestick, Signature, LaMama, Arcon, NYTW & New York Times Critics production of Street Children (produced by Vertigo Theater company, Directed by Jenna Worsham), Incongruence @ NYTW (Produced by Ivy Theater company, Directed by Audrey Alford). She starred in the Bay area/San Francisco premier of Chisa Hutchinsons Dead & Breathing (Produced by Theater Rhinoceros, Directed by AJ Mitchell). She’s worked with the Trevor and TMI project on there off-broadway production of Life Lines:Queer Stories of Survival which was turned into a documentary (premiering 2021), Two-time Helen Hayes nominee Dane Edid’s-Figueroas play For Black Trans Girls @ Wolly Mammoth Theater Company in DC (Directed by Paige Hernandez-Funn). In 2019 she had the honor to play trans pioneer Lucy Hicks Anderson in an episode of High Herstory.

As the first trans woman of color at WOW Cafe Theater. (the nation’s oldest women and trans collective), she’s produced many works in her twelve years as a member of the collective including Dane Edidi-Figueroa’s one-woman show Klytemenstra & the premier of Dan McCormicks Magpie Tree, Starring NAACP Award winner Janet Hubert (The original Aunt Vivian Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire) at Producers Club Theaters.

Ms.Suazo is also one of the founders of TRANSLAB along with MJ Kaufman and Kit Yan. She’s had developmental playwriting residency within Translab in partnership with The Public Theater & WP Theater in New York City. Her first play Shattered Reflections (The Deep Play) directed by Orion S.Johnstone had its premier December 2018 at the WP Theater. Cece has been fighting and rallying for trans-rights from her days as a staff member at Housing Works as she still continues.

She recently presented her latest play produced by Tony-Award winning theater company Long Wharf Theater titled You Will Neva Enter Our High Holy Land Of Blackness-HIYA (Directed by Dane Edidi-Figueroa). Her 4th play “The Deep Play” has its premiere on World Aids Day produced by Write Out, National Queer Theater & The Lark playwright’s lab facilitated by Donja R. Love.

She’s the creator of Black Trans Stories Matter workshop facilitated by the TMI Project were she will serve as Community Outreach Coordinator.

Ms. Suazo’s 5th play titled “Things That Were Said Too Me” produced by the Homebound Project & The No Kid Hungry campaign premiered earlier this year.

Ms. Suazo currently is a producer along with Rattlestick Theater on there new conversation digital series titled “For The Gurlz”. Cece also serves as host.

Playwriting Residencies: National Queer Theater, The Lark, Write it Out, WP Theater/The Public Theater and Rattlestick Theater.