Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

A play a day keeps the boredom away

When playwright Suzan-Lori Parks sat down to work on her next play on Nov. 13, 2002, she didn’t know it was the start of a yearlong writing journey.

She finished the play that day. A play in one day — it’s been done. 

But what she started the next day, and the next and the next — all the way to Nov. 12, 2003 — had not been done. 

During that span, Parks wrote an original play daily. 

The result, 365 Days/365 Plays, is a worldwide grassroots festival of theater where venues from New York to Los Angeles, and from England to Australia — and yes, the University of Denver — will produce one week’s worth of the plays in their own style. 

The festival began on Nov. 13, 2006, and continues every day until Nov. 12, 2007. 

DU will host plays Feb. 19–25; the University’s Living and Learning Communities are organizing the event. 

Sheila Wright, who’s coordinating DU’s week, says performance locations will likely vary. 

“We’ve talked about many venues including residence halls, Nelson Dining Hall and possibly the Ritchie Center lobby before a hockey game,” Wright says. 

Tickets will be free to all DU performances. For more information, e-mail Wright at

To date, more than 600 theater companies, arts organizations and universities have joined the festival, which has been called the largest theater collaboration in U.S. history. 

Parks, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama for her play Top Dog/Underdog, has worked with important figures in the American film industry. Her first screenplay was for Spike Lee’s 1996 film Girl 6. She later worked with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions on two films, Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) and The Great Debaters, a forthcoming 2008 film directed by actor Denzel Washington.

Parks’ other plays include The America PlayVenus and In the Blood.

[Editor’s note: The DU performances will take place Feb. 20 on the Driscoll Bridge and Feb. 23 outside and on theRitchie Center concourse before and during the hockey game. Contact Sheila Wright for details.]

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