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WRITE IT OUT: A New Program for Writers Living with HIV

Lark News
graphic wih pink and black background that reads "WRITE IT OUT" in large white letters, alongside a photo of Donja R Love

Donja R. Love and National Queer Theater, in partnership with The Lark, Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), and the Each-Other Project, are delighted to announce Write It Out!, a new playwriting workshop for people living with HIV.

Supported through the generosity of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Write It Out! will support 10-12 participating writers in finding their unique voice as they navigate their serostatus. Over the course of the ten-week program, participants will partake in virtual workshops twice a week, which will focus on creating a community for people of similar lived experience to express themselves freely. The program will culminate in an optional virtual sharing of the participants’ work with professional actors and directors. 

“While many plays have been written and produced about HIV and AIDS, rarely do those playwrights come from the HIV+ community. Donja R. Love has carved out a unique space for people living with HIV to write their own stories, and we are thrilled to host this new program with Donja, The Each-Other Project, The Lark, and MOBI, with the help of Tom Viola at Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS,” said Adam Odsess-Rubin, Founder and Artistic Director of National Queer Theater. 

National Queer Theater is thrilled that award-winning playwright Donja R. Love and poet Timothy DuWhite are leading
Write It Out! for its inaugural year. Love is joining as the program instructor. DuWhite is coming aboard as the program manager. 

Taking to playwriting after being diagnosed with HIV in 2008, Love’s own 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.

“While in previews for my play,
one in two, a semi-autobiographical story about my experience living with HIV, I remembered how I started writing plays after my diagnosis. I remembered how healing that was. Then, I started to think about the importance of PLWHIV expressing themselves and how art is a powerful medium to do such. Through Write It Out! I hope that all involved, myself included, can shed the shame of being HIV-Positive as we build an artistic community.”

Applicants who are eighteen or older and living with HIV are invited to submit a brief bio and short writing sample to National Queer Theater beginning on August 1st. The deadline for applications is August 31st before midnight EST. Virtual workshops will begin on Zoom on September 29th and will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00pm – 6:00pm EST through November 19thth. The final sharing will take place on World AIDS Day on December 1st. Applicants can apply at nationalqueertheater.org.


National Queer Theater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New York City with a mission to foster and support LGBTQ communities through social justice in the performing arts.

Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI) is a series of curated social connectivity events for gay and queer men of color to see their holistic self while promoting community, wellness, and personal development.

The Each-Other Project is an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ+ People of Color.

Donja R. Love (he/him/his) is Black, Queer, HIV-Positive and thriving, and a Philly native. He is the recipient of the Antonyo Awards’ 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 is 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 soft, one 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. Love is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School.

Timothy DuWhite is a writer, poet, playwright, performance artist, and activist. His work is both brave and exhilarating, and directly addresses difficult and controversial issues such as HIV, state sanctioned violence, racism, and queerness. He has performed at the United Nations/UNICEF, Apollo Theater, Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, La Mama Theater, Issue Project Room, on the behalf of Adidas and many more. He has delivered keynote speeches and appeared at institutions such as San Diego State University, Indiana University, Columbia University, Oregon State University, John Hopkins University and many more. His writing and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, and elsewhere. He has work in the forthcoming anthology The Future is Black: Afropessimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education co-edited by Michael Dumas, Ashley Woodson and Carl Grant. A committed educator, he has facilitated workshops at  the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Housing Works, and Rikers Island.

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