Brian Eugenio Herrera considers the playwright’s role, including how it has been shaped by and has responded to notable conventions of the postwar American theater, such as color-blind casting, Method acting, psychological naturalism, and representational identity politics. Staging an “oblique encounter” between James Baldwin and María Irene Fornés via their experiences with The Actor’s Studio of the sixties—and discussing their distance from the rise of not-for-profits and theaters devoted to marginalized communities—Herrera concludes that both dramatists were “caught in the gaps created by the transformative industrial and aesthetic shifts of American theater in the 1960s.” Herrera then reexamines how dramatists of marginalized identities, by recovering the legacies of Baldwin and Fornés, might move beyond mainstream aesthetics and “diversity’s categorical logics” through formal innovation and collaborative risk-taking.

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