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Playwright Star Finch is collaborating with Crowded Fire Theater (Crowded Fire) to create Shipping and Handling, a play that is structured as an evening out at the theater told in reverse order: moving from the after party with actors, to the playwright’s experimental talkback, to the performance of the official ‘play’ itself. The playwright describes the work as one that explores how our humanity will be measured within the soon to be robotic-reality on the horizon, rooting that interrogation in the Black feminine gaze. Star Finch, a company member of Campo Santo, is the author of H.O.M.E (Hookers on Mars Eventually), Bondage, Ethos De Masquerade, and other works.

Crowded Fire produces a season of up to three mainstage plays. Since 2009, 97% of the plays it has produced were written by playwrights identifying as female, transgender, non-binary, LGBTQIA, and/or people of color. Through its Matchbox New Play Development program, more than 100 plays have been developed and 50 have gone on to full productions. Over the last two years, it has introduced a new type of laboratory for play development, the Resilience & Development Lab, wherein five local female and trans identifying writers and director-dramaturgs meet together monthly to support one another in asking the question, “How do you examine white supremacy culture, without centering the white experience?” From that, they are developing new works. Star Finch has been part of the Resilience & Development Lab. The Creative Work Fund grant will help the collaborators to move Shipping and Handling from the lab, through further development, and into its production phase.

Photo of Star Finch by Joan Osato