Generation T – Pia Wilson – October 2012

Our October reading was last minute – but it was a wonderful play by PIA WILSON, directed by HEIDI GRUMELOT


GENERATION T follows two Marines – one on psych leave and the other AWOL – and their drug-addled friends as they try to cope with life in post-9/11 America – the only America they’ve known.



Blackboard: Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you write…

PW:I’ve been a writer since my father put a pen in my hand at two years old. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Blackboard: Why did you write this play?
PW: GENERATION T came out of a conversation I was having with a fellow playwright, who was teaching an introductory college English class at the time. She asked the students to write about how 9/11 had affected them. They were only about 9 or 10 when it happened, so they don’t really remember an America before the terror.  I found their reactions interesting and wrote a play.
Blackboard: How did you find Blackboard?
PW: A fellow playwright introduced me.
Blackboard: What is important to you about a community of Black writers?  
PW:I find it comforting to be amongst people who understand what we’re up against and have a shorthand when it comes to the struggles we face as Black artists and people.
Blackboard: How do you want people to feel after they have heard this play?
PW: I want people to feel like they just watched their friends go around the bend and they will miss them.
Pia Wilson is a 2011 Heideman Award finalist for her short play, TURNING THE GLASS AROUND and a semi-finalist in the 2011 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She is a member of the 2008 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater and a 2009 playwriting fellow with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is also a member of The Passage Theatre Play Lab and a member of the 2009 Project Footlight team of composers and librettists.

Her full-length play, THE FLOWER THIEF, was an August 2012 co-production between Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time play festival. Her play, GENERATION T, was featured in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics reading series in June 2012. Her full-length drama, RED ROOSTER, was likewise a part of the Future Classics reading series as well as the Emerging Writers Spotlight Series at The Public Theater in 2009. ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS was featured in The Looking Glass Theatre’s Spring 2009 Writer/Director Forum. THE RIVER PURE FOR HEALING was part of the 2008 Resilience of the Spirit play festival. Her play, TREE OF LIFE, received a 2007 workshop production at The Red Room Theater.


About blackboardplays

Familiar with the collectives for poets and other Black writers that had been created over the years and slightly envious of that sense of community, I became curious about a similar place for playwrights. I wanted to see Black playwrights, actors and directors excited over each others work and supporting each other. I was longing for a “home” as a Black playwright and wanted to see other Black artists in that home, not to be exclusive, but because there was a void. I was also eager to find other Black playwrights who shared a passion for the craft of storytelling. The stories of the Black community are diverse and are often hidden behind the blockbuster stereotyped versions. The non-artistic Black community, not involved in the writing of these stories, is yearning to see themselves in our stories and it is apart of my life’s work to ensure that happens. the cell is any artists’ dream: a new space that supports you as you grow, committed to new work and the art. This allows the writer to focus on the craft - to focus on their story. Nancy Manocherian and Kira Simring welcomed this idea with open arms and instantly became apart of what we later called “Blackboard Reading Series”. Every reading will conclude a twenty minute talk-back with the audience. Dialogue with the community is essential to what we want to do with the series. As we grow, there may be more readings a month, play festivals and of course productions. We want to nurture and develop new black playwrights for this generation! Thank You! Garlia Cornelia Jones Founder, Blackboard Reading Series
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