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Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre
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Andrea Hairston is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and has created original productions with music, dance, and masks for over thirty years. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, StageWest, and on Public Radio and Television. She has translated plays by Michael Ende and Kaca Celan from German to English. Ms. Hairston has received many playwriting and directing awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Playwrights, a Rockefeller/NEA Grant for New Works, an NEA grant to work as dramaturge/director with playwright Pearl Cleage, a Ford Foundation Grant to collaborate with Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, and a Shubert Fellowship for Playwriting.
Since 1997, her plays produced by Chrysalis Theatre, Soul Repairs, Lonely Stardust, Hummingbird Flying Backward, and Dispatches have been science fiction plays. Archangels of Funk, a sci-fi theatre jam, garnered her a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for 2003.
Ms. Hairston's first novel, Mindscape, was published by Aqueduct Press in March 2006. Mindscape won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick Award and the Tiptree Award. "Griots of the Galaxy," a short story, appears in So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, an anthology edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan.
Published essays include: “Octavia Butler—Praise Song to a Prophetic Artist,” in Daughters of Earth ed. by Justine Larbalestier; “Different and Equal Together: SF Satire in District 9,” article in Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts; “Stories Are More Important Than Facts: Imagination as Resistance in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth” in Narrative Power: Encounters, Celebrations, Struggles edited by L. Timmel Duchamp; “Romance of the Robot: From RUR & Metropolis to WALL-E” in The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 4 ed. by Sylvia Kelso; “Lord of the Monsters—Minstrelsy Redux: King Kong, Hip Hop, and the Brutal Black Buck,” in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts; “Driving Mr. Lenny,” article for The International Review of Science Fiction.
In March 2011, Ms. Hairston received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for distinguished contributions to the scholarship and criticism of the fantastic.
Redwood and Wildfire, her second speculative novel was published by Aqueduct Press in February 2011 and won the Tiptree award in March 2012.