Katori Hall, the first black playwright to win the Laurence Olivier Award

Katori Hall, an African-American female became the first black playwright to win a Laurence Olivier Award yesterday for her play The Mountaintop.

Twenty-eight year old Katori Hall was born in Memphis Tennessee and is a graduate of Columbia University. As well as being a playwright she is also an actress and journalist.

Her play The Mountaintop, about Martin Luther King’s last night on earth struggled to find theatres in the US which would show it but received favourable reviews when she brought it to London in 2009.

Hall’s other play is called Hoodoo Love in 2007 and she has won many awards including, the 2007 Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, 2006 New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and Screenwriting, 2006 Royal Court Theatre Residency, 2005 Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award; as well as being nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

Her journalist work has been published in The Boston Globe, Newsweek and Essence.

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