Jocelyn Prince (associate member)
Jocelyn Prince is a Chicago based writer, artist, and activist, currently on the artistic staff at Victory Gardens Theater and on the Performance Studies faculty at Northwestern University. She previously served as Artistic Coordinator at Yale Repertory Theatre, Site Coordinator for Almira PreK-8 Academy at Cleveland Play House, Connectivity Director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and Artistic Associate at The Public Theater in NYC. She is a Co-Founding Artistic Director of The New Black Fest in NYC. Selected Production Dramaturgy credits include Invisible Man, The First Breeze of Summer, and Raisin (Court Theatre); A Raisin in The Sun (Juilliard School of Drama); Harriet Jacobs and Intimate Apparel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Black Diamond (Lookingglass Theatre Company); The MLK Project (Writers Theatre). Jocelyn has directed new work for the Playwrights Gym at Dobama Theatre, the Cleveland Playwrights Festival at Playwrights Local 4181, The Dark Room at Cleveland Public Theater, the Go Green Festival at The Movement Theatre Company in NYC, the Around the Coyote Festival in Chicago, and Snapshots 10-Minute Play Festival at 20% Theatre Company Chicago. Jocelyn’s social justice and political work includes staff positions with the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Obama for America and Hillary for America with the Ohio Democratic Party, and volunteer work with the Washington Peace Center. She has read and evaluated scripts for The Kilroys List, the Emerging Writers Group, The Ohio University Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights’ Festival, and The PlayPenn conference. Her performance poetry has been featured by The Encyclopedia Show Chicago, The Encyclopedia Show DC, and La Ti Do. Jocelyn holds a B.A. in Journalism from Bradley University and a M.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. She has written for TimeOut Chicago, TimeOut New York, The Chicago Reporter, Nonprofit Quarterly and the African American Review. Jocelyn was a Theater Management Track Facilitator for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and has taught at Yale School of Drama and Northwestern University.
SPECIALTIES: African-American Drama, Contemporary Drama, Spoken Word Poetry, Interdisciplinary and Experimental Work, Dance Dramaturgy, Site-Specific and Guerrilla Theater, Community Organizing
"Jocelyn Prince is an insightful interpreter of classical works as well as an engaged collaborator on new, original productions. Through her work with Woolly Mammoth and Cleveland Play House as well as the New Black Fest, which she cofounded, she has helped to make American theatre more diverse, inclusive, and revolutionary.”
—Harvey Young, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, Boston University College of Fine Arts
"Jocelyn is a sharp-shooting woman with a strong dramaturgical eye and a great instinct for storytelling. Having her in the room for play development means encountering a well of thoughtful and provocative questions to assist in strengthening the narrative voice of the work. She goes hard for the plays she believes in, both as an advocate and audience member, and she supports the work onstage and off. Always infusing her dramaturgy with cultural context and perspectives, she is a valuable resource to have on any play development team."
—Dominique Morisseau, playwright
"Jocelyn’s dramaturgy work is astute and compassionate. Both scripts that she’s worked on with me have improved greatly with her careful feedback. I couldn’t recommend her more!"
—Les Hunter, playwright
How I explain dramaturgy to my extended family/high school friends/civilians:
Dramaturgy involves deep listening, intentional observation, and an awareness of and appreciation for your environment. New play dramaturgs work with playwrights both privately and in the rehearsal room to develop structure, form, character, plot, themes, and dialogue. Dramaturgs working on established period pieces conduct extensive research and provide context for the world of plays like turn of the 20th century Manhattan in Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel or Shakespeare's Elizabethan era. Dramaturgs also play an important role in audience engagement and community outreach, offering creative entry points for audiences to relate the artistic work to their everyday lives and experiences and promote dialogue and social action. Dramaturgs are artists, analysts, and advocates.
Most interesting non-theater job I've done:
Field Organizer for two U.S. Presidential Campaigns (Obama/Biden 2008 and Clinton/Kaine 2016).
A great book I read recently:
All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things by Michelle Hensley
Three recent theater shows that I loved (but wasn’t involved in):
1- The culminating performance of the 2017 Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute
2- "Happy Days" by Samuel Beckett at Yale Repertory Theatre
3- "Arlington" by Enda Walsh at St. Ann's Warehouse
A nostalgic theater experience from childhood/adolescence:
Putting on my costume to act in my first school play in Kindergarten. I played Santa Claus in a Christmas play.
Favorite script-reading/artist meeting spot:
Libraries for script reading. The nearest coffee shop for meetings.