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  AJA HOUSTON

         Writer. Creator. Artist.

Artistic Statement

MY INTENTION as a playwright is for my work to be the kindling for a transformative, healing light that humanizes women of color.

 

James Baldwin wrote, "The precise role of the artist…is to illuminate that darkness…to make the world a more human dwelling place."

 

As a Black American woman, I have desperately sought a dwelling place within the theatre canon that included multi-faceted representations of me throughout my life.

 

AS AN ARTIST, IT IS MY CHARGE to carve out and demand lighted spaces where Black people throughout the diaspora will be counted without limitations.

I employ magical realism in my work to bend the prescribed ideas of what is possible, what one can be, and BOLDLY CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES.

 

My plays are heightened character-driven thematic explorations of heritage, identity, self-love, faith, and the reverberations of the psychological scarring of descendants of Black American slaves.

 

Although my stories are told from my cultural perspective, they are FOR EVERYONE, FROM EVERYWHERE. I believe this is necessary to ensure theatre's future that reflects the diverse world in which we live.

IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR ME to be a part of shaping that future and encouraging the next generation of dramatists to do the same.

Bio

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Although born in Las Vegas, Aja fancies herself from Everywhere, USA, due to her nomadic childhood. These nomadic tendencies carried on in adulthood. Starting her career as a theatre actress in London, New York City, and San Francisco, she moved to Los Angeles to shift her focus to playwriting. Aja received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California. She creates plays with passion, politics, and magical realism to build off-kilter, uncanny worlds to tell nuanced Black stories led by Black women.  

Aja’s a member of the Antaeus Theatre Company Playwrights Lab, the Ammunition Theatre Company Writers Lab and, an alumnus of The Road Theatre Under Construction Playwrights Group, where she has developed some of her work.  Some plays: Journey to Alice, an Eugene O'Neill Theatre Conference Semi-Finalist, Floating on Credit, published in The Dionysian Literary Magazine.

Fun Fact: Aja has worked jobs ranging from officiating civil wedding ceremonies to performing educational wildlife conservation plays in a penguin costume for kids at the New York City Central Park Zoo.

 
 
LADYVILLE
LADYVILLE

Three sisters are the only people left not to be taken by a sinister, formless entity, "The Calling." Always living in terror as they fight for their lives, the unexpected return of a long-lost friend gives them hope. Will they learn if that hope is false before The Calling returns to take its next victim? CLICK TO READ ON NEW PLAY EXCHANGE

JOURNEY TO ALICE
JOURNEY TO ALICE

While flying cross country with her mother to a wedding, recently divorced Lynè has encounters with the unexpected and inexplicable, most significantly, Alice, her dead grandmother. These encounters threaten Lynè’s struggle to hold her world together. CLICK TO READ ON NEW PLAY EXCHANGE

SUPERWOMEN?
SUPERWOMEN?

The Jones sisters enter the superdome of pageants, Ms. B. Beautiful for the cash prize that will keep a roof over their heads. The Superwomen theme calls for them to don their alter-egos The Super Black Women. The surprise arrival of their mother, the Oprah of pageants, pressures the sisters to prove their mettle, upholding the honor of their family legacy. Can they complete their mission? After all, superwomen and beauty queens both want world peace right?

LADYVILLE
LADYVILLE

Three sisters are the only people left not to be taken by a sinister, formless entity, "The Calling." Always living in terror as they fight for their lives, the unexpected return of a long-lost friend gives them hope. Will they learn if that hope is false before The Calling returns to take its next victim? CLICK TO READ ON NEW PLAY EXCHANGE

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The Work

 

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