Oni Faida Lampley
Alumni Playwright2004 -- 2011
Oni Faida Lampley (1959-2008) became a resident playwright at New Dramatists in 2004, and was raised in Oklahoma City. A lot of her work grew out of the comedy and the conflicts of growing up Black in the Midwest in the 70s. She was especially interested in taking a machete to the cliché of the “Strong Black Woman” (SBW), to expose the physical and spiritual exhaustion, the self-denigration, and authentic triumph underneath. Through it all, Lampley celebrated the spirit, language, and courage of people who are fighting for love, and survival. She received two Helen Hayes nominations, winning the first for Mixed Babies in 1991. The second nomination came for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company world premiere of The Dark Kalamazoo. The play is published in the TCG Anthology The Fire This Time. She won entrance into the 1998 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and a commission from South Coast Repertory. As a member of Juilliard’s Playwriting Program, Lampley received The Lincoln Center LeComte du Nouy Award. Other grants and commissions include, the Smithsonian Institute, a William and Eva Fox Foundation grant, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, a commission from Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and a NYSCA grant via Brooklyn Information and Culture (BRIC). She was a Resident Playwright with Mud/Bone theatre company, a graduate of NYU’s Grad Acting Program, an alumna of the Acting Company, and she wrote for popular magazines. In 2005, Lampley was a Susan Smith Blackburn Award Finalist and in 2006 she was awarded a grant by the Boomerang Fund. As a response to Tough Titty, which was commissioned by South Coast Rep and produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2005, Lampley was awarded a three-week residency at the National Theatre in London. In 2007 she won a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, and was under commission with the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis through New Dramatists’ Playground Program. She taught acting to teens for Lincoln Center’s Education Program, and “Writing Out Loud,” a course she created that explores the synergy between acting and playwriting at various colleges and other venues.