2014 Winner


Khadijah Queen

For the 2014 Award, the judges were unanimous in selecting Khadijaha’s play, NON SEQUITUR. We found it experimental in conception, language and performance approach, and by turns hilarious and moving.  Uninhibitedly funny and raucously sharp, NON SEQUITUR invites the audience to fill in the considerable gaps between rhetoric and truth, creating a space for them to draw their own conclusions and trust their own instincts regarding the play’s wild demonstrations of the ridiculousness and pervasiveness of bias.

Find the book publication, also part of the Award, by Litmus Press HERE

Khadijah Queen is the author of two poetry collections: Conduit (2008) and Black Peculiar (2011). Individual poems and essays appear in jubilat, Aufgabe, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Rattle, The Force of What’s Possible and widely elsewhere. She is a Cave Canem alum and curates the multigenre reading series, Courting Risk.

Non Sequitur was produced at Theaterlab, New York in 2015, directed by Fiona Templeton, with Lenora Champagne, Helga Davis, Stacey Robinson, Dawn Saito, Yon Tande, Zselyke Tarnai and David Thomson. Photographs  HERE – credits Paula Court. Video excerpt HERE

“A mordant, slapstick skewering whose main mechanism is the multiplicity of identities and channels of communication in the late-capitalist racist world.” – Nina Puro – HERE

Your next must-see” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa – HERE

“Khadijah Queen’s Non-Sequitur is the heir apparent to an avant-garde tradition running from the Futurist Sintesi through Lorca’s Impossible Theater, through Black Arts to Suzan-Lori Parks. Smart, jagged, and irrepressible, it splits apart the compulsory coherencies of contemporary life to reveal the barbs and aggressions, fantasies and projections that keep society rolling on its dismal, oppressive track. Against such prerogatives, Non-Sequitur is an incandescent and welcome act of sabotage.” – Joyelle McSweeney, 2013 Leslie Scalapino Award winner

In this brief (as in a legal summation) Khadijah Queen revives the political absurdist experimentalism of Adrienne Kennedy, pushing drama to the limits of genre. Objects, ideas, and human body parts are driven to the same ontological plane, precisely the post-human condition in which we find ourselves: teetering at the boundaries of epistemology. Non-Sequitur is conceptual writing with concentrated vengeance; it bristles, trembling with a rage barely contained by Queen’s laconic rhetoric and pin-point intelligence”.Tyrone Williams

“Khadijah Queen’s Non-Sequitur stages the deleted scenes and invisible screens infusing our social relations. Its evolving chorus explodes every imaginable form of address, every fraction of personal and public history until nothing of the illusion of neutrality remains. Each dissonant encounter invents a forum for another nest of questions This nexus stings”.Eric Baus

“Prodigiously populated theater energized by a rotating cast of intense who dis, who dat and whosoevers: 40% Discount, Morning Stubble, Habitual Justifier, the Charlie Horse Optimist, among others, who if we don’t know by name we know them by their catastrophes and desperate hopes. Comedy and calamity spin briskly in the mix, trading lines in duets, trios and quartets. Attention, attention. This is the back of your mind, emerging full blown from a swallowed dream. Here.” –  Erica Hunt

Khadijah Queen’s ingenious Non-Sequitur crashes the contemporary moment, a glut in bloated celebrity, wild brutality, status quo identity mongering. This cutting and finely attuned play features single-line-slinging speakers, often as object, artifact, consequence (i.e. THE BENT BUSINESS CARD, THE HAND-ME-DOWN PINKING SHEERS, THE BLONDE INSTITUTION) who/that “can sense your violent thoughts”. Queen’s complex manifestations of race, sex, and desire rearrange bodies and material lives where “beauty behave[s] as a whip,” animating perception and perspective into an ever surprising mix of the theater of the absurd and a febrile cultural unconscious, replete with deleted scenes, characters, and contradiction as illumination, like when THE HAPPY SINGLE reports: “I’m so ex-cited cuz I ain’t a-bout it, hey heeeeyyyyyy!” – Ronaldo V. Wilson



2014 Short list:

Catherine Cafferty Perpetua Takes a Backseat

Maxe Crandall Together Men Make Paradigms

Dipika Guha PASSING


Adeena Karasick Salome: Woman of Valor

Karinne Syers The Lydian Gale Parr

Catherine Theis Medea

Mfoniso Udofia runboyrun