Queer Icons Mural
by Danyol Leon
In Summer of 2023, Fuse completed work on a mural featuring six Queer playwrights who have had a lasting impact on theatre. It represents the long and proud history of Queer contributions to the arts and the world.
Also included in the wall are photos from our past productions.
To learn more about each of the featured authors, read their bios below.
To see more about the artist, click here.
(1930 - 1965)
Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was a playwright and writer, primarily known for her play A Raisin in the Sun. She was the first African American female author to have a play performed on Broadway. At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award — making her the first African-American dramatist, the fifth woman, and the youngest playwright to do so. Her work often focused on Black struggles and the oppression of homosexuality.
1924 – 1987
James Baldwin was an American writer. He was known across several forms, including essays, novels, plays, and poems. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was published in 1953; decades later, Time magazine included the novel on its list of the 100 best English-language novels released from 1923 to 2005. Themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class intertwine in his work; Baldwin's protagonists are often, but not exclusively, African American, and gay and bisexual men.
1947 – 1985
A playwright, poet, singer, stage, and film actor, Jackie Curtis was known for their unique persona and their many productions as both playwright and performer, including plays such as Glamour, Glory, and Gold, Vain Victory, and Amerika Cleopatra. They were a close associate of Andy Warhol and an icon of gender fluidity and trans identities.
A productive playwright since the late 1970s, Paula Vogel first came to national prominence with her AIDS-related seriocomedy The Baltimore Waltz, which won the Obie Award for Best Play in 1992. She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive, which examines the impact and echoes of child sexual abuse and incest. She is known for works which examine challenging issues, such as sexual abuse, homophobia, and prostitution.
1564 – 1616
An English playwright, poet and actor, William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Evidence supports that Shakespeare was either gay or bi-sexual.
Tony Kushner is an American author, playwright, and screenwriter. Lauded for his work on stage, he is most known for his seminal work Angels in America, a seven-hour epic about the AIDS epidemic in Reagan-era New York, which earned a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. At the turn of the 21st century, he became known for his numerous film collaborations with Steven Spielberg. He received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013. Kushner is among the few playwrights in history nominated for an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.