Celeste Bedford Walker

Celeste Bedford Walker

Fellow: Awarded 2023
Field of Study: Drama and Performance Art

Competition: US & Canada

A prolific and oft-awarded playwright, Celeste Bedford Walker has enjoyed particular renown recently for her great body of work. In 2022 she became the first African American writer to win the highest literary honor in Texas, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Earlier this year, Texas A&M University Press published a collection of her work, Sassy Mamas and Other Plays. The Wittliff Collections celebrates the brand-new book in its literary series with an exhibition highlighting the acclaimed Houston playwright as one of Texas’s major literary figures. The selected plays include her hit romantic comedy, Sassy Mamas as well as her classic historical drama, Camp Logan, based on actual events in Houston during World War I. Rounding out the collection is comedic murder mystery, Reunion in Bartersville, her poignant dramatization of the deadly Tulsa riots of 1921, Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed, and her inspiring communal historical pageant, Distant Voices. Many of her works were developed and performed at historic and important black theatres that share her vision to bring to life the rich history and authentic experiences of African Americans in Texas and beyond.

Photo Credit: Cressandra Thibodeaux

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