Tripwire Harlot Press has plans to publish four volumes of “plays by groundbreaking writers who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color in what it’s calling the ‘Sledgehammer Series,’” according to American Theatre.
Origins of the Sledgehammer Series
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, three contemporary playwrights gathered together to address lack of visibility for BIPOC playwrights. Sheila Callaghan, Jacqueline Goldfinger, and Sarah Ruhl thus created the Sledgehammer Series with Tripwire Harlot Press.
What Makes Sledgehammer Unique?
In a comment reported by American Theatre, Goldfinger spoke to the accessibility of BIPOC penned dramatic work. Publishing theatrical work makes life easier for producers when they want to get ahold of these stories. When plays get produced, they are more likely to end up in the hands of academics and historians.
She also hopes that the Sledgehammer Series will have less rigid formatting rules. Other standard publishing formats can be limiting; she refers to them as monolithic. She continues that the series will “[support] playwrights so that they can create an experience for the reader on the page, just as they create one for the audience on the stage; making the experience of the text singularly performative for each reader.”
Evidently, this project will not only create opportunities for BIPOC playwrights to share their work on a larger scale, but it will also help change the landscape of dramatic publishing as a medium.
The First Four Volumes of Sledgehammer Series
The first two installments of the series will feature Rarities and Wonders by Phillip Howze and Doodles from the Margins: Three Plays by Hansol Jung. THP will publish Howze and Jung’s works in June. This coming fall, the series will continue with Recent Alien Abductions by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas and Plays by Christina Anderson.
If you don’t know these playwrights yet, here’s hoping you will soon, thanks to the Sledgehammer Series.
On Instagram, Tripwire Harlot Press self-describes as “books for badasses.” The artist-driven publishing company was founded by the aforementioned Sheila Callaghan.
Stay tuned for the highly anticipated Sledgehammer Series featuring BIPOC artists.