Darren Canady

Plays written by Darren Canady



Brothers of the Dust – (4M 3W) Set in rural Kansas, Brother’s of the Dust is a saga about the Coltons’ all returning to visiting their family farm. As we peal back the layers of this drama, we discover that this is not your typical homecoming. Darren Canady weaves together a beautiful story of sibling rivalry, family legacy, love and betrayal.

False Creeds – (2M 4W) The story of Jason, a young man who embarks on a journey to discover the legacy of his family’s past. After receiving a ‘memory’ box from his dying grandmother containing photos and journals related to the Tulsa race riots, Jason realizes his family’s history is profoundly connected to the tragic events. Set mostly in flashbacks to the affluent, predominately African-American Greenwood neighborhood, Canady’s play follows Jason as he witnesses one night of terror and destruction through the eyes of a young girl (his grandmother) who is forced into adulthood by the tragedy. This ambitious and timely play does not linger in pathos but instead celebrates the importance of family history and the triumph of those who survived and began new lives.

Ontario Was Here – (1M 1W) Penni and Nathan are two front line social workers who are both co-­workers and former lovers. When one of Nathan’s clients is removed from his charge and given to Penni because Nathan is getting too emotionally involved, battle lines are drawn. When tragedy strikes, Penni and Nathan must confront their guilt and the decisions that have caused their lives to unravel.

Right On – (2M 4W) Bella, a Black Power Activist-turned-business executive returns to the alma mater where she led protests clad in a dashiki and afro. Along for the trip is her Harvard-bound son Kyle, carrying his own demons in his backpack. But this homecoming quickly turns into a roller coaster reunion with Bella’s activist friends, as they re-frame, rewrite, and reclaim their complicated pasts. Old flames and rivalries heat up, new challenges arise and Kyle gets a real talk, no jive education about the choices made by the young, gifted and free who set out to turn the tide. In the funky groove of Soul Train and Sly, two generations take each other higher in this powerful and funny story of change makers and their legacies.


Darren Canady hails from Topeka, KS. His play, False Creeds, was named the winner of the Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition and was also workshopped at the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference in 2006. False Creeds was also a
finalist for the Abingdon Theatre Company’s Christopher Brian Wolk Award and the Goldberg Prize in Playwriting. Another play, Brothers of the Dust, has received recognition in the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Competition, the Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwriting, the James W. Rodgers Playwriting Competition and was produced by Congo Square Theatre (Black Excellence Award, Black Theatre Alliance Award, ATCA Osborn Award, Jeff Award nom.). How Theo Changed His Name, an opera for which Darren provided the libretto, was premiered through the Pittsburgh (PA) Symphony Orchestra. His play You’re Invited appeared in The Best American Short Plays 2010-2011. His work has been seen at the Quo Vadimus Arts’ ID America Festival, the Fremont Centre Theatre, Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre, and the BE Company. Darren is an alum of Carnegie Mellon University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Juilliard School. He is a former member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New Writers Group. He is a member of the Old Vic Theatre’s Old Vic New Voices Network, where he participated in the T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange. He currently teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas.