|Notable works||Cuttin' It|
Charlene James is a British playwright and screenwriter. She won substantial acclaim for her play Cuttin' It, which addresses the issue of female genital mutilation in Britain, for which she won numerous awards.
James grew up in Birmingham, England. She became interested as a child, and took acting classes at Stage2 in Birmingham. She went on to study acting at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago before becoming interested in playwriting, and earned a place in the young writers' program at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
Her first play, Maybe Father, was short-listed for the Alfred Fagon Award in 2009, and received a reading at the Young Vic theatre in London. She took a post as writer-in-residence at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2013, where she focused on writing about teen mental health. She wrote Tweet Tweet for on a commission the Birmingham Youth Rep in 2014. The one-act play addresses issues of teen suicide and the pressures of social media.
James came to greater public awareness with her 2014 play Cuttin' It. The play focuses on two teenage girls, both Somalis living in England, who have different perspectives on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). James was inspired to write the play after watching the documentary The Cruel Cut by filmmaker Leyla Hussein, and after learning that FGM is practiced in Britain. Cuttin' It earned James the George Devine Award, the Alfred Fagon Award, the Critics' Circle Theatre Award, the UK Theatre Award for Best New Play, and the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright . She was a finalist for the 2016-17 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, also honoring Cuttin' It.
James' play Bricks and Pieces was commissioned and performed in 2016 by Tiata Fahodzi in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The play examines themes of family, loss, masculinity, as well as communication and its lack, and addresses the challenges of being a gay man of African from an African family in Britain.
- Maybe Father, 2009
- Do You Wish to Continue?, [short play] 2012
- Dad(die), 2012
- Jump! We'll Catch You, 2013
- Tweet Tweet, 2014
- Cuttin' It, 2014
- Bricks and Pieces, 2016
- Go Home, [short play, published in The Guardian] 2017
- "Reclaim the Night", [monologue] in Snatches: Moments from 100 Years of Women's Lives: Eight Monologues, 2019
- "Charlene James". Alfred Fagon Award. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- Urwin, Rosamund (2016-05-18). "Playwright Charlene James: FGM is child abuse, not a cultural thing". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- Brooks, Lucy (2016-11-05). "Interview: Playwright Charlene James". Culture Whisper. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- "Tweet Tweet – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich". The Reviews Hub. 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- Snow, Georgia (2015-05-20). "Charlene James wins George Devine playwriting award | News". The Stage. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- "2014 Awards". Alfred Fagon Award. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- "Charlene James wins Critics' Circle Award for Cuttin' It". Royal Court. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- "Cuttin' It wins at 2016 Evening Standard Theatre Awards". Royal Court. 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- Viagas, Robert (2016-10-10). "Mrs. Harris, Cuttin' It Among Top UK Theatre Award Winners". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- "Charlene James | The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize". www.blackburnprize.org. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- Booth, Alice (2016-07-18). "Bricks and Pieces". FringeReview. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- "bricks and pieces | tiata fahodzi". www.tiatafahodzi.com. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- Charlene, James (2016). Cuttin' it. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 9780571329632. OCLC 955650803.
- James, Charlene (2017-06-19). "Go Home, a new play by Charlene James – read the script". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- "Snatches: Moments from 100 Years of Women's Lives: Eight Monologues | National Theatre Bookshop". shop.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- Featherstone, Vicky, ed. (2019). Snatches : moments from 100 years of women's lives : [eight monologues]. Featherstone, Vicky,, Crowe, E. V.,, De-lahay, Rachel,, Gupta, Tanika,, Harris, Zinnie,, Ikoko, Theresa. London: Nick Hern Books. ISBN 9781788500685. OCLC 1044746345.