Produce

Kelundra Smith-photo by Jerry Siegel

Writing is my first love and theater is a close second. I’ve spent more weekends than I can count sharing stories with strangers. I believe that theatre is one of the most powerful tools for spreading empathy that we have in our society, and I hope that my plays touch the hearts of people around the world. 

Artist Statement

You can only be what you can imagine and we must attach images to freedom. Theatre captures our imaginations by creating powerful tableaus of new possibilities. By writing historical fiction rooted in the Black, southern tradition, my goal as a playwright is to offer people from marginalized groups stories that inspire them to imagine greater possibilities for themselves. If our ancestors could do it, so can we. I intend to restore Black people’s place in the American theatrical canon and carry our stories around the world. 

Productions & Updates

I am part of the inaugural cohort of the New Georgia Woman Project: Black Women Speak, sponsored by Horizon Theatre Company and the National New Play Network. The program aims to develop new plays by nine Black women playwrights in the South.

Younger will have a reading at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta in spring 2022. 

The Plays

Younger

Drama. 5W, 4M. In this imagined prequel to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, we journey with the Younger family matriarch, Lena, from Jackson, Mississippi to Chicago during the Great Migration. When she reunites with Walt, Sr., she finds that life in the North is not as they thought it would be. Will they be able to hold steadfast to their dreams and each other, or will the harsh realities of a new place get the best of them?

THE RECONSTRUCTION TRILOGY

The Reconstruction Trilogy consists of three plays set in post-Civil War Georgia. The plays explore the three areas that freed Black people nurtured in order to establish community after Emancipation: the family, sovereignty and economic mobility.  

The Wash

Comedy. 7W. In 1881, Black laundresses in Atlanta led a strike, demanding  an increased wage of $1 per week. The Atlanta Washerwomen’s Strike of 1881 was the first successful interracial organized labor strike of the post-Civil War era. The Wash offers an intimate and often funny look at the ordinary women who went from workers to fighters and won. 
 

The Vote 

Drama. 5W, 7M. Reverend Campbell McNeal is in the fight of his life, running for a Senate seat in Georgia’s first state legislature since before the Civil War. President Grant has sent an ambitious group of men from the North to help with his election, but a mysterious young woman may be the opponent he never saw coming. Loosely based on the real lives of Tunis Campbell and Henry McNeal Turner, this new drama shows the real cost of the vote. 

The Knot

Comedy. 2M, 2W. What does it mean to love someone without bondage and obligation? After leaving their plantation, Flex and Cece settle in a communities of free Black people on the Georgia coast. With the world at their fingertips, they must decide whether they still want each other on this side of freedom. 

I’m the only Kelundra I know, so if you’ve accidentally stumbled upon this page, it’s fate (and I have no idea what word you were trying to type in your search engine).