Katori Hall is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actress. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Hall attended Columbia University and graduated with a major in African-American Studies and Creative Writing in 2003. She continued in academia, gaining an MFA from the American Repertory Theater's Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University in 2005 and graduating from the Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace playwriting program four years later.
Hall was inspired to write by the lack of roles and scenes for young black women. Her first play was Hoodoo Love and subsequent early works include Hurt Village, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, Our Lady of Kibeho, and The Blood Quilt. Her 2009 play , The Mountaintop premiered in London to great acclaim. It told centered around Martin Luther King’s last night before his assassination and won the Olivier Award for Best Play, making Hall the first black woman to achieve this award. The play then opened on Broadway in 2011, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.
Hall’s 2011 play Hurt Village premiered Off-Broadway, exploring the gritty reality of a Memphis Housing Project. The play won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Award. In 2019, she co-wrote the book for the jukebox musical Tina, which has been nominated for Best Book of a Musical. Most recently, her run of her 2020 play The Hot Wong King was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Away from the stage, Hall has adapted her play, Pussy Valley into the television drama P-Valley. She is also a prolific journalist and essayist for national and international publications.
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