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Criminal Queerness Studio

Are you an aspiring LGBTQ+ writer from a country that criminalizes or censors queer and trans artists? Join National Queer Theater's virtual free Criminal Queerness Studio, led by Playwright Achiro P. Olwoch, to explore your creativity and build global community.


Criminal Queerness Studio includes seven weekly two-hour Zoom workshops with queer writers and activists from around the world with the goal of finishing an original 10-minute play. This program will cover storytelling, advocacy, foundational playwriting techniques, and the business of playwriting. Workshops will culminate in an informal reading of participants' plays with professional actors.


Workshop times will be determined according to participants' schedules and time zones. Interested applicants are welcome to participate from anywhere in the world, given they have access to wifi and can commit to attending all sessions. Applicants who have left their home countries as immigrants, refugees, or asylum seekers are welcome to apply.


Workshops will begin in March 2024 and continue through April 2024. 


Applications are now closed for Criminal Queerness Studio 2024. Check back in 2025 for applications for our next cycle. 

About the Instructor

Achiro P. Olwoch (She/Her)

Achiro Patricia Olwoch hails from Gulu, in Northern Uganda. Achiro is currently living in exile in New York. She is the current Weiss International Fellow and Scholar at Risk at Barnard College.

She is an award-winning writer, director and producer after winning numerous awards and nominations for her Coffee Shop TV series as creator and writer and Yat Madit as head writer, and for her short films: The Surrogate, The Mineral Basket, Maraya Ni.

Achiro loves to write about history and relate it to today. She has recently completed three of her late father’s manuscripts, which he left behind after his death in 1994. This is alongside her first novel Sex or Slave, set in 1940s Uganda during colonialism. She has in the works two books - one a memoir about her journey being born in exile, living through the war in Northern Uganda through to her present life in exile and the other that touches on the anti homosexuality law and follows the journey of her main character who also is a former child soldier from the war in Northern Uganda.


More recently, she has been published by Guernica magazine, Exposition Review, Westbeth online newsletter, and Pen America. Her play ‘The Survival’ had a debut performance at the Lincoln Center produced by the National Queer Theatre in June 2022 and will have another full performance in June 2024 at the new Perelman’s Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center.

Achiro volunteers as the African Representative on the Women Playwrights International Management committee as well as the Artistic Collective of the National Queer Theatre in New York and the Girls Write Now program in New York.

Twitter: @achirop
Instagram: @achirop

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