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Charlotte Brathwaite

Charlotte Brathwaite, a Doris Duke Artist in the theater category, creates genre-defying work that illuminates the realities and dreams of silenced, marginalized communities. Dealing with subject matter from the historical past to the distant future, her work brings to light issues of social justice, race, power, and the complexities of the human condition. 

A director of classical texts, multimedia and site-specific projects, dance performances, operas, concerts, film and installations, Brathwaite makes use of a transdisciplinary inquiry which manifests in spectacles of color and music. She incorporates elements and references from history, science fiction, fantasy, technology and magical realism to express ideas about diasporic identity. Her works live in the deep time of aural/oral history, creating an immersive experience for audience and performer alike while offering new perspectives in both form and content.

Her recent projects include the 2022 premiere of the film and installation “Forgotten Paradise: Dream the Other Side of the River” that premiered as part of the 2022 Dak'Art Biennale Les Chants Invincibles in Dakar, Senegal and BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia, as well as directing “The Day You Begin,” a musical commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  

Brathwaite’s work has been presented at venues including La MaMa Experimental Theater, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Public Theater/Under the Radar Festival, Joe’s Pub, The Highline, BRIC Arts + Media, Harlem Stage, Central Park SummerStage, 651 ARTS, The International Festival of Arts and Ideas, FORM Festival, Right About Now Festival (the Netherlands), Test! Festival (Croatia), Culture Station Seoul 284 Festival (Korea), Chale Wote Festival (Ghana), Hebbel am Ufer (Germany), and others across the globe.

Brathwaite is the recipient of several awards including a Creative Capital award, a United States Artists Fellowship, an Art Matters award, multiple MAP Fund awards and the Princess Grace George C. Wolfe Award, among others.


She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Drama and a bachelor's degree from the Amsterdam School for the Arts (the Netherlands). As an educator Brathwaite has taught and mentored at several institutions including the University of Fortaleza (Brazil), Barbados Community College (the Caribbean), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amherst College, New York University, Stanford University, and most recently the University of California Santa Cruz among others.

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Meet the 10th Anniversary Class of Doris Duke Artists