Alumnus Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko '09 is Inaugural New Vision Fellow for National Queer Theater

Nicole Saldarriaga
June 23, 2021
Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko

National Queer Theatre recently announced that Theatre alumnus Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko '09 is one of two inaugural New Vision Fellows. The New Vision Fellowship, developed in partnership with the Dramatists Guild, is a year-long professional development program with a mission of supporting Black trans and gender nonconforming playwrights. 

Mwaluko (he/they) and Ayla Xuan Chi Sullivan (they/them) will each receive $5000 to develop "a play, musical, or performance experience of their design and choosing." The playwrights will also have the opportunity to participate in professional development sessions and will each be awarded a complimentary five-year membership to the Dramatists Guild, which will provide them with further professional resources.

To celebrate the playwrights and their work, National Queer Theatre will also host a professional reading of their plays at the end of the program. 

According to playwright Roger Q. Mason (they/them), who will supervise the program, "We, the POC TGNC playwrights of American theatre, are the future, the new normal, and the ever-present constant of our country’s storytelling cosmos. Nick Mwaluko and Ayla Sullivan are shining stars of our craft, and the New Visions Fellowship is honored to help them find the distinction and opportunity they rightfully deserve in our profession." Mason will act as the primary mentor for the fellows, but their mentorship will also include master classes led by Tony winner Lisa Kron and Pulitzer winner Doug Wright, among others. 

"I believe in the power of queer storytelling to liberate all of humanity," shared Mwaluko. "To tell the full queer Black truth; to birth justice from queer realities. The New Visions Fellowship marries the power of queer Black storytelling to theatrical performance and, in so doing, champions the two greatest loves of my life."

Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko’s plays include Silence Is A Sound, about intimate partner abuse within Black trans femininity; the comedy Cock Tales for Christmas; 37, a Black lesbian duet; S.T.A.R: Marsha P. Johnson; the queer fantasia Waafrika 123 (National Queer Theater); QTPOC trans masculine THEY/THEM/THEIRS; the queer apocalyptic Homeless in the AfterLifeBlueprint for an African LesbianSH/EroAsymmetrical WeBrotherly LoveTrailer Park TundraOnce a Man Always a ManMama AfrikaQueering MacBethLife Is About the KillThat Day God Visits YouAta; To Dyke TransGayze; Good Grief; and Pence at the Border, among others. Residencies include the nationally recognized Resident Playwright Initiative with Playwrights’ Foundation (San Francisco 2019-2023); Resilience and Development Writers’ Lab with Crowded Fire Theater Company in San Francisco (2017-2018); New York City’s EWG (Emerging Writers’ Group) at the Public Theater, sponsored by Time Warner Co.; New York City’s Groundbreakers Group, Djerassi Artist Residency in Northern California, Freedom Train Productions, Ragged Wing Ensemble, and more. Mwaluko, a 2018 finalist for Africa’s Gerald Kraak Award, graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University for undergrad, completed an MFA at Columbia as a Point Scholar, the nation’s largest LGBTQIA scholarship fund, and was awarded a Columbia University Fellowship for theatre at the same time. Mwaluko attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop thanks to a Norman Felton Fellowship. 'XXY Queer Africa: More Invisible,' a companion essay to WAAFRIKA 1-2-3 was published in Juked and included in Best American Essays 2020. Another essay, 'A Letter to My Gay Black Brother,' was recently nominated for a Pushcart Award.