Playwright. Nonfiction Writer. Fiction Writer. Television Writer.
Kermit Frazier has been a writer—especially playwright and television writer—as well as a teacher of writing, literature, and theater for nearly forty years.
His play, Modern Minstrelsy, a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, was presented online in July 2021 by the Road Theatre Company in their Summer Playwrights Festival 12.
In June, 2020, his career as a playwright was featured in a New York Times arts section article about his very first play, Kernel of Sanity, appearing online in Paul Vogel’s Bard at the Gate series of presentation of “overlooked plays.” A month later, his play, Else, was presented online as a part of the Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble’s “Pandemic Plays” series. Kernel of Sanity was subsequently presented online in November 2020 by Shakespeare & Co.
Plays produced in New York include Kernel of Sanity, Shadows and Echoes, Outside the Radio, Dinah Washington Is Dead, and Class Reunion. Those produced around country include Firepower, Legacies, Sacred Places, Interstices, An American Journey (commissioned by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Dream King (commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage), and Smoldering Fires (commissioned by First Stage Children’s Theater). Also Little Rock, a rock’n’roll musical inspired by events surrounding the desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957, which was commissioned by the Seattle Children’s Theatre and performed in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and Little Rock. He has also been commissioned to write living history plays for the Baltimore City Life Museum, the Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and Freetown Village in Indianapolis, IN.
He has written for such television series as the popular children’s mystery series Ghostwriter (which he helped to create and was a head writer), Gullah Gullah Island (co-producer and executive story editor), Married People, True Colors, The Cosby Mysteries, All My Children, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel, The Magic School Bus, and The Wonder Pets. He created an animated children’s series, The Adventures of the Do-Stuff Club, with Blackside, Inc., the producers of the award-winning documentary, Eyes on the Prize.
His articles, reviews, and short stories have appeared in several magazines and journals, including Green Mountains Review, The Chicago Review, American Theatre, Black World, Essence, and The New York Times Book Review. "Drive,” the first chapter of his memoir, First Acts: A Black Playwright Comes of Age, was published in Callaloo, the premier Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters. “Snow,” the second chapter of his memoir, was a runner up in the 2018 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in nonfiction and was published in The Missouri Review in summer 2019. Two other nonfiction pieces, “Ignobled in Indianapolis” and “The Third Battle of Manassas,” were published online in Consequence Magazine in July 2020 and November 2020, respectively.
His play, Smoldering Fires, is published by Dramatic Publishing. Four other plays and a one-act play collection are published by Broadway Play Publishing: An American Journey, Legacies, Kernel of Sanity, Firepower, and Class Reunion and Other Plays.
His memoir, First Acts: A Black Playwright Comes of Age, has recently been published by McFarland Publishing.
He has taught writing and literature at Chicago State, Morgan State, and New York Universities, Baruch and Williams Colleges, and the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, where he also served as acting president. He has also taught playwriting and acting in Maryland public and private schools (through a program he helped develop at Center Stage in Baltimore) and in New York City area public schools through the Lincoln Center Institute. He has been a writer-in-residence at Williams College and at the Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. And he is Professor Emeritus at Adelphi University, where he taught in its MFA program in creative writing.
A recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship in Playwriting, Mr. Frazier has also twice had a play workshopped at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.
He has had artist residencies at MacDowell, Blue Mountain Center, Yaddo, Millay, Norton Island, and the Bogliasco Foundation in Bogliasco, Italy.
A member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild, SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity Association, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Mr. Frazier received his B.A. and M.A. in English from Syracuse University and his M.F.A. in acting from the New York University School of the Arts Theater Program.