Playwright, Director, and Ensemble artist Cristal Chanelle Truscott, PhD creates Neo-Spirituals, her term for the a’capella musicals she crafts using “Soulwork," the comprehensive theatre-making practice she developed from African American performance traditions and aesthetics. As founder of Progress Theatre
, she has created several Neo-Spirituals including: PEACHES
, a rich, complicated picture of Black female experiences in contemporary America (published in the TCG anthology Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy
), and ‘MEMBUH
, a family saga that explores the power of remembrance and inherited legacies, both imagined and real. She has received a NEFA National Theatre Project grant and multiple NPN Creation Fund grants. She teaches “Soulwork” at universities theatre programs nationally and internationally, which have included Albeda College in Holland, Wits University in South Africa, Spelman College in Atlanta and Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where she was Interim Department Head of Music & Theatre. Her latest Neo-Spiritual with Progress Theatre, The Burnin’
, which reimagines two nightclub fires separated by decades, premiered in 2015 and is currently touring.