Frazier has been a writer—especially a 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 Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate series presenting “overlooked plays.” Else, was presented online as a part of the Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble’s Pandemic Plays series.
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, 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 and the Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.
He has written for such television series as the popular children’s mystery series “Ghostwriter” (which he helped to create and for which he 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 what would eventually be his memoir was published in Callaloo, the premier Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters. Snow, the second chapter of that 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 memoir, First Acts: A Black Playwright Comes of Age, was published by McFarland Books in May 2022. Broadway Play Publishing has published his plays, An American Journey, Legacies, Kernel of Sanity, and Firepower and a collection of five of his one-act plays, Class Reunion and Other Plays.
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. 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.
NEW PLAYS BY
THE YEAR OF RETURN
Ever haunted by a tragic river accident when he was 15 and sparked by a promise made to a childhood friend, a 40-year-old African American man travels to Ghana, his first trip to Africa. Traveling with him in mind and spirit is his 80-year-old mother, whose journal entries and sporadic yet cogent memories mix and merge with the Twi of her son’s 30-year-old African guide, someone who’s haunted in his own particular way... This is a three-character play that explores recovery, rescue, and possible redemption through history, kinship, and the need to return.
WHERESOEVER THEY LIE
Reeling from the loss of a lover, a middle-aged Black man searches for someone/something else, both inside and out, on the advent of the COVID pandemic. Eight gay men—six Black, one Latinx, one White.
On a hot August night in a predominantly white community on Long Island, NY, a Black man shoots and kills a white teenager who with three friends has been chasing in their car that man’s 20-year-old son. That shooting triggers not only charges and a trial but also the “re-surfacing” of Nig and Jig, two timeless Black American and Irish American figures, who are locked in a seemingly never-ending struggle for agency, place, and point of view in their country’s history and psyche.