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Andrea Hairston

Andrea Hairston is a Professor of Theater and Afro-American Studies at Smith College, as well as the Artistic Director of Chrysalis theatre. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, Stage West, and on Public Radio and Television. She is the author of Mindscape, which won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was short-listed for the Philip K. Dick Award, Redwood and Wildfire, which won the James Tiptree Award and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, and Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays.

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Will Do Magic For Small Change: Interesting characters, great ideas, and theater arts

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Will Do Magic For Small Change by Andrea Hairston

Andrea Hairston’s 2016 novel Will Do Magic for Small Change spills out across traditional fantasy subcategories like the foamy head of a beer. There are urban fantasy elements, historical fantasy, science fiction and coming-of-age themes in this tale, which is set alternately in 1987 and the turn of the 20th century. And while I don’t think there is a subgenre called “performance magic” or “theater magic” yet, when there is, this book will be a seminal example because the love of the theater and performance runs all the way through it.

In 1987, Cinnamon struggles to find acceptance. She is African-American, tall for her age (fourteen), heavy, super-smart and a motor-mouth in a very particular way. She wants to sing and act on stage and she’s gifted, but racism and sexism blo... Read More