Playwright / President & CEO
Linda Parris-Bailey creates story-based plays with music focusing on themes of transformation and empowerment. She is President and CEO of Parris-Bailey Arts, Inc., and former Executive/Artistic Director of The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc of Knoxville, TN. During her forty-seven year career as a playwright, she has written and performed numerous works. Linda is a 2019 Creative Capital Awardee, and recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Artists Award in Theater. Her award winning works include, Speed Killed My Cousin and Between A Ballad and A Blues, her ode to Appalachian renaissance man Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong. Her signature work Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens continues to be performed. Linda is a founding member of Alternate Roots and a Senior Advisor to the Women Playwrights International Conference. Her works have been published in Alternate Roots: Plays from the Southern Theater, Ensemble Works, and other anthologies of contemporary plays. She is currently developing two new works Flushing and Yankee Bajan. Flushing, an adult puppet piece, is a collaboration with Eric Bass and Ines Zeller-Bass of Sandglass Theater, directed by Kathie DeNobriga. The piece centers on generational transitions in leadership, race, and culture. Yankee Bajan is an original play which focuses on an African American family's response to the racism and violence that continues to plague America and their journey to repatriate to their ancestral home in Barbados.
Speed Killed My Cousin
An original play with music, Speed Killed My Cousin is rooted in the story of an African American female combat soldier and her struggle with post-traumatic stress diagnosis upon her return home from Iraq. A third generation soldier, the central character courts death by vehicular suicide.
VA Suicide Prevention Team Leader, Lynne Santiago
“I’d like to thank Linda, Andrea and their colleagues (The Carpetbag Theatre and Alternate ROOTS) for the incredible work they are doing with our veterans. I have witnessed how their veteran program has inspired and effected positive change in veterans who are challenged with mental illness. I know they are making a difference.”