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Awards

WK Rose

The WK Rose Faculty Committee is pleased to announce that Sukari Jones, class of 2005, has received the WK Rose fellowship for The River Is Me

Sukari is a playwright, musical theater lyricist and librettist who writes about the intersection of race and power in America, with a particular focus on the Black experience, especially that of women of color.  The River Is Me is a work of musical theater based on the murder of Emmett Till in which, in Sukari's words, "the spirit of a recently lynched black boy and avid comic book fan is endowed in death with the superpowers of the superhero he loved most when he was a living soul, and he must recall the events leading directly to his murder in order to save the mother he left behind."  The committee found this work to be powerfully unafraid, a thoughtful, alluring and startlingly persuasive mix of emotional darkness, racist violence, soaring imagination and insouciant wit.    

After graduating from Vassar, Sukari received an M.F.A. from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.  Recently she has worked with the Musical Theatre Factory in NYC to develop programs to diversify the field of musical theater; she also founded and runs the first People of Color Roundtable supporting artists of color in musical theater.

In addition to The River Is Me, Sukari is at work on another musical, Ain't Far from Home, and two plays, Shadow Dancer and Back to Africa. Musicals take a notoriously long time to come to fruition.  Sukari is an artist already well on her way; the W. K. Rose Committee is honored to help further her exciting journey. 

About the W.K. Rose Fellowship

This fellowship is made possible by a bequest from the estate of W. K. Rose, a distinguished scholar and teacher who was a member of the Vassar English Department from 1953 until his untimely death in the fall of 1968. Its object is to provide a worthy young artist with a chance to be free after college to pursue his/her work as an artist. All Vassar graduating seniors and Vassar alumnae/i under the age of 36 at the time of the deadline who demonstrated a creative talent in their years of undergraduate study, who are not presently employed by the college, and who have not already attained substantial recognition in their field will be considered eligible. View more information.