New York Native Radha Blank, began her career with the Hip-Hop ‘dramedy’ Kenya, a solo play that follows a teen basketball phenom as she confronts femininity, misogyny and loss through conversations with her dead mother. The Village Voice called it “riveting...immediately alive.” After successful runs at Dixon Place, Womenkind Theater Festival, Here, The Public Theater’s New Works Now Series and The New York City Hip Hop Theater Festival, Kenya garnered numerous awards; New Professional Theatre’s Annual Writers Award for Best Script, The NY Foundation For the Arts Artists Fellowship and Nickelodeon’s Writers Fellowship. 

Radha would go on to write for hit Nickelodeon shows Little Bill and The Backyardigans. She debuted an original animated musical short, Papa Moco Jumbie and created a pilot based on her life as a young comic in NYC called My Life Is A Joke for TeenNick (fka The N).

Though writing for television proved successful, Radha found her true voice in Theater writing plays through the lens of social justice issues. Radha’s play Seed finds a social worker, a child genius from the projects and his young mother converging in a gentrified Harlem. Seed confronts issues of class, child abandonment, the effects of the crack epidemic as well as the failures of New York’s Child Welfare System.  Seed was developed through Classical Theater of Harlem’s Future Projects/Project Classic initiatives and will be presented this summer in conjunction with The NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival.

Seed garnered Radha membership into the Public Theaters Inaugural Emerging Writers Group (2008) where she was chosen from over 700 applicants to develop new plays. While on fellowship, Radha created Nannyland, a satire that melds the culture of Caribbean nannies with the effects of American tourism on the Caribbean to create the fictional island resort of Paradise Cove. On Paradise Cove, visiting families get to handpick their very own customized nanny.

Radha’s latest solo project HappyFlowerNail, explores ownership, freedom and survival through five women who find home in a Korean-owned nail salon in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn- a neighborhood whose identity is shifting rapidly with gentrification. HappyFlowerNail was originally developed at Voice & Vision’s Envision Retreat at Bard in 2009. Radha performed excerpts of this new play for the 2009 Grantmakers in the Arts Conference panel on gentrification.

Other highlights from 2009 include nominations for both The Wendy Wasserstein prize in playwriting and The Lark Play Development Centers PONY Award as well working on FELA! The Broadway Musical where Radha worked closely with Bill T. Jones as Artistic Assistant.

This summer, with a commission from The CityParks Foundation, Radha will present American Schemes, three one act plays that examine the enigma of the American Dream. American Schemes will tour NYC parks with free performances.

Seeing writing as a path to self-discovery and self-empowerment, Radha has instructed NYC youth in poetry and playwriting for over fifteen years. She finds inspiration in both the rhythm of youth culture and social justice issues faced by underserved communities of color.