Kristiana Rae Colón

American poet and playwright

Kristiana Rae Colón (born April 16, 1986) is an American poet, playwright, actor and educator.


  • I was like, “Man, young people in Chicago need to hear these young people in Ferguson articulate that, because that’s so powerful for young people to come to that political awakening on their own—outside of academia, outside of institutions that they’ve been denied access to.” And so we were really inspired to build with them. And we came back the next week and asked them if we could launch a pop-up gallery on their campsite. So we printed the photos that we had taken the week before, we brought down easels, and we created a pop-up gallery on the camp site—that was sort of the first gesture, the first portal of this loose collective of artists that would later become #LetUsBreathe, using art as an access point for political education and engagement, turning the Ferguson protest’s occupation into an art gallery…
  • My inspiration for this play derives from a combination of my personal and the collective grief around the mass shooting in the United States. These incidents made me pay attention to the National conversation around the topic of gun violence. On social media I constantly read “lone white shooter” and I started to think about the cycle of how news is dispersed, interpreted, re-dispersed and reinterpreted. This cycle is destructive. From this news, what assumptions do we make about the shooter? About the victims? And about the moments between gunshots?...
  • Chicago for me means life. I have lived in Chicago all my life. It keeps calling me back even though I have tried to escape. Chicago is a city filled with some of the most corruption and also some of the most courageous and successful organizing resistance overall. Chicago will always affect how I represent myself when I travel. It is home…
  • The reason why I fell in love with being a playwright and why I fell in love with theatre is because I grew up in it. My first poem was published at six and called “I Am Stronger than Hate.” I proclaimed then that, “I am stronger than hate, I will open the gate, the gate to a kingdom of love, it doesn’t matter what your race, or the color of your face. I am stronger than hate,” and of why I am a poet and playwright. This work is about community.
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