Psst.. I'm available for commissioned playwriting, directing and dramaturgy projects! Reach out to me at


Hi there! I'm Denise J. Hart, a  multi-hyphenate creative: playwright|TV Scriptwriter|dramaturge|director, raised in the midwest, who's lived in the nation's capitol for 30 years.  I'm a bit of a globe trotter, which means I'll work pretty much anywhere a story takes me!  

For the past 24 years I've helped shape the lives of hundreds of young adults through my role as area coordinator for writing for stage and screen with a focus on playwriting  and TV Scriptwriting at Howard University, where I'm a full professor in the Department of Theatre Arts.

 Memory, history and the impact of systemic racism on family is a guiding force in my work. Using story to create an entry point for self and community introspection and interrogation are the twin light bearers that fuel me to continue to craft stories and work on projects that center the underrepresented African American experience.

While you're here, please check out my work:  current research, playwriting, TV Scriptwriting/Play Development and Production dramaturgy and  directingPlus, Student Success to see how my former students are making an impact in the world!

For fun I love family history and genealogy. Check out my 30 second commercials - One which focuses on Howard University and Two which focus on my family's role in post Black Reconstruction!

Scroll down to  learn about the projects I'm working on and where I'll show up next in the world. Hey, you never know, maybe we'll bump into each other! 


Denise Joy, MFA

2023/2024 Projects

Play Development Lab
Play Development copy.pdf
ZORA written by Laurence Holder, Directed by Denise J. Hart
CSPAN - "Written Then, Spoken Now" produced by Ford's Theatre. Dramaturge, Denise J. Hart

Play Development Lab is the lab of choice for BIPOC women playwrights.  We develop plays people talk about and want to see. We do this work because playwrights' have a role in today's social revolution by telling stories that help us be less cog and more creator. We believe in stories that respect humanity, individuality and community. Stores that help us build something better. 

Mecca Made Theatre Research is a publicly accessible digital humanities research project that documents theatrical production on the campus of Howard University from 2019-1909.

This research repository makes public for the first time a comprehensive digitized snapshot of the evolution of theatrical production on Howard's campus spanning more than 100 years.