Djola Branner

Djola Branner
Titles and Organizations

Director, School of Theater, CVPA

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-1120
Campus: Fairfax
Building: de Laski Performing Arts Bldg
Room: A407H
Mail Stop: 3E6





Djola Branner (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist/educator who combines movement, sound, and light to give voice to individuals historically absent from the stage. Co-founder of the award-winning performance group Pomo Afro Homos, he toured nationally and internationally with their shows Fierce Love: Stories from Black Gay Life and Dark Fruit and subsequently performed in regional theaters across the country. He has created such original productions as The House that Crack Builtcover (a Samuel French finalist), oranges & honeyMighty Real: A Tribute to Sylvester, Sweet Sadie, and sash & trim

Branner’s seminal work has been supported by Creative Capital, the Jerome, McKnight, and Bush Foundations, and published in multiple anthologies, including Black Gay Genius, In the LifeMonologues for Actors of Color, Staging Gay Lives and Colored Contradictions. His first book of collected plays, sash & trim and other plays, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in 2014.

Branner has taught dance, acting, and dramatic writing for more than thirty years in community and academic settings, including City College of San Francisco, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, Macalester College, American Musical & Dramatic Academy, Amherst College, Brown University and Hampshire College where he was a full professor of theater.

Djola is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where he earned an MA in Creative Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and The New School for Drama/Actors Studio Drama School, where he earned an MFA in Playwriting.

Branner is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild.


  • MA in Creative Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies,San Francisco State University
  • MFA in Playwriting, The New School for Drama/Actors Studio Drama School