Kennedy, Adrienne, 1931–, American playwright, b. Pittsburgh, Pa., as Adrienne Lita Hawkins, grad. Ohio State Univ. (B.A., 1953), studied Columbia (1954–56). Her usually one-act memory plays explore the experiences of African Americans, especially women. Her first produced play, Funnyhouse of a Negro (1964, Obie) takes place in the mind of the protagonist and explores her mixed-race background. Other plays include The Owl Answers (1965), A Rat's Mass (1967), A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White (1976) June and Jean in Concert (1995, Obie), and Sleep Deprivation Chamber (1996, Obie). Her two-character play He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (2018) follows the trials of a courtship between a biracial woman and a white man in 1940s small-town Georgia. Kennedy has also written a memoir, People Who Led to My Plays (1987).
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