Diane Lefer is a playwright, author, and activist. In addition to her theatrical collaborations with Hector and their co-authored book, The Blessing Next to the Wound, her works for the stage have been produced in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and both Carolinas. Her short-story collection, California Transit, was awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize and her short novel, Nobody Wakes Up Pretty, has a May 2012 publication date.
Diane taught for 23 years in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and has been a guest lecturer on the subjects of torture and social justice at universities around the country. She has led arts workshops to encourage self-expression, boost literacy, and promote social justice with adjudicated youth, children in foster-care, and marginalized youth in Colombia and Bolivia. At Peace Camp 2010 and again in 2011, she gave high school and college student activists a crash course in street theatre. In her own longrunning street performance, Diane rode buses and walked around Los Angeles dressed as a Guantanamo prisoner to be a visual reminder of the criminal actions of the US government. Some people avoided her, some thanked her, blessed her, cursed her. But everyone got the message until the day she was mistaken for a terrorist and found herself with both hands in the air and two guns pointed at her head. A few days later, four Los Angeles police officers apprehended her. Photographer Robin Lynne Gibson witnessed the incident and suggested, for safety, that she take the protest off the streets and into the studio–resulting in the image above.