Since Sutton’s début, no other black actor, writer, or director has had the same impact on our theatrical avant-garde. Aside from the early work of the playwright Adrienne Kennedy—particularly her 1965 piece, “A Beast’s Story,” and 1969’s “Sun”—black theatre in this country has remained, for the most part, mired in folklore and its various offshoots: minstrel shows that pass as naturalistic family dramas; “get whitey” spectacles; nostalgia-tinged song-and-dance revues. This trend is disrupted only when artists like Wilson and the late Iranian playwright and director Reza Abdoh—whose 1993 play “Tight Right White” is one of the most insightful and entertaining treatises on race that we’re likely to see—amass enough power to hire black actors, and to force the audience to see things as they do. (When companies like the Wooster Group want to inject race into a show, more often than not their white actors don blackface and coon it up as a “critique” of the performance of blackness.)
Again, it's not my area of expertise, but does Suzan-Lori Parks not count? Or George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum? And is that unappetizing list of black theater sub-genres, which I guess includes and dismisses everything by August Wilson, Douglas Turner Ward, Lynn Nottage, Kia Corthron (and these are just the names I can pluck off the top of my head), really relevant to the question of the scarcity of black artists in the avant-garde theater? Hilton seems to be moving the goalposts there.
All of this seems a rather poor introduction to the work of Thomas Bradshaw, whose play "Southern Promises," as far as I can tell, may be considered avant-garde primarily because it's being performed at PS 122.