Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

Growing up as the child of Deaf adults, and as a queer woman in the Heartland, I found the narratives for queer and disabled bodies to be smothering. They were made tragedies, grossly caricatured until they become unrecognizable. It has driven me to put women, queer folks, and disabled folks center stage, and to depict them honestly. My characters are flawed. Becoming monsters, stealing their lover’s skin, acting before constellations--the women, queer folks, and disabled folks in my plays are earnest, defiant, and above all, human. And while I write characters who exist in magical, often frightening worlds that they have to fight against, I am not interested in brutality for brutality’s sake. At the heart of all my plays is tenderness.

I write to give a name and shape to tenderness. Tenderness is a critical component of my artist practice, one often denied to those at the margins. But my work declares that they deserve to have stories where they exist without a battering ram of suffering. My background enables me to a craft plays where these characters can flourish. I write plays that are physical, visceral, mythical--liminal, but not limiting. With ASL as my second language, words have always been something tangible to me. Whether it is on-stage costume changes, shadow houses, or talking nude portraits, above all my plays embody the truths I seek to unearth. They unearth the narratives beneath the ones that have been dictated. Theatre allows the audience to see the strings pulling at illusions in a way other mediums cannot, and I want the audience to see my strings. I want my work to look an audience in the eye.