Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

"The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible."
-Tomi Cade Bambara

I will never be the kind of person who sets out, in brilliant, crystalline logic, what our goal should be and how we should get there. I have too wandering a heart for that business. Instead, I am much more comfortable posing questions and setting audiences on a journey with no fixed end-point (when I'm not writing plays, my main creative mode is interviewing). As in a dream, every character in one of my plays is me, and the play as an organism is trying to figure out some human problem. In Occupy Prescott I was trying to figure out why embodied democracy is so hard. In Red Clay Halo I was trying to think through the relationship of race and class. And in Os Confederados I was exploring the ways that history shapes us, even while we shape history (my grandfather, an impassioned genealogy nut, was named for a Confederate general).

Folks sometimes expect political theatre to be dogmatic, but what's exciting to me about political theatre is that it's theatre: it's multi-vocal, conflicted, messy, live, embodied. Political theatre has the unique ability to make an open-ended intervention in the political realm. I'm not trying to win adherents to any one political point of view. Instead, I'm clashing political points of view together in an attempt to make audiences think more critically about what they believe. I am motivated by some core commitments (Christianity, Marxism, feminism), but that's where the plays start, not where they end.

"The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible." Yes. And also, Detroit police used to refer to Communist Party rallies as "rehearsals for revolution." Thinking of a play as a rehearsal, even a rehearsal for revolution, is my way of refusing to close off possibility. We're still in rehearsal. We're trying stuff out. The performance will come. God willing, we'll be ready.