Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

My name is Riley.

I am a playwright. I am also a screenwriter.

In my work I tend to explore the definition of gender. That sounds vague on paper, but when you truly sit with that idea, how can one define gender?

Gender is a spectrum and the definition of gender is ever-changing and fluid. As such, I'm interested in what makes a man and what makes a woman, I'm interested in what makes everything in-between and exists outside the boxes we put ourselves in, and I'm very interested in how we as a society define these outliers and why we cannot seem to settle on gender beyond a binary.

I tend to write about odd people in odd situations. I tend to write both intentionally gendered and intentionally gender-less characters, as characters who can be played by anyone, and relationships that exist beyond these boundaries. I love to dig under the surface and uncover the notions of what makes people tick. A major thematic element that is a trademark of my work is the exploration of the frustrations of the LGBTQ community within its own discourse: what tears the community apart and what conversely brings it together? What happens when subdivisions fight within themselves and how do we solve internal micro-aggressions towards each other?

I tell stories with more questions than answers. I tell stories that highlight contradictions and embrace the various inexplicable fragments of life, both painful and joyous, that exist outside of any box that we can imagine for them.

I believe in a future where we do not have to define ourselves to justify our existence to the world.

Conversely, I also believe in the empowerment of self-definition, whether it be through defining your own identity, your livelihood, and whom you love.

I am an odd bird who tells odd stories.

I cannot wait for you to join me on these journeys.

- Riley.