Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

I love stories that require me to dig, and dig, and dig some more. I love stories that send me on long trips to the library and lure me into trolling for hours on end. They say write what you know but I am always drawn to what I don't know.

My work is typically about three things: Place, History and some form of loss.

In my work I insist on a specificity of place. It might be Atlanta, or Jackson, Mississippi; or my hometown of Dallas. But it will never be "Any City USA." I need a connection to a real place in order to center my ideas and help inform the world of the play.

My need for specificity of space is influenced primarily by my deep interest in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. I love to explore what Diane McWhorter calls the Long Narrative of the Civil Right Movement. I like to dig into the stories that lie between Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and the King's Mountaintop speech. There are so many stories waiting and needing to be told. I want my audiences to examine with new eyes many forgotten chapters of American History but never examined in a way that is sacred...but bordering on the profane and uncomfortable.

Finally, loss is perhaps the most important theme that appears in all of my work. I was put up for adoption at birth. From the day I arrived on this planet I experienced a great loss. I was separated from my birth mother. I've always wondered how or if in what way a newborn processes that separation. I feel that an innate understanding of loss and the grief that comes with it was planted inside of me. I always explore loss in my work. It might be loss of a loved one, or loss of a friendship, or loss of a certain way of life. But loss is definitely a theme I can't seem to shake.