Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

For me theater is an invitation of the most thrilling kind. For much of my life I had the sense of not quite belonging, never quite fitting in—until I realized that none of us truly “fits.” We’re all one-of-a-kind beings with distinct DNA and individual sightlines, yet most of us hope and seek to belong to something larger than ourselves. Theater gives us the chance to belong, to transcend our own real and imagined boundaries, let down our guards and engage more deeply with our emotions and imaginations and experience viewpoints other than our own. Even in its most basic physical sense, theater makes us feel that we aren’t alone.

My plays often begin with a question, something I don’t understand, and the play attempts to seek answers. Other plays explore accepted narratives, particularly as they pertain to women, in order to unearth a very different story. I love giving voice to characters that aren’t always heard on stage or in our world—the Brontë sisters, a rabbit, a fetus, a nine-year-old girl, a dead teenage boy, an eighty-six-year-old woman, W.C. Fields, a refrigerator, an incarcerated woman. My plays limn the boundaries between self and other and seek to break down boundaries by revealing our common humanity: we all want, we all sdfeel, we all sometimes fail.

While theater was my first love—as a child I made up stories then roped in neighborhood kids to watch me “perform” them—I also pursued poetry and earned a poetry MFA. My poetry skills enable me to craft plays that are spare, imagistic and imaginative. From poetry I learned the joy of leaving space for readers to inhabit and interpret my work, and that inspires me to create space in my scripts for collaborators and audiences. I view my plays as invitations to collaborators and audiences: together we can belong to something larger than ourselves.

I believe theater should be thrilling even in its darkest moments, so I add elements of surprise to my plays. I believe theater should be fun even when it’s disturbing, so I add moments of humor and playfulness to my work. Above all I believe theater should be inclusive. For me the ideal production is like the perfect party none of us was ever invited to, where each of us feels accepted and no one is ever excluded. So please, come and join the party. I’d love to see you here.