Tristan B Willis

Tristan B Willis

Tristan B Willis is a DC-based playwright, administrator, graphic designer, and game creator interested in trans and queer work and the intersection of theatre and games - including making meaningful, interactive experiences for audiences. They are currently a member of the Playwrights' Center and Freelancer’s Union. They also coordinate the Theatre Washington Mentoring Program for DC-area theatre...
Tristan B Willis is a DC-based playwright, administrator, graphic designer, and game creator interested in trans and queer work and the intersection of theatre and games - including making meaningful, interactive experiences for audiences. They are currently a member of the Playwrights' Center and Freelancer’s Union. They also coordinate the Theatre Washington Mentoring Program for DC-area theatre practitioners and work with Young Playwrights’ Theater.

As a former resident of the Orchard Project’s Liveness Lab and CultureHub’s Writing for Electronic Formats, Tristan discussed and cultivated new ways of presenting theatrical work in digital and distanced spaces. You can learn more about Tristan and their work at tristanbwillis.com.

Newsletter, for in progress scenes from plays and games, musings on process, and unfettered dragging of terrible submission opportunities: feelingfickle.substack.com/welcome

Tristan's work for 2022 is funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities through the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program.

Plays

  • The Great Impresario Boris Lermontov Would Like to Invite You To Dinner
    Two actors meet onstage and flip a coin to decide who plays which character in this performance. One takes on the role of Boris Lermontov, the boisterous and boastful impresario of a popular ballet company, while the other plays his employee Noa, an unappreciated dancer who’s been tasked with serving dinner to Lermontov and his guest (that’s you, the audience).

    The façade of the dinner party...
    Two actors meet onstage and flip a coin to decide who plays which character in this performance. One takes on the role of Boris Lermontov, the boisterous and boastful impresario of a popular ballet company, while the other plays his employee Noa, an unappreciated dancer who’s been tasked with serving dinner to Lermontov and his guest (that’s you, the audience).

    The façade of the dinner party quickly starts to crumble as tensions rise between impresario and dancer, revealing the faulty hierarchical structures inherent to such working relationships. As the actor playing Lermontov tries to show the effects of such power imbalances can be solved with the Right Person in the role of impresario, they fall further and further into a trap they’ve created for themself.
  • Ventured/Gained
    An adaptation of "She ventures and he wins" for us queer and trans romantics who want something frivolous for a change. Charlotte's trying to find a lover with thick shoulders and a thick PERSONALITY. Urania and Frances love each other but want to be horny for life again. And something's been awakening in Jules ever since putting on that suit.

    (in progress and in search of development opportunities)
  • This Vessel Is A Fragile Thing
    Over three nights and three dreams a nonbinary person explores their relationship with their body, their family, and their desire to escape from the internal and external conflicts surrounding them.

    The first night they dream of turning into a tornado and destroying their hometown.
    The second night they dream of fighting in a war with their grandfather.
    The third night they dream...
    Over three nights and three dreams a nonbinary person explores their relationship with their body, their family, and their desire to escape from the internal and external conflicts surrounding them.

    The first night they dream of turning into a tornado and destroying their hometown.
    The second night they dream of fighting in a war with their grandfather.
    The third night they dream of a future where they can transition into any form they choose.
    As the third dream progresses, it shifts, trying to please and keep them in the dream, away from the real world problems they so desperately want to avoid.
  • Use All Available Doors
    Use All Available Doors follows a soon-to-be-decommissioned WMATA train car, a grieving operator re-evaluating her life’s path, and a revolving door of passengers as they travel the length of the Red Line from Shady Grove to Glenmont. A vignette occurs between each stop, highlighting the varied nature of the Red Line’s path, including a parade, a sing-a-long, and unsolicited foot washing (that one's a true story).
  • as also You are known (working title)
    A performance, a guidance, a reclaiming. A group of storytellers lead the audience through a series of Herculean labors, of journeys, of deep dives into their relationship with gender and the act of creating - here we are the maker and we are the work.

    (in progress & in search of development opportunities)
  • Son of Apollo
    Phaethon desperately wants to prove he is not only Apollo's child, but Apollo's son. His mother Clymene fears Phaethon enlists harmful affectations to prove his identity to others.

    A ten-minute play exploring a conflicting desire for and fear of "masculinity."
  • 23 Opinions No One Wanted
    for 3+ nonbinary femmes and/or women

    A performance piece inspired in part by articles like HuffPost’s “23 Trends Men Hate (But Women Love)” and interactions between femme & women artists and cis men. 23 Opinions is bite-sized theatre, written so performers can present it quickly without much rehearsal at any available venue, from street corners to parties with boys who brought guitars. The...
    for 3+ nonbinary femmes and/or women

    A performance piece inspired in part by articles like HuffPost’s “23 Trends Men Hate (But Women Love)” and interactions between femme & women artists and cis men. 23 Opinions is bite-sized theatre, written so performers can present it quickly without much rehearsal at any available venue, from street corners to parties with boys who brought guitars. The lines are not delineated so each group of performers can choose the lines that best fit.
  • Parts of You, Parts of Me
    A monologue, a reminiscing. A love letter to the people you didn't meet but deeply miss. A guide to building yourself from pieces of others.

    "I’m not sure what is gained and what is lost by borrowing, receiving, taking these small pieces but leaving the whole - knowing I may never meet their owners again, may never meet some of them at all.

    But I do know
    sometimes...
    A monologue, a reminiscing. A love letter to the people you didn't meet but deeply miss. A guide to building yourself from pieces of others.

    "I’m not sure what is gained and what is lost by borrowing, receiving, taking these small pieces but leaving the whole - knowing I may never meet their owners again, may never meet some of them at all.

    But I do know
    sometimes being me is like being bits of twenty people,
    or more -
    a hundred,
    a thousand -
    and these souvenirs are proof of that."
  • Thea & Lily
    A ten-minute play with a punch. Thea & Lily are stranded at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, but that's alright... Lily has a plan.
  • paper backs
    A scholar and artist navigate their passion for their art and each other while stuck in a relationship that continuously cycles back to the beginning.
  • ID
    Written by Charles Mee & Tristan B Willis
    Adapted by Tashina Richardson

    As we interact with each other in this world, we constantly juggle and struggle with how we identify ourselves versus how others identify us. In "ID," identity, privilege, and more are explored at a dive bar through music, drinks, lively discussion and, hell why not, dancing.