You've tended toward large production teams with this piece, is there a particular reason for this? There are a million and one ways to produce Everyday Afroplay. The large production team comes out of an interest of “doing something that scares me” and widening my creative circle. I met so many new actors and directors from the Bushwick Starr show. Producing Everyday Afroplay is giving a platform to develop my craft and along the way I have consequently strengthened collaborative relationships.
Additionally, with a work like Everyday Afroplay that deals explicitly in questions of personal and social identity, and in particular black personal and social identity or at least conceptions of it, how is that reflected in your choice of collaborators? What’s most important to me is who will understand the text, who is brave enough to ask the scary questions and who willing to have fun.
Is there something specifically you wish to hit upon, emphasize, or revisit that you felt did not manifest in the first production? I see Everyday Afroplay having the potential of multiple ways of existing in space. What’s exciting about the JACK show is that we have more time for everyone to work off each other collaboratively. Towards the end of the rehearsal period we plan to build the show as a group versus putting the plays together “festival style”.
What has the process of creating each discrete Afroplay been like? Did you develop a standardized writing process over the life of the project or has it been all ad hoc and based on flurries of inspiration? Usually an “afroplay” will come to me while I’m sleeping; an image will stay with me while walking down the street; or maybe the tone of someone’s voice as they order a cup of coffee. Allowing myself the freedom to shape a play from whatever is inspiring me at the moment felt more honest than being more prescriptive. .
What inspires you to write, anything and works like this? Writing is vital for my psyche so I have to… it’s my version of prozac. Reading fiction and visual art are my main muses. Recently I got to experience the Kerry James Marshall show at The Met Bruer. The show is long gone but I am still consumed.
There is significant variance in the themes and forms of the mini plays that constitute Everyday Afroplay. Is there any formal construct or theme or idea that couldn't be or form the basis of an Afroplay? Or conversely, is there any issue or form or theme that you could not address through an Afroplay? Basically, is there anything that by its nature wouldn't belong in this project? Yes there are things that don’t fit in this schema but I need more time to wrap my head around explaining this.