So thankful for the New Leaf opportunity. I was able to produce three full drafts of Drapetomania, a play I’ve been shelving for a couple of years. During the process, we had in-depth discussions about privilege in America, who receives it, who’s punished, and how we fight for it. It was amazing to sit around a table—virtually since I was in Kansas—with a predominately black, female cast and director.
We had further discussions about what it is to navigate in the world as a black woman and issues around colorism, stereotypes, and racial fetishism. I also had the amazing opportunity to work with an African drummer to help find the voice of the ancestor chorus through the play. Even in a reading, music and movement is vital to the storytelling of this play.
I walked away from this workshop process feeling great about the director I’m going with this play and now feel more confident to continue developing it for future opportunities.