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.
I could not have asked for a better group of people. We made it to the top 12, and I’ve never been so proud. The emotional weight of All of the Everything resonated throughout the room. These phenomenally talented theatre artists worked so hard to make my words come to life, and there are not enough words to express my gratitude towards them. They believed in a play that I’ve been told is not possible or could not work on stage, and made it come to life.
So excited to be working on a play that I’ve finished, but never heard aloud before. It’s a play that’s gotten me some personalized rejection letters, but I’m so glad to take some time to deepen my exploration of the post-apocalyptic world in my play Drapetomania.
What is New Leaf?
New Leaf is a local new play development program that focuses on uplifting the work of Minnesota-based emerging playwrights. This Fall, New Leaf will launch in collaboration with the Playwright Cabal and Arts Nest to present staged readings of five new plays between September and December 2019. Each event concludes with a facilitated feedback session between the audience and artistic team. By the end of the collaboration with us, we aim to elevate the playwright to the next level of their development process. All events are free and open to the public.