“I began to think of time as having a shape, something you could see, like a series of liquid transparencies, one laid on top of another. You don’t look back along time but down through it.”
—Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye
Atwood, Díaz, Sartre, Butler
I grew up as a reader and writer of speculative fiction. Before Beckett I had Tolkien, and these two writers can tell you a lot about me. I am wholly uninterested in the popular conception of realism: it's an artifice, like any other.
A play is a world--sometimes even a galaxy far, far away--where we are not bound by hegemonic notions of time and space. I do not experience my life as a linear course of events, but a series of memories, dreams, might-have-beens, and déjà vus that collide with the present to form my self, a view my plays reflect. Like Atwood’s picture of time, my plays, poems, stories are palimpsests. I deal in connections and juxtapositions. My recent play She Eats Apples employs the wonders of biology, videogames, fairytales, classical art, biblical mythology, texting, childhood rhymes, and sex education to triangulate the play’s world. I am interested in marginalized voices. I like telling women's stories. And because I am a designer, my plays are also pictures, on the stage and on the page.
Muncha, Bellmer, Waterhouse, Klee
A play is a world, and if I'm designing your play, I'm in your world. As a writer, I know how to approach a play, especially a new play, and I bring that dramaturgical insight to my work. But the best thing is, I'm not just a designer: I'm a painter, a seamstress, a sometime cake decorator. Yes, I do hair and makeup. The best way to learn is by doing, and I am addicted to learning. Name an art or craft, I've probably done it (except welding--soldering, but not welding). It's a sad (and uncommon) day if on any given project I'm not trying a new technique or idea. Every play or poem demands its own structure, and every design demands its own materials. I'm resourceful; I'm good at improvising; I'm not above duct tape. I believe in craft to the extent that it doesn't squash creativity (and to the extent that the budget allows). I believe in professional presentation and attention to detail. I'm pragmatic, and I dream big.
My 10th-Grade History Teacher; Paolo Freire
I am a teacher of writing, literature, theatre, and English as a second language. In each of these subjects, I feel uniquely privileged to be able to also discuss history, science, math, music, current events, and more. In teaching, as in writing, my focus is on making connections: modernism and the Industrial Revolution; abstract ideas and concrete images; students and subject matter. The more we as teachers can illuminate connections with students' education and personal experiences, the more we bolster students' investment in their own learning.
The best way to learn is by doing, and by watching and reading and talking. I approach subjects from many angles, and I encourage students to find and share their own entrance points to the work. I do not subscribe to a top-down model of education, but ask students to take responsibility for their own learning, with me as their guide. I acknowledge students' lived experiences and differing perspectives, and I strive to provide students with role models of diverse identities.
Above all, I strive to value my students as individuals: to validate their opinions, to express interest in their experiences, to foster mentor-mentee relationships (where sometimes I might turn out to be the mentee).