I received my BA from the University of Chicago, then moved to South Africa to work with a local organization that used theater to mobilize orphaned and vulnerable children and raise awareness. I spent a year based primarily in Johannesburg, with work in northern Limpopo and the Drakensberg. I returned to the US to strengthen my theater vocabulary and pursue an MFA in Acting at Brown University. While at Brown I met Erik Ehn, and traveled with him and a group of international theater-makers to Rwanda and Uganda to investigate the relationship between theater and social justice and how storytelling can aid in meaning-making. In addition to this trip I’ve spent the last ten years in and out of South Africa and its neighboring nations for various projects, each in their own way exploring theater as a tool towards social justice.
My first creative language was poetry, and the biography of my work is a narrative of poetic reclamation. Which is to say I write with as much attention to punctuation, line breaks and internal rhyme and rhythm as to character development or story structure. I write in verse. It’s just how it comes out.
I spend a lot of time thinking about Perspective. About the inherent limitations of any single lens – the Western one in particular.
The atmospheres and narratives I’ve observed and experienced at home and abroad remain with me and have led to my practice as a playwright today, which is more locally based but remains focused on creating a space where change can be effected.
Questions I'm Asking
How can theory be staged in a way that’s engaging, legitimately theatrical, and not tiresome/didactic? How can “issues” be lyrically and compellingly portrayed without any preaching or finger-wagging? How can a piece of theater compel its audience to act?