A month or so ago, a wonderful friend, internationally acclaimed playwright, Christine Evans, moved to D.C. from Boston. If you don't already know her work, you should. She's here working as an assistant professor in the Theater and Performance Studies Program at Georgetown University and will be teaching Play Analysis and Real Things Onstage: Theaters of War and Witness. We first met in 2006 at the NoPassport Theatre Conference in New York. She's been a lovely presence in my life ever since. I'm thrilled that she's here and can hardly wait to experience the impact of her work in this community!
Upon her arrival, she and I began speaking about Life as a Playwright in D.C. As beneficial as I think these conversations have been, my experience is just one perspective and doesn't come close to answering the question in a larger sense. So, I reached out to several women playwrights in the area and asked them to share their experiences here. I'm focusing on women playwrights, because we need to be heralded, championed and showcased as much and as often as possible.
Interestingly, these interviews became even more relevant and timely when I learned about Theater J's Women's Voices Project and was reminded that the number of plays written by women playwrights being produced in the D.C. area this season is still rather low. If you're interested, you can peruse the D.C. area Theater Directory and while you're at it, buy some tickets! While there’s certainly room to grow and areas to improve in terms of racial and gender parity, I can't help but dance, celebrate and rejoice in the fact that D.C. area audiences have a plethora of exciting, rich, diverse, and compelling theatre from which to choose this season!
Now, the fact that the world premiere of my play, The Hampton Years, is one of the plays being produced this season is extraordinary! Folks, let’s face it, outside of my family, friends, colleagues, students, summer campers, mailman and a few folks at my gym, no one knows who I am! It’s wonderful that Theater J believed enough in me, my voice and vision, and this play to produce it. Huzzah!
Of course, it’s my hope that next season--and in the many seasons to come--we’ll see the number of plays written by women, playwrights of color, and local playwrights being produced on the D.C. area stages not only increase, but sky rocket through the roof! And here’s the thing, while it may take longer to shift the pendulum than we'd like, I believe it will happen. I believe it, because there are so many smart, savvy, and determined theatre artists, audiences, patrons, critics, and institutions who are invested in making it happen. It will get better! In the meantime, I'm just going to keep writing plays and plugging away at this blog!
Alright, in my next post, you'll meet the amazing, brilliant, talented, funny, and prolific Women Playwrights of D.C. being featured in this series. I'm so excited! So, stay tuned!
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!