Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I Interview Playwrights Part 301: Yusef Miller
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current Town: New York, NY
Q: What are you working on now?
A: 1) Writing a new play.
2) This week, I begin rehearsals for my ten-minute dark comedy, called Breakfast. Synopsis: ..eggs and muthufuckin' bacon will not be the start of glen's morning. his wife, harriet, has pop tarts on the menu, the shit they've overlooked for 19 years...
Q: How can we support your work?
A: By attending my ten-minute dark comedy, called Breakfast. Building on a sold-out inaugural year in 2010, The Fire This Time Festival continues its mission of supporting playwrights of African-descent and exploring challenging new directions for 21st century theater.
All Season Two festival events will be held at Horse Trade Theater Group’s Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery).
Join us for an evening of ten-minute plays:
• The Scorpion and the Fox by Jesse Cameron Alick
• The Eternal Return by Christine Jean Chambers
• Exodus by Camille Darby
• The Bitter Seraph of Sugar Hill by Marcus Gardley
• Breakfast by Yusef Miller
• Third Grade by Dominique Morisseau
• Thu - 01/20 7:00 PM
• Fri - 01/21 7:00 PM
• Sat - 01/22 7:00 PM
• Sun - 01/23 2:00 PM
• Thu - 01 27 7:00 PM
• Fri - 01/28 7:00 PM
• Sat - 01/29 7:00 PM
• Sun – 01/30 2:00 PM
Tickets ($15) are available by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or online at www.horseTRADE.info (on "The Fire This Time Festival Panel on the left)
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: I was an Artist-born child who retained narratives of the unrequited dreams of a family, a community, a race. Initially, it was important for me to run for my own story, or at the least, to wait out the storm. Poetry became my first expression of my existence. It validated my purpose in the storm; and in articulating it, validated the people and the stories. I write plays from within the storm. I’m still validating. I’m experimenting with different styles and forms of validating.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: I wouldn’t touch the mainstream theatre community. I wouldn’t know where to begin, other than total reformation. What I would do is slip a pill into the drinks of every Black Playwright, Black Producer, and Black Audience Member. This pill would have several effects. 1) it would identify our “oneness with each other.” 2) it would identify our “oneness with God.” 3) it would create within us courage and wisdom, unprecedented. 4) it would recreate in us a LIFE OR DEATH resolve. 5) it would advance how we contract our creativity.
Q: Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A: I endeavor to be my own hero. I owe it to me and my experience.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: The origins of your art is YOU. Be courageous, for all of us.