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1000 Playwright Interviews The first interview I posted was on June 3, 2009.  It was Jimmy Comtois.  I decided I would start interview...

Nov 6, 2018

I Interview Playwrights Part 1014: Danielle Deadwyler

Danielle Deadwyler 

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Current Town: Atlanta, GA

Q:  What are you working on now? 

A:  Auditioning and revising/editing a collection of poems.

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 have few stories from childhood that I’m able to automatically remember these days. I’m making it all up as I go. I gather that’s why fragmentation is so engaging to me, compositions that are more interested in moments (and memory) than a long-winding-road-form of writing. How do many moments speak for a whole? This is what I seek to get to the heart of as a writer, art maker.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? 

A:  The funding!!! And more time to build in/work the process. We’ve lost the developmental (rehearsal) time for work. It has shrunken since I began professionally, which my mentors say had been shortened for them. From four to three to two weeks sometimes. Allowing marination truly yields a more flavorful, rich meal.

Q:   Who are or were your theatrical heroes? 

A:  Donald Griffin, Crystal Fox, Andrea Frye, Jasmine Guy, Ntozake Shange, that I can think of now. Most of these folks I could touch. They actually pore into me. Our heroes are closer than we think.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you? 

A:  Raw. Honest. Surprising. Theatre that pushes humanity in both directions on the spectrum. I love work that fills the space and shrinks it simultaneously. I love to feel a part of a world.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Listen carefully. Quietude is valuable in a sensorially busy world. Writers are like spiritual healers/leaders...we have to be hyper-aware of the world’s happenings (well read) and adult to be synthesizers of such experiences. And more questions than answers.

Q:  Plugs, please: 

A:  I’m actually in a film currently playing the west coast, JANE & EMMA. Other things are pending, so mums the zipped lips.

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