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1100 Playwright Interviews

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May 3, 2017

I Interview Playwrights Part 934: Tori Sampson

Tori Sampson

Hometown: Boston, MA

Current Town: New Haven, CT

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  At this very moment I’m in tech for my thesis show for grad school.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  A story that sums all that up? Not sure I have one of those. But I’ve always been an observer and daydreaming has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. I’d see someone on the street or at a park and if they intrigued me, details about their life would pop into my head. I’d string those together and create an entire narrative about the hipster woman sitting on the bench at noon eating a Yoplait yogurt.

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

A:  There aren’t enough women of color as artistic directors, resident dramaturgs, literary managers… roles that powerfully craft what we know as the aesthetic of the American theater. I believe this is a disservice to the growth of theater and we’re all missing out on the dope art, that would be offered a stage, would this change occur.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  I admire people who get up everyday and acknowledge themselves as playwrights. This calling is always overwhelming. And more painful than I care to speak on. But we have a bone in our bodies that is strengthened with each blow to the body. So I smile at all of you.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A: Theater that makes me forget to breathe because it’s so damn captivating.

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

A:  Write your stories. The way you want to write them. All the time. And read. And observe people for the beauty they will show you. But don’t be a creep about it.

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