I think that form is content . . . I've always been more interested . . . in the formal devices and the structure rather than in the subject matter . . . But I really am a follower of Viktor Shklovsky, who said that in some ways the subject matter doesn't even matter. It's whether or not we see the subject matter anew that matters.And then:
Women and writers of color are still seen as threats because, in essence, when a woman or writer of color is defining a play world, there's another definition of what our society is, and that's very threatening.I realized how amazingly political that piece of information is considering other facts about me as the writer and the work itself, such as:
- The playwright - myself - is a queer Black Jewish woman.
- I'm retelling some of my favorite fairy tales through a lens colored by the mythology and religion of West Africa and the African Diaspora.
- I'm borrowing heavily from traditional and avant-garde Japanese theatrical ideas and aesthetics.
- What is subversive about my writing?
- How do I put my Black womanhood into my work?
- What does my work say about the Black experience, if anything?
Take a moment to let this sink in.
My play, a play written by a Black woman and about Black people, does not define Blackness as the fucked up shit White people do to us, but as our stories, our songs, our beliefs, and our rituals as they are passed across generations through words, through blood, and through spirit.
My play, a play written by a Black woman about Black people, does not express its Blackness as tragic, ridiculous, enraged, pathetic, or simplistic but as creative, enchanting, fluid, complex, and heroic.
My play, a play written by a Black woman and about Black people, does not reflect Blackness as shown in mass media, but as it is lived on an individual and collective level.
My play, a play written by a Black woman and about Black people, does not recreate history or document life as it is today, but creates the world anew through a lens colored by the deeper currents of the human experience.
My play, a play written by a Black woman and about Black people, does not downplay its Blackness to make it more palatable, more "universal," but assumes universality from the start.
My play, a play written by a Black woman and about Black people, does not set out to make a statement about The Black Experience, but to invite you - all of you - into a new reality.
Do you have any idea how fucking rare that is? Do you have any idea what this means?
Blackness is not a barrier to or divider of humanity, but a clear and complete expression of it.