As a playwright, I want to breathe life into stories that deal with people and circumstances rarely seen in American Theatre.
Audiences have watched the stories of undocumented migrant workers and their struggles. What about the great people and stories from those cultures outside of being "illegal" and marginalized?
We’ve seen the mincing queens and macho dykes who are regulated to tertiary billing and bearing the weight of comic relief. What about the gay men and women of color who have identities and careers outside of their sexuality?
The drug addict, gang member, missing father, single mother, suffering of African Americans, and Latin Americans, and Middle Eastern Americans, and Asian Americans, and all the “othered” Americans are common place in today’s theatre.I’m not saying the slave narratives, undocumented immigrant narratives and the struggle to survive narratives are any less important or any less theatrical.
I believe they’re being touted as all-encompassing inclusion. And they’re not. What I am saying is that it's simply time to include the stories we’re not seeing.
Audiences deserve characters who are gay and of color who are accomplished, who are affluent, who live productive lives, who love and are loved in return. The time for creating these characters with full lives, relatable middle class American hopes and dreams, and complicated flaws and having them be the focus is now.
Whether historically or currently accurate, or inserted into a reality that doesn't allow them to be, gay characters, characters of color and stories that center around them, deserve license to exist, to be seen and heard. They deserve to exist in all genres and all forms of Theatre. They deserve to be given the same “willing suspension of disbelief” as all the non-othered, multi-dimensional characters and stories that currently populate the pantheon of Theatre. From there we can begin to move toward full spectrum Theatrical representation.
That’s what I want to see...so that’s what I write.