nytheatre.com q&a preview by Dondrie Burnham
June 4, 2013
What is your job on this show?
What is your show about?
A family connected by blood. Inspired by truth. Torn by betrayal. Mended by love.
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and I've lived all over the South. I've lived in Memphis, New Orleans, Dallas and Houston. So I'm undeniably Southern! I moved to New York to attend Marymount Manhattan College and further my Theatre training.
Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
That feels a little like trying to ask an artist if the paintbrush, the paint or the canvas is more important. The actor, the playwright and the director are all part of something greater than them. I think that the audience is most important in theater. We are all there to serve them and our art doesn't and can't work without them.
What is one specific thing that you hope audiences will realize you’ve contributed to the production?
I hope that when audiences leave they will simply feel that I've been truthful. Of course, I would love for them to be moved to action and moved to love. But the best any actor can hope for is that someone looks at them and sees the truth.
Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Jennifer Lawrence?
Maggie Smith! She is brilliant. She is an icon. She has a stillness that all actresses would KILL for. I'm stoked just thinking about that possibility.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Diversity is extremely important to me. This is actually the first show I've done with other actors of color and its been truly a gift. The Film industry can be very shallow and non-inclusive. Theatre throughout my life has largely been the place where the freaks could go and find a home. I've spent most of my life being one of few people of color in my surroundings. Theatre provided an opportunity for me not to be pigeon-holed by other people's expectations or fears. Its important to me that other actors feel that same acceptance and are given that voice. Besides, there's nothing more inspiring than being captivated by someone who looks like you!