New Directions, New Questions About Women Of Color In Theatre

Which way should we go?

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I started writing Crossroads & Intersections. A great year, a busy year, but man! How the time flies!

It started with laying the groundwork for what intersectionality is and how to use it. From there, I used myself as an example (or guinea pig, take your pick) of how intersectionality functions in real life with real people. I unpacked a lot of things in those posts, got me wondering where I really stood when it comes to walking the walk instead of just talking about it. It wasn’t always comfortable to realize that I wasn’t as radical in deed as I was in thought, but at least now I have clarity about where I stand. Hopefully, it helped you get clear on where you stand too.

Story continues below.

So what’s next for Crossroads and Intersections? More analysis? More talking to myself?

I know it sounds strange for an artist to say this, but let me tell you a little secret: I’m tired of talking about myself.

Maybe it’s because Encanta was a delightful yet exhausting experience that I have yet to properly recuperate from. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert. Whatever the reason, I’m done with digging around in my psyche for  a while. I love my headspace, but it needs to air out. It needs take some things in instead of pouring things out.

Instead of making everything about me, me, me, let’s talk about you. What are your thoughts and your ideas about women of color in theatre. What do you think about what’s happening with women of color in theatre right now? What do you want to see more of? Less of? What are your thoughts about what we can do to support women of color in theatre–not just actors and playwrights, but directors, designers and administrators, too? If you’re a woman of color, what are some experiences you’d like to share? If you’re not, what sorts of things are you hoping to better understand?

While we’re at it, I want to have a little fun too.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from Encanta that truly stuck, it’s that having fun can illuminate things that a more somber approach is too wrapped up in itself to notice. Besides, in my personal life, I often use humor and whimsy to get my point across. Talking about discrimination, systemic inequality and power imbalances is heavy but necessary stuff. At the same time, we also need to get in the habit of imagining new possibilities, and that can be a hell of a lot of fun. Think about it. In light of Viola Davis’ Emmy win, I can’t wait to see what you have to say about which genres are ripe for women of color protagonists. Or, in light of the success of Hamilton on Broadway, which historical woman of color’s story is ripe for a Broadway biopic? How about the most annoying stereotypes about women of color that you never want to see committed to print again? There’s enough material there to last a lifetime.

There are so many conversations we could have, so many ways we can open up discussion and work our way towards a theatre that truly reflects the world we live in and the people in it. To get that ball rolling, share in the comments below anything you’ve been wondering about women of color in theatre. Let’s explore that together. Imagine all the things we can uncover just by asking and listening. Maybe we’ll dig up a gem of an idea, polish it off and share it with the world.