24 December, 2007

Katori Hall, playwright, interview

Feministing:

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" You are a playwright and a performer. Does knowing how to do both affect your work in both arts? What are your particular goals when you are wearing your playwright's cap versus your performer's cap? What are the similarities, if any?"

" I actually started writing plays out of frustration. I was taking a scene study class at Barnard and I asked my teacher if she knew of any good scenes for two young African-American women. She could only pull a few names from her memory. The usual, August Wilson…Lorraine Hansberry. “But even they don’t have a scene for two young African-American women,” she said. I remember staring into her blank face and saying to myself, "Well, I guess I’m gonna have to write them then."

So, I’ve made a point to write plays that come from my own personal and cultural experience. Because I’m an actor, I try to write parts that even I would kill to play—complex, juicy, meaty, craft-building roles that are innovative and fresh. Both acting and writing require great use of one’s imagination. It’s just with writing you create a world with your mind, and with acting you create a character with your mind, your emotions and your body. Acting is your imagination in 3D. My goals for both art forms are essentially the same—to create a true reflection of the human experience for the stage. "

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