Saying, 'I'm going to create jobs' is great, but before you create jobs, something has to be offered to alleviate some of the suffering now.
American audiences very rarely deal with material outside their borders.
I was repeatedly told that there isn't an African American woman who can open a show on Broadway. I said, 'Well, how do we know? How do we know if we don't do it?' I said, 'I think you're wrong.'
'Ruined' was a play which was somewhat of an anomaly in that I did not take a commission until it was finished because I really wanted to explore the subject matter unencumbered. Otherwise, I felt as though I'd have the voice of dramaturges and literary managers saying, 'This is great, but we'll never be able to produce it.'
Women are standing up and leaning forward and asserting their power.
A lot of the factories that had been the bedrock of many small cities were being shut down, which led me to investigate what I'm calling the 'de-industrial revolution.'
My grandfather was a Pullman porter, and my father put his way through college by cleaning floors at night in the libraries. I understand that working people are in some way the bedrock of my existence and the existence of many people here.
The people sometimes who are closest to us are the ones who bear the brunt of our frustration.
Even in Congo, where conflicts are happening, people have births, weddings, deaths, and celebrations.
My parents are avid consumers of art, collectors of African American paintings, and have always gone to the theater. My mother has always been an activist, too. As long as I can remember, we were marching in lines.
Silence is complicity. I believe that.
I can't quite remember the exact moment when I became obsessed with writing a play about the seemingly endless war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but I knew that I wanted to somehow tell the stories of the Congolese women caught in the cross-fire.
It's much easier to conjure characters strictly from your imagination than to have to think about whether you're representing people in a truthful way.
I find my characters and stories in many varied places; sometimes they pop out of newspaper articles, obscure historical texts, lively dinner party conversations and some even crawl out of the dusty remote recesses of my imagination.
We need to diversify the people who are backstage and producing and marketing these shows. It's the limitations of these people that are holding Broadway back.
In my family history, there are generations of women who were abandoned by men. It's one of the themes of my family.
'Intimate Apparel' is a lyrical meditation on one woman's loneliness and desire. 'Fabulation' is a very fast-paced play of the MTV generation.
I wonder: Would there be a black president if people hadn't already begun imagining, through film and television, that a black man is president? It's self-actualization.
I love my people's history. I feel a huge responsibility to tell the stories of my past and my ancestors' past.
In senior year at college, Paula Vogel was my playwriting teacher; she is the first person to introduce me to the notion that a woman could actually forge a career in the theatre. Up until then, the possibility seemed remote and inaccessible, as I had very few role models who directly touched my life.