My father was in the Army and we moved around a lot, and one of my favorite places was the library.
I like to give and get basically anything (I love to read) but especially fiction and poetry.
I don’t consciously start writing a play that involves issues. After it’s done, I sit back like everyone else and think about what it means.
Being a playwright of any race is difficult, and Lord knows it gets more difficult the further you get from the middle of the road. I don’t know what kind of magic my mojo is working, but it’s working.
The writer has two kinds of faith: actual writing and sitting openly. Have faith in your personal effort or sweat. And faith in God, or whatever you want to call it. Then the voices will come. Faith is the big deal.
I don’t care what anybody says. Stick to the spirit of the play and you’re doing it right. It’s about embracing the spirit of the text instead of noodling some idea about things.
One could get locked in by the Pulitzer, thinking, ‘This is who I am.’ Doors open with it, but doors in your mind could close.
My plays aren’t stylistically the same. Just being an African-American woman playwright on Broadway is experimental.
Someone yelled at me once, ‘You never write about yourself.’ People used to get so mad at me for that. But my definition of myself is completely up for grabs. I’m everywhere, just like we all are.
Difficulty creates the opportunity for self-reflection and compassion.
Each moment is perfect and heaven-sent, in that each moment holds the seeds for growth.
I don’t read reviews. I refuse to have my ego inflated or deflated by someone I don’t know.
Everything I write doesn’t appear to be biography until later. I often say that I’ve never written about anything I’ve experienced. Of course, that’s not true. But it doesn’t appear familiar to me at all. And maybe that’s because I have to be in a kind of coma in order to write. If it appeared familiar, I wouldn’t.
My plays are for the kind of black people who relate to funk music, to Parliament-Funkadelic. When those guys get out of a spaceship – the idea that black people are from outer space, there’s a poetic truth to that. We are this vast people.
I love my lecture tours. I get up onstage. I have my stack of books and a glass of water and a microphone. No podium, no distance between me and the audience, and I just talk to people and get all excited and tell a lot of jokes, and sing some songs, and read from my work and remind people how powerful they are and how beautiful they are.