As a playwright, I am a deep sea explorer. I see human nature as something to be mined, on deeper and deeper levels. But I am not just a deep sea explorer; I am a woman, I am Black, I am an American of Jamaican descent, I am single, and I am not a mother. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher and a student. Sometimes I am an actress. I am most particular; I have a history that is wholly mine. Therefore, in my work, just as I am working outward with a metaphorical pick and shovel, I am also working inward, exploring what’s there. I acknowledge that I am a part of the world, not separate from it, and I acknowledge that I am messy and flawed and a constant work-in-progress. I would never claim to present the truth in my work, I present the “truth” as I see it at a particular moment in time from my particular perspective. My plays tend to explore gender, race, class, nationhood – all of the things that make up “identity”. They also explore exploitation and how hurt occurs. Why do people hurt other people? Why do they hurt themselves? And how do people survive the hurts that have been inflicted upon them?
In terms of the collaborative nature of theater, I am always excited by the prospect of showing my fellow collaborators – my fellow explorers – the holes that I have found that need to be dug up. I am happy to hand over the shovel and delighted when discoveries are made that I would not have found on my own.
This is the opening (unedited) monologue in WATER, performed by Cristina Pitter. WATER was presented as a staged reading as part of Play the Space, a multidisciplinary performance series curated by Eryn Rosenthal in and around First Street Green Art Park.(www.erynrosenthal.com/category/playthespace/)