I have wanted to chop all my hair off and get a tattoo for over twelve YEARS. I was in Terrible Corporate America day job for a long time though and was forced to be as un-scary as that was possible for a black woman, which meant bone straight hair and no tattoos.
I’m super jazzed to announce I’m a member of the inaugural cohort of The Sappho Project’s W*rk Lab!!
The W*rk Lab is a seven month workshop supporting the development of three new musicals by women, transgender, and gender non-conforming composers, lyricists, and book writers. Through a highly individualized approach and intentional community-building, the W*rk Lab aims to provide resources and visibility for the next generation of underrepresented musical theatre creators, and position them for future success.
I am working on a brand spanking new musical, POWER, inspired by the 1991 Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation Hearings in which Anita Hill was looped into talk about Thomas’s past, obsession with pornography and his many flagrant and whack sexual advances upon herself and others that led ultimate to a liar being confirmed as Supreme Court Justice and Ms. Hill having her story co-opted every which way. I am passionate about centering an intelligent, overachieving, well-educated, from humble beginnings, morally-centered, naturally shy woman at the center of a farce as a meditation upon my own experience being microaggressioned and gas-lit nearly to death.
I’m envisioning a New Jack Swing-ass score, and am framing the story with a bit of time travel. Looking back at what we’ve accomplished as a way of looking forward and arm ourselves for what’s to come. A show reclaiming the word “we” to include black women.
I’m the book and lyrics on this project, and…..weirdly attempting to write my own music too! (That is until Jeanine Tesori sees my DMs) 🙂
Working on this fun new kids show based on the best-selling children’s book, SupaDupa Kid! It’s about a nerdy underdog little boy Javon who gets superpowers when he’s hit by lightening while holding some fancy-formula super glue and uses his power to fight bullies. I think people are figuring out I love little black boy superhero musicals lol!
I’m in a songwriting duo working on lyrics on the project with THE WONDERFUL AND PERFECT AND I LOVE HIM JOEL WAGGONER (composer for the project). So far, we’ve got a bunch of songs in the can, tinkering away, and we had this fun table read! Come on pandemic vaccine/theater and the world healing so we can see this show 🙂 And now…for me being a mom again and taking way too many pictures 🙂 🙂
Through fate hope and love, joined the WP Lab cohort! Writing a play and affirming myself that…I write plays too now 🙂 Focusing intensely on one project in particular for the lab: MY BABY –
When eldest daughter ESTELLE discovers that she is not a bone marrow donor for her stage 4 cancer suffering mother GLADYS, because they share no DNA in common, at first she is told that she is adopted, but when a strange woman, (TINESHA) shows up on her doorstep with newspaper clippings and 23-and-Me lab results, ESTELLE learns that the person she knows as her mother in reality is a person who kidnapped her as an infant from teenage girl TINESHA at a bus stop thirty-eight years ago. A full-length cosmic family drama about motherhood, responsibility and the choices we make.
Something in which I take great pride is sitting in the position of power of being a writer. Creating a world on the page is being the god of a universe. Often, I find myself sitting in a velvet seat looking up at a universe created by a benevolent god who does not seem to remember I exist. So it’s not lost on me what a privilege it is to get to be the genesis of words and characters, creating the bones upon which the actor and director will add the flesh, being the person in the casting discussions getting to say out loud “racial descriptions are intentional, please cast as noted.”
This is such a great group of humans! I feel in good company!