Writer’s block is a common ailment that hounds even the most brilliant artists. No matter how much we try to create new material, sometimes it seems like nothing works.
As Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Stuck in an artistic rut? Here’s where some of our playwrights of BAPF 2016 found inspiration during their writing processes:
Philana Omorotionmwan: Before Evening Comes
The major thing that influenced the play as I wrote were YouTube clips of The Nicholas Brothers, like this one.
Another thing that was in my mind as I wrote were pictures of slaves who'd had their hands and feet cut off as punishment , both here in America and the Congo.
As a poet at heart, my primary interest lies in writing "stage poems". For that reason, story and plot do not typically occupy a place of primacy in my writing. I most often begin by focusing on an image and identifying the characters who inhabit the world of that image. Sometimes they speak through words. Sometimes they speak through actions. But no matter their chosen manner of communication, they are always attempting to create home in their bodies and experience liberation. It is my hope that the questions these characters raise about society can contribute in some way to starting a revolution with only one demand: the freedom simply to be.
Sarah Sander: Sycamore
Andrew Saito: Whisper Fish
One thing that strongly drew me to Peru was the legendary theater company Yuyachkani.
I attended the syncretic indigenous-Catholic ceremonies of la Virgen Del Carmen in the village of Paucartambo, near Cusco, and la Virgen de la Candelaria, in the town of Puno, on Lake Titicaca.
Both of these festivals feature many different comparsas, or troupes of masked dancers, performing in procession in honor of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
In both festivals, one of the comparsas consists of Devils worshipping the virgin. The Devils are central to the ritual. The Afroperuvian culture also has a dance, el son Del Diablo, that features Devils.