Many Voices Mentee Oya Mae Duchess-Davis has an open reading of her play Waiting for Superman at the Playwrights' Center Thursday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m. See reading cast and details. We asked Oya a few questions:
You’re studying sociology; how does sociology inform the art you create? And/or how does being an artist inform your sociological studies?
I feel that my education and studying sociology informs my work as a playwright a lot. I write plays that look at the many disparities that come with being black. Race is my favorite topic to look at when I look at social justice issues as well, just because there is so much depth. Once you bring blackness to any social disparity it adds a whole other set of problems.
What is something from outside of the theater world that inspires your theatrical writing?
Sociological issues that black people deal with, and how blackness intersects with other disparities.
What is the most helpful advice you’ve been given about playwriting?
It’s better to have a great collection than one really good piece. I have been given this advice by many playwrights, and it has inspired me to work on building my collection.
What do you see as the role of the artist in a community?
A voice for the voiceless.
What’s something about you that may surprise people?
I used to be a semi-pro boxer.
What are you working on during your mentorship year?
Revising two plays, Waiting for Superman and King Street Sinners, and writing two new plays.