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January 10, 2018
Meet the Fire This Time Festival Playwrights: Gethsemane Heron-Coward

The Fire This Time Festival, focusing on the experience of African American artists and audiences, takes place this year from January 15-28. The festival provides a platform for emerging African American writers to have their works produced and shown to the world. We want you to meet some of the playwrights in the week leading to the festival. Here's Gethsemane Heron-Coward, whose play The Falling Man will be performed as part of Fire This Time's 10-minute play series.

Describe your play, it's _____ meets _____.

It's man meets mortality.

How did you first realize you wanted to become a playwright?

I was originally a poet, social scientist, and sometimes actress. I saw my peers that loved poetry love it in a way I didn't. Playwriting was the amalgamation of the performer, the researcher, and the lyricist in me.

Mention one play you think is flawless.

Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Algería Hudes.

Who is your favorite character in a play?

This is always shifting, but I will always love Oya from McCraney's In the Red and Brown Water.

What does your perfect place for writing look like?

Quiet. Only me. Complete autonomy and space to be. No music. Lots of food.

How do you know when your play is "done"?

When my teachers tell me to stop!

What's one line of dialogue you're really proud of having written?

"Heaven is clean air."

What actor (male or female) would you love to have do one of your plays?

I feel like I would learn so much from Karen Pittman.

What is the meaning of being part of The Fire This Time Festival for you?

Being a part of such a wonderful legacy of mentors and peers.

What is your biggest wish for the theatre community in 2018?

That it resist resist resist.

For more information on The Fire This Time Festival click here.

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Meet the Fire This Time Festival Playwrights: William Oliver Watkins​

By Jose Solis

The Fire This Time Festival, focusing on the experience of African American artists and audiences, takes place this year from January 15-28. The festival provides a platform for emerging African American writers to have their works produced and shown to the world. We want you to meet some of the playwrights in the week leading to the festival. Here’s William Oliver Watkins, whose play Black, White and Blue will be performed as part of Fire This Time’s 10-minute play series. Describe your play, it’s ______ meets ______.  It’s ​Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero meets ​Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman. How did you first realize you wanted to become a playwright? ​I’ve always had a love of story. I think we’re born with the need to find patterns in the events that happen in the world around us and we use those patterns to find (or create) meaning through NARRATIVE.​ Theater is the perfect marriage of IMMEDIACY and COMMUNITY, allowing a writer to have an ongoing conversation with living, breathing human beings in a shared space. What’s the conversation about? Life. Always life. Mention one play you think is flawless. The Pillowman by  Martin McDonagh​. As darkly funny as it is horrifyingly possible. …Read more

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Written by: Jose Solis
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