EXCERPTS FROM THE PLAY GUIDE
Below is an excerpt from the play guide for The Revolutionists.
Where are you from originally and when did you first develop an interest in theatre?
Born and raised in Georgia outside of Atlanta. I wanted to be an actor at first and even as a young kid found my way to the stage.
When and why did you decide to pursue playwriting professionally?
It was something I came to after performing in new plays as a kid in Atlanta and realizing that people still wrote them! I felt the power and vision a playwright could wield and wanted to write stories with more roles for women. I haven’t stopped since.
How has your past shaped the writer you are today?
I grew up in the South and read the profound writing of southern women like Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Toni Morrison. I knew that women should write, have to write.
Describe the experience of watching your work performed.
Complex! Exciting and nerve-wracking.
How was The Revolutionists born?
A footnote led me to Olympe de Gouge’s story and I gasped out loud when I read that there was a feminist political playwright who was executed during the French Revolution. I had to know more. I’d always been fascinated by Marie Antoinette and charlotte Corday so they were obvious characters. Marianne came from further reading and reckoning with the fact of France’s (much like America’s) call for freedom which was also convergent with their oppression of African slaves.
In what way do you see The Revolutionists challenging and engaging the audience?
I was blown away by the similarities between their time and ours. Distrust of government, huge gap between the rich and poor, racism, sexism, extremism, violence in the streets. That makes me sit up and pay attention to that moment in history and ask myself how that can help me unpack our era now.
Unpack your writing process. Is it messy, clean? What do you need in order to explore character’s dramatically?
I always start with a vision of the ending. That allows me to write toward something, which helps me write quickly and purposefully.
What you wish you could tell your high school self now that you know what you know?
Don’t care about what other’s think so much. You have a purpose without any of them.
Do you have a favorite playwright? Who inspires you in the craft?
Lynn Nottage! The voice of our age. A genius.
What stories do you feel most alive in exploring?
Stories of sisterhoods.
How do you deal with writer’s block? Are there stories you really want to write, but you just can’t?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. You can always write something. Something is the first step to something great. You have to put something on the page to know if you’re going in the right direction, and if there’s a real story there.