Art and emergency
Artists are by definition either developing, emergent, established, or dead; we make our way as we can across that landscape, and one way or another find ourselves in good company at last.  As for me, I’m grateful to doctors for reminding us of the connection between emergent and emergency. The world needs surgery: we are all of us in want of a new heart. Me, I’m an emergent writer.

Why I’m here
I’ve been writing my whole life because I’ve been listening my whole life. After creating, producing, and directing many short plays, I spent three years writing my first full-length work, cheered by a fellowship and certain that teachers are everywhere. I’m working now on a basketful of theatrical and journalistic projects about children, parents, intelligence, betrayal–that sort of thing.

Creating a character

Director Tim Waldrip (left) works with actress Mary Rowland (right) as Robert Sherwood and Cynthia Cendoma look on during the taping of a scene from The Whistler. That dark diagonal is a microphone boom.

Why you’re here
You’re curious. Me too. I’ve watched actors perched on rickety stools in a borrowed basement at midnight howling and crying over their lines. Come look over my shoulder if you like, slake your curiosity, fall off your chair with me. And when you’re ready, help me make something beautiful, something terrible and epiphanic. Help me with your clear-eyed attention, your collaborative honesty, your teaching. Let’s bring two or three, or two or three thousand people to their feet laughing aloud and, like those actors, wondering—as tears stream down their faces—how the hell they let themselves in for this. Then let’s multiply.