Why & What

Why Do I Write?

I believe that plays should be models for new communities. They shouldn’t simply reproduce what is, but rather offer a vision of what could be! Oppressive systems—namely capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy—are not inevitable. I believe—I have to believe—that theatre can show us another way. Every rehearsal process has the potential to foment a small revolution. And every performance is an opportunity to invite more people into the fight.

What Do I Write?

I write about women who desire. I write about hunger and money. I write about girl culture and neoliberalism, divinity and death.

My work features a lot of ghosts, both literal and metaphorical. Once upon a time in grad school, I was writing a (bad) play about past lives and convinced my advisors to let me take a class called Idiom of Haunting. (Shout out to Prof. Josh Gunn and all the smarty-pants PhD students who let me lurk for a semester!) Anyway, that past-lives play went nowhere, but the haunting class has informed all of my subsequent work. 

A play, by definition, must repeat (“run it again”). So must a ghost (“they’re baaa-aack”). Theatre haunts. Theatre is haunted. It is specter and psychic medium at once. I remain particularly captivated by Kathleen Brogan’s notion of cultural haunting. In her essay “Getting Back One’s Dead,” Brogan writes, “the living continue to be haunted by what they refuse to remember or to name as their own.” Violence, trauma, and memory show up in nearly all of my plays. I don't aim to shock, but rather to guide audiences through a collective remembering, so that we may heal.

 

Also, my plays are funny, because dear lord, I cannot stomach theatre without a sense of humor.

© 2023 by Nicola Rider.
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Contact

diana.grisanti[at]gmail.com