Hey y’all! So we are super excited to have exclusive interviews with the incoming class of MFA Playwrights who all happen to be chicks! We are so excited to have some new blood at OU and see what these writers are up to! First up is Philana Omorotionmwan, who is a Stanford Grad and currently a teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Read the interview below to learn more about her!
1.Who are some of your artistic influences/artists that do it for you?
Audre Lorde, Suheir Hammad, Cherrie Moraga, Adrienne Kennedy, and Suzan-Lori Parks are writers whose work I could not exist without.
2.What got you excited by OU’s program?
Madness. I feel the opportunity to experiment and fall on my face on a weekly basis is going to be invaluable to my growth as a playwright.
3.If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
A dolphin. I think being able to hold my breath for as long as they can would make swimming a lot easier.
4. What’s your fave kind of dessert??
Cream cheese filled king cake. I’ll be missing those during Mardi Gras season next year.
5. At this point in your writing, what types of stories/images are you drawn to?
I’ve noticed that I tend to write about dystopian futures, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, and unfulfilled desires. Those things go together, right?
6. So word on the street is that you are also into running/fitness. When did you get interested in that and why?
After undergrad. I got closer to weighing 200 pounds than I would have liked. I started working out to widen the gap. I ran my first distance race in 2012 and became addicted to the adrenaline rush.
Now that you love Philana, Read an excerpt from her work and like her more! Below is an Excerpt from Philana’s play Before Evening Comes:
I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m only here to let you know that my department will be moving forward on the recommendation to amputate… Taht-uh-me’s right leg and initiate him into the MOC brotherhood.
Is that why you’re here? The notice already came in the mail.
I know, but I thought maybe I could change your mind. It didn’t seem right to do you like that. I never have before.
You’re not doing anything to me. Not this time. You’re doing it to my son.
When his file came across your desk, did you even think about trying to help him?
Of course not. What’s my son but one more boy who needs to be stopped from standing on his own two feet.
On the street corner.
From running in the rain.
From police sirens.
Over the moon.