Hello, Azuka friends and family —
Doug Williams, last week’s highlighted playwright, has sailed away (to get that reference, check out his spotlight HERE), but the journey’s not over. Today we’re hearing from someone you might recognize from the very recent Azuka stage. Alexandra Espinoza played Mary in last season’s BOYCOTT ESTHER — and now…she is the newest member of New Pages! Alexandra, take it away.
“I was born and raised in Baltimore and then spent a pretty big chunk of time living internationally (Southern and Central Africa, London, Hong Kong) before settling in Philly in 2016. It felt like home almost instantly. I’m a lifelong writer who has dabbled in just about every genre — journalism, academic writing, literary fiction. I came to playwriting relatively late, and mainly because I was looking to streamline my life a little bit and was already spending so much time in the theatre as an actor, director and teaching artist (this is, of course, not counting the highly theatrical script I wrote for my 12th birthday party in which the Hanson Brothers and the Spice Girls met and merged into one super band). When I was growing up (and into my early adulthood since it took me awhile to settle on a life path) I thought I wanted to be a human rights lawyer. That morphed into wanting to be a human rights journalist, and I suppose now I’m a human rights playwright. Most of what I write comes from me interrogating and dissecting an injustice I’ve witnessed. I usually conclude somewhere along the way that the only way to fully explore it, or express my feelings about it, is by opening myself up to the widest palette of creative expression. I think the theatre is the best medium for that.
This will be my first year in New Pages and I couldn’t be more excited. I have a lot of admiration for every single one of the playwrights already in the group, and would probably be thinking and talking about their work in my spare time anyway so I’m pretty thrilled to get to do it while they are in the room, and even more thrilled that they’ll be thinking and talking about my work too (like I said, it’s all about streamlining). This year in New Pages I hope to write the first draft of a full length play inspired in part by family history, in part by the Venezuelan political landscape (where part of my family lives, and where my mother was born and raised), and in part by magic. My last full length play was initially inspired by events and the very specific environment of academia as experienced by people of color. I had to spend a lot of time building rich, emotional lives for the characters involved. For this play, I know these characters so well already. They are versions of my mother, my aunts, my cousins, myself. They come from stories about people from other generations who I never knew. So, I think most of my work this time around will be in structuring the world of the play and in solidifying the play’s argument (it might be all those years of academic writing, but I always want my plays to have an argument). I can’t wait to get started!”
And we can’t wait to hear from you, Alexandra! New Pages continues to grow, showcase new voices, hear new talent. Next season’s readings will be your chance, readers, to get a glimpse of it all.
Another chance, of course, being our last couple of New Pages spotlights! Keep checking back.