A Closer Look: Meet O Mae Davis!
We're ringing in the new year with an interview with our newest Fellow! Drewcella Davis is our 2020-22 Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellow, and we're so thrilled and excited to work with them! Drewcella's artistic mission is to bring life onto the stage that reflects the black youth in their community. In doing so they hope to provide a service of communal engagement that reminds us of the glory and heartache of our past but propels us toward a revolutionary future. We connected for a brief interview to get to know them, and to learn a little bit about their inspirations, process, and hope for the future.
How did you get started in playwriting? What excites you about this form of storytelling in particular?
While I was studying sociology at Augsburg University in 2015 curiosity led me into a playwriting class and I instantly fell in love.
I am excited by the communal engagement that happens between audience and performers.
Is there anything you’d like to share about what you’re working on now? It doesn’t have to be a play--just anything that you’re working on!
Currently I am working on two pieces. The first is a play entitled THE THINGS WE CARRY, which centers on an African-American family in the midst of loss, grief, and magic. They’re forced to reconcile their trauma as they weather their storms. The second is a play entitled PACKAGES which focuses on how we square toe to toe with our trauma and how we learn to live through loss.
You’ve written about how playwriting and storytelling is a way in which you can cultivate Black joy and gather audiences to hold space for laughter, rejoicing, and revolutionary love. I was wondering if you could elaborate on this: How did you come to realize that this is what you wanted to do through your playwriting and storytelling?
My first passion was boxing. I’ve always been a fighter. I can’t always fight in the way I used to do, in the ring but I’ve found that theater provides me a space to allow my characters to continue the fight. When an audience bears witness to that struggle, laughter, rejoicing, and revolutionary love are manifested.
What is your vision for the future of playwriting? For theater at large? For our culture? Big questions, I know, but I’m just curious what kinds of conversations you’re wishing we as theater artists and theater communities should be having that we’re not.
My hope is that we as a theater community can have longevity with a diverse canon of playwrights and not only use certain voices when it’s the current trend of the political racial climate.
And finally, what is inspiring you right now?
A few days ago I saw Ma Rainy’s Black Bottom on Netflix. I found the way August Wilson captures back life very inspiring along with Chadwick Boseman’s last performance being one of the ages.