Playwrights' Playlist: The Joy Part
I think this mix may win the Most Obvious Correlation Prize. If you know me or my work at all, you're like, "Yup. I get that." There are songs that put me in my writer's groove for sure, but mostly there're a lot of songs reflective of the experience of carving out a space as a working class/black/female human-type in a world that is not so welcoming to working class/black/female human-types. And about not just the pain that comes with any or all of that, but also the joy and the social responsibility and the confidence that stems from knowing you can overcome pretty much anything because shit, you working class and black and a woman and you still alive. So. Nina Simone. Marvin Gaye. A little Fela for that ass. And yeah, there's messages and social import and stuff, but it also happens that a lot of this you can shake your booty to. That's the joy part. Shaun Escoffery and Quetzal Guerrero get at that part better than anybody: "I'm tryna live my liiiife the best that I know hooooow..."
Oh! And while I'm giving the tour, I need to point out some lyrics that are in the back of my head every time I sit down to write: "There are weapons we can use. Be constructive with your blues." Fucking Radiohead. All up in my soul, snooping around and finding lyrics and shit.
Finally, Vladimir Ashkenazy playing the shit out of some Rachmaninov. I saw him in concert when I was studying in St. Petersburg, Russia with the National Theater Institute, and he kinda made me wish I was a piano. If I can one day write plays the way that man plays the piano, I'd be alright.
The Playwrights' Playlist
1. Tightrope-Janelle Monet
2. I Love Days Like This-Shaun Escoffery
3. 1960 What?-Gregory Porter
4. Mississippi Goddamn-Nina Simone
5. Hard Time Killing Floor Blues-Chris Thomas King
6. Make Me Wanna Holler-Marvin Gaye
7. Black Gold-Esperanza Spalding
9. Run the World (Girls)-Beyoncé
10. Music Box-Regina Spector
11. Dollars and Cents-Radiohead
12. Now-Quetzal Guerrero
13. Water No Get No Enemy-Fela Kuti
14. Four Women-Nina Simone
15. Rachmaninov's Prelude in C-Sharp Minor-Vladimir Ashkenazy
And there you have it.
P.S. I love that auto-correct recognizes "Beyoncé" as needing a "é." That woman has ARRIVED.