Fellows Spotlight is our summer blog series that invites you to take a behind-the-scenes look at our Fellows program.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be hearing from all our 2018-2019 Fellows: Jay Adana, Rae Binstock, Zeniba Britt, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Mathilde Dratwa, Aryanna Garber, Charles Gershman, Nambi E. Kelley, Melissa Li, Benjamin Velez, Kit Yan, and Zack Zadek.
Each of the Fellows/teams were asked the same 5 questions, exploring where these writers have been, are now, and are journeying towards. Our Fellows took this gentle structure and ran, each submitting responses as unique and creative as they are.
Allow us to introduce you to Zeniba Britt:
What was your first experience with theater?
We did theatre in preschool at The YMCA in Culver City. I recall immigrants, turkeys, and indigenous peoples, it was alternate history called The First Thanksgiving.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t recall ever making a decision, it is something I just do, cyclically. Suddenly a character or situation is talking to me and I can’t hear the person I’m with anymore.
Is there a writer, show, or piece of writing that was particularly influential on your path?
Passing Strange was one of those shows that said don’t give up, there is space for you here.
How do you describe your work overall?
Absurd, esoteric, and funny.
What sets your work apart?
I think it’s me, my experiences and my unique place in society.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work you’ve been developing as a Fellow?
Yes, I’ve been working on an epic adventure musical called The Loophole with Jay Adana, it’s an alternate history of the civil war about revolution and love centered around a Black Regiment of The Union Army and an integrated house in rural Georgia. We use rap, verse, folk, rock, body percussion, and magic to tell the story.
What do you find most rewarding about your work as a writer?
Employing actors, hands down.