Meet The Fellows: Ione Lloyd
What was your first experience with Theater?
When I was a kid I lived in Middle America where theater wasn’t for poor people and people of color. My elementary school bussed us in to the city to see “The Nut Cracker” and I thought to myself I know this, I can do this. I am always striving to make sure that when I look out into the audience of one of my pieces I see different ages and races.
My plays are written to be shared. Like at a restaurant where you have to sit at that big long table with anyone who walks in — can I laugh, that would make me feel angry too, I ordered first why do they have their food and I don’t and why are they crying and should I be? That is what theater is for, to understand the humanity of people that have different backgrounds and lifestyles than you may have. We all need to take a seat at that big long table and not get up until we have laughed and cried together.
When did you start writing?
I was always writing but it wasn’t something I realized I could be — at first. My Mom worked briefly at a factory and my Dad was a porter in a restaurant. I used writing as a way to figure out the world or at least a place to hold things I couldn’t understand — like how my Dad could work so hard but we still didn’t have any money, and why I had to stay home from school and watch soaps with my White mother when the Klan marched at the capitol. It’s saddens me to say but my inspiration for writing hasn’t changed sense 3rd grade.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
I’m using my fellowship year to develop my musical “Household Magic” an exploration of race, class, gender and girlhood in an all-female musical set in a time when slavery was legal and witches were burned at the stake.
What do you find most rewarding about the writing process?
We spend a lot of time walking around not allowing ourselves to feel anything and I find it most rewarding when I can create a piece that gives people permission to have emotions — even if it’s just for 90 minutes.
PATRICIA IONE LLOYD is a 2017 Playwrights Realm fellow and a 2016 Sundance fellow for her play Eve’s Song, She is a 2017 New Georges fellow and a 2017 Dramatist Guild fellow for her musical Household Magic. Lloyd is a 2016 fellow — New York Theater Workshop. 2015 fellow — Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater. She was a resident playwright at the University of Mumbai, Brown University (through the Africana Studies Department/Rites and Reasons Theatre) and the International Theatre and Literacy Project in Tanzania. Her work has been developed by The Joseph Papp Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Sundance, Labrinth Theater, Red Bull Theatre, Dixon Place, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Luna Stage, Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, New York LGBTQ Center, Freedom Train Productions, Fire This Time Festival, Bleecker Street Theatre, and Rising Circle Theatre. Lloyd is the recipient of New Professional Theatre’s Emerging Playwright Award for her play Black Tale, and the best play award from DUTF for her play This Train is Bound for Glory. She was a writer on the AMC television show Hap and Leonard.