Artist Statement

I’m a playwright whose work explores queerness, feminism, and the end of the world. Growing up in Tennessee, I was (naturally) obsessed with the horrific and grotesque, which often find their way into the strange worlds I dramatize—maybe in the form of an unexpected banjo riff as harbinger of death, a screeching banshee that sounds like church bells, or collapsing belief systems ripping through a body. I’m drawn to create bizarre, terrifying worlds with strange rules that often reveal the violent underpinnings of a white supremacist heteropatriarchy—but, you know, with some humor.

Most of my work conducts comedic and darkly queer examinations of political issues through a reality-adjacent lens. In the case of You Must Wear a Hat, that lens is a haberdashery on the Great Barrier Reef. The play looks at climate change through two queer non-binary people struggling to connect as the world ends. But that’s not the whole of my work.

My investigations have taken other forms, too. For instance, I began comma his wife by reading Jacobean dramas in the early stages of the pandemic. What emerged from these deep dives was an examination of the horrific side of marriage while making space for why and how marriage can be a political choice for queer people, but with a ghost, werewolves, and a changeling. Or, my play The Lost Girls which looks at the 2008 recession from the perspective of summer camp counselors who’ve just graduated from college and are about to face their student loans — or, they could confront the monster in the lake. And there’s Bell at the Back of Her Throat, which loosely uses the myth of Cassandra to examine patriarchy and power ending with a violent overthrow in the form of burning an entire town down. But then, there’s Ghosts in the Graveyard a multigenerational play about lineage, grief, and capitalism through the hopeful, but blindsided, absurdity of Scooby-Doo.

Together, my work paints a complicated landscape that has been difficult to package. I am a sentimental who just wants the world to be happy even if it’s burning; but I’m also the horror-obsessed enby queer who struggles to find hope in a world that continues to police queer existence through capitalism, racism, and heteropatriarchy.

I’m currently exploring broad themes of grief and lineage in my work, and I’ve been turning my attention to my Southern upbringing more specifically. My goal for excavating the South is to dramatize a more nuanced picture than is often depicted in media — still through my gothic, queer, feminist perspective. For instance, I just completed a draft of a horror play about snake-handling churches and the dark unknowns of Southern folklore that syntheses climate change, oppressive patriarchal religion, grief, and bluegrass hymns. Regardless of what I write, I’m proud of how I tackle these subjects: twisting our perspective on them so audiences don’t see the social messages coming and are more likely to engage with the ideas.