Tell us a little about yourself.
Growing up in Appalachia taught me many things about music, mountains and storytelling, and those ideas have influenced my work for the past 5 years. In a professional sense, I split myself between New York and Appalachia, and run around seeking ways that rural-urban exchanges can happen in our artistic endeavors. I work with Amy Brooks to cultivate spaces through our collective, Cardinal Cross. As a human, I have always been interested in how we create community and where music comes in. I love breve lattes, my fuzzy cats, making music, especially with others and Joni Mitchell.
What drew you to The Debates?
I met Paul a few years back, as a fill in stage manager and really felt inspired by his work and his connection to community and politics. When I moved back to NYC, I really wanted to find a way to get back involved in the civic and political landscape of NYC, in the same way that I was always involved in Political groups in Kentucky, and The Debates seemed like a perfect fit. It was a super important, fun project, and I could collaborate with amazing people that inspire me, everyday.
How do you think arts and politics work together or relate?
Art and politics mirror one another, in my opinion, and I don't necessarily believe that art can be outside of politics. Both art and the political landscape are outlets and spaces for conversation that encourage people, to actively use their voices, both as artists and as citizens, to speak up about the problems occurring in their community. Art is a vessel in which others are able to realize the strongest tool they have to foster change is their voices. In my opinion, these political voices belong to a greater, more profound catalyst for societal change that are found in our younger generation; the generation that defines what it means to be a modern human in trying times. And that's who we're seeing making a difference in the political sphere today. As artists, our work reflects our experience and the world we are living in today is inherently political. Right now especially, we have the power to shape our our narratives and hopefully, we can breathe new life into old traditions and pave the way for stronger systems to come in our communities and economies.
Learn more about Theater in Asylum's staff here.
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower our community. TIA joyfully pursues a rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making. We create performances to investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. We prize space to process, space to question—asylum—for ourselves and our community. Core programs include original productions; themed cabarets to present new work from our community; and Cold Readings to read and discuss published plays.
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