Dramatists Guild Fund

#5Q4F 2014: Antoinette Nwandu, Playwright

Credits include: BREACH; FLAT SAM (winner of the Lorraine Hansberry Award and the Douglas Turner Ward Prize); and PASS OVER (NBT Keep Soul Alive Monday’s reading on June 30th)



  • Who do you look to for inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere: books, newspapers, overhearing people’s conversations. My own mind. I’ve never been short on ideas because everything and anything is always up for grabs.

  •      What’s the best (or worst) job not related to your career you ever had?

I stayed in Scotland for a few months after I got my first master’s degree and I had just experienced the Fringe festival (as a critic). I was doubting all my plans to become a serious academic and the only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to be back in the States again. I got a job in one of the offices for a few weeks and ended up being so distracted, late and unfocused as a typist that I was demoted to recycle-bin paper sorter. Like, green goes in this pile and yellow in that pile. To make matters worse, all of my former co-workers, knowing that I was a Harvard alum, assumed that I had been promoted to something fancier and better paying, and took it out on me by not sitting with me during lunch. I remember drinking heavily.

  •      Where would you rather be if you couldn’t be here doing this?

I’d be teaching. Which I do anyway. I like teaching.

  •      When did you decide you were going to take over the universe?

Oh no. I’m not going to take over the universe.

  •      Why would you ever stop writing, if you ever stopped writing?

I think there are very healthy reasons to stop writing and am learning to be the type of writer who doesn’t get bent all out of shape about it. Like, if a friend is in town. Or serious grief about very sad things. Or constipation. Or the need to sit and think and figure out a thing before you plow ahead. There are times when not writing for a brief while would have been better for my work than writing. When one needs to catch up on sleep and sunshine and get lots of hugs. Then, after all that stuff is attended to, the work starts to feel like play again.

Bonus Question: How do you measure, measure a year? 




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This entry was posted on June 25, 2014 by in 5Q4F, DGFellows and tagged , .
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