BLACKBOARD: Tell us a little but about yourself and why you write….
NATHAN: I moved to NYC from Minneapolis 7 years ago. I have been a professional photographer for 21 years. Four years ago I decided I needed to find a more expansive, animated way to express my creative visions. Writing enables me to manifest the never ending flow of stories that dance around in my head.
BLACKBOARD: Why did you write this play?
NATHAN: The inspiration for this play was an African American expat I met my first trip to Salvador Brazil in 2002. She had been living there for around 15 years, long before mass tourism began. She considered herself a gate-keeper of sorts and felt it was her mission to protect the cultural purity of Salvador. She made a lot of judgmental statements about tourists and their reasons for traveling to Bahia. It made me reflect on my own journey there and I was curious and intrigued about what drew her to Salvador and what she was seeking and did she find it?
BLACKBOARD: How did you find Blackboard?
NATHAN: I was referred by two friends: producer Daryl Sledge and playwright Shaun Neblett.
BLACKBOARD: What is important to you about a community of black writers?
NATHAN: It’s obvious that we are underrepresented in the theater world and it is important to create a community where we can share our stories, network and build together. I have found nothing but love and support in the black theater community in NYC.
BLACKBOARD: How do you want people to feel after they have heard this play?
NATHAN: I want people to feel hopeful. I want people to feel thankful for the kindred spirits they cross paths with in their lifetime. I want people to look at their own lives and identify the people and places that enable them to achieve a stronger sense of self and home.
Aug 31st UPDATE: Nathan wrote outside of The Drama Book Shop this week in a great “happening” called “Write out Front”! Check out what he had to say on the TheatreSpeak BlogSpot!