We are thrilled to introduce you to Fund the Change recipient Adrienne Dawes.
Adrienne Dawes in an award-winning playwright and producer. Her full length plays include: Denim Doves (2016), Am I White (2014, B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Script; David Mark Cohen New Play Award; Kilroys honorable mention), and You Are Pretty (2004, Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting). Adrienne served as Producing Artistic Director for Heckle Her, a production company dedicated to amplifying the voices of female comedians and performers of color in Austin, TX, and directed award-winning “DOPER THAN DOPE,” a 90s themed live sketch comedy show inspired by “In Living Color” and “House of Buggin’.” Adrienne is a member of the Dramatists Guild and company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater.
Adrienne is currently based in Tulsa, OK as part of the first writing cohort of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
What does your activist, social justice, anti-racism, and/or anti-oppression work look like?
My role as a theater artist (now and forever) is to see the unseen and guide a transformative journey shared with an audience. My body of work thus far (as a writer) explores fluid identities, found families, and all the silly, stupid ways we try to attain love and acceptance. I hope to create bold, exciting new plays that inspire conversation(s) between diverse artists and audience members. I want to write complex characters that place women, people of color, queer people, and people with disabilities in the spotlight.
What keeps you going?
I love the idea that someone can see themselves in my work. Or that they can see a character that looks like their friend or family member . . . or even bigger stretch, that they see a character they have never talked to but always wanted to meet. I love finding moments of meaningful connection where we least expect it. Art gives us so many wonderful and different ways to connect.
I try to block off at least a month or two each year where, no matter what*, I have no projects and the answer to everything is no. [*This is negotiable however if free travel or family/friends are involved.]
What are you proud of?
I am really proud of the group of artists that I get to call my colleagues, collaborators and friends. I’m really proud of my training and education. I’m really proud of the work created in the past few years because it helped me meet so many new artists that I had never worked with before.
What do you want to see change in the arts/museums/cultural sectors?
I want more open doors and windows for emerging arts, particularly artists of color, artists with special needs, and queer-identified artists. That means: hire people, invite a conversation or dialogue, and frequent outreach outside your bubble. I also see so many great academic programs that could be strengthened by collaborations in their local artistic communities. For some reason, I don’t see too many opportunities for everyone to get in the same room or on the same page. If we could share more resources, I think we could have a bigger impact and reach more audiences/community members.
Recognize that collaboration with younger or emerging artists only strengthens your organization. Recognize that diversity strengthens your mission and programming. Retire the myth that “diversity” costs a lot of money or will take a lot of time or audience/board buy-in. We are asking in every single way for our stories to be seen and heard. Let us in. Share what you have.
How can we support you and your work?
Come to a show! Upcoming performances and events are updated on my website at www.heckleher.com.
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