I’m still stuck on the high of “Life as an Oreo”. Everyday, someone new is praising me about the play and the bold choices that I made. That’s wonderful. It’s so fulfilling because the initial response for the play wasn’t a great one.
I did the first performance of it as a senior project last December. At that time it was a one-woman show so everything fell on me–even the negative response.
I would hear of people getting offended by my words. They would call me racist and say things like “I don’t talk like that! Why would she write that?” It was like people wanted me to be quiet about the things that I felt. If someone says something inappropriate then why can’t I respond to it. It’s the right thing to do. I just used an art form to do that.
For awhile, the negative comments had me regretting writing “Oreo” because they made me feel like I did something wrong. That I stepped out of my place. Even though I haven’t suffered as my ancestors have, it made me feel a little bit of how they felt. Second class.
Then some sense found its way into me and I realized that I did everything right. I brought light to the issue of race and identity on campus. I put it in people’s minds. Did anything change? I don’t know, but at least I had people thinking about it.
The play started so many conversations on campus. My sister told me her class talked for a bit about it. There were various opinions on it and that was a good thing. Although, my sister being my sister stood up for me whenever anyone said anything bad about it.
Since it’s success at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for my region and it moving forward as a National Semi-Finalist, people have been coming out of the woodwork to get an interview or know more about it. I guess that’s how I wish it was in the beginning. You can’t have everything.
I guess the point of this is that I need stop being afraid and continue to write more theatre like “Life as an Oreo”. It’s what I do best. I want to reach the masses. I want to create theatre for people like me.
“Oreo” gave me the stepping stone.