DRAMA QUEENS NEW SERIES: WOMEN IN THE ARTS 2019
SPOTLIGHT: TONYA PINKINS & GLORY KADIGAN
TONYA PINKINS directed Paul Robeson :The Opera at TRILOGY OPERA Company
in 2018. BRING IT ON at Black Spectrum Theater in 2018. Tonya’s short film “WHAT
CAME AFTER which she produced, directed and adapted with Christopher Oscar
Pena’s from his play by the same name at the 2016 at Eclectic Festival. Tonya Directed
EXIT: An Illusion by Marita Bonner in American Bard Theater’s “Visionary Voices” She
Directed “Miss Roj” from THE COLORED MUSEUM for Project One Voice at The
Kimble Theater.She directed A Visit Home by Jeffrey Sweet in 2013. Tonya co-directed
by EASY TO LOVE by Larry Powell in the Fire This Time Festival.FOR COLORED
BOYS by Jesse Alick in 48 Hours in Harlem. She has been developing Blaine Teamer’s
# BoxSeats at NYTW and in National Black Theater’s Monday Night Reading series.
She has directed V-Day the Vagina Monologues at The World Health Ministry
Conference in Mexico. The Klucking of Hens by Carol Lockwood at New Professional
Theater., Camille Darby’s LORD’S RESISTANCE at. And at The National Black
Theater Festival in Winston Salem. DEAD PEOPLE’s THINGS by Patricia Ione Lloyd at
Red Circle Rising. Tonya is a Tony, Obie Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lortel
Award winning actor, She teaches privately.. Tonya is the author of Get OVER
YOURSELF : How to Drop The Drama and ClaimThe Life You Deserve (Hyperion
Books), Tonya is the Producer, Director and a Co-writer of the TRUTH and
RECONCILIATION OF WOMYN Plays which will be presented at The Commons in
Brooklyn on February 4, 2019 and excerpted on WBAI Radio produced by EnGarde
Arts, #HealMeTooFestival March 28-April 14, 2019 at IRT Theaters and at The 14th
Street Y in July 2019. To make donations to this empowering social justice project by
and about womyn visit https://thefield.org/sa/620277.
Your career tells us a great story – tell us about yourself as an artist
I am a life long learner. I believe that every experience I have and every thing I learn expands my capacity to express creatively. I have had the privilege to work in many aspects of entertainment; nine broadway shows, two day time Soap Operas, Off-Broadway, regional, Cabaret, down town performance art, teaching, writing, composing and directing. I’ve won or been nominated for most of the awards in the Theater; Tony, Olivier, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent, Lortel, Drama League, Helen Hayes, Joseph Jefferson, Noel, Ovation, Garland, La Drama Critics, Whats On Stage, SAW, Ovation, NAACP Theater, Soap Opera Digest to name a few. I have collaborated with the greatest creative artists of my time. It is a joy and a privilege to still be making theater 40 years after I received my Actor’s Equity card in Chicago at The Goodman theater in the World Premiere of Wole Soyinka;s DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN.
Tell us about the play
I love Glory [Kadigan]’s writing. It is always whimsical, topical, relevant, historical, musical, funny and suspenseful. Till We meet Again is the story of a child, Helen’s experience of the war’s within her family, while she studies war for a school assignment and ultimately finds herself in a personal war.
What do you want the audience to come away with from this piece.
I want the audience to lean forward and laugh and be surprised and moved and walk out of the theater questioning their own convictions.
You walk with one foot in the commercial world and one in the indie world. Tell us the differences to you.
My creative fire burns high. I have a lot of energy for creative expression. Commercial Theater is how you play the bills by fulfilling expectations, indie theater is where you express your creative dreams and visions and challenge every expectation.
AND What’s it like being a woman in the 21st Century theatre scene?
Womyn in American theater are still behind in opportunities compared with the contributions that we make. I hope to contribute to changing those statistics.
Glory Kadigan (playwright) founded Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and served as the Producing Artistic Director for six seasons. Her work as a playwright has been presented in Singapore, London and New Zealand. Her plays have received staged
readings at La Mama, The Actors Studio, TADA,and Dixon Place. She is also a director who recently directed Vivian’s Music 1969 at 59E59, Clover by Erik Ehn at La Mama, Bank by Lucy Thurber, Mean Girls by Lyle Kessler (World Premiere), Biting the Bullet by Regina Taylor (World Premiere). Ms. Kadigan is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women which looks to promote the viability of women in the arts.
CURRENT PROJECT: Till We Meet Again at the Theater of the 14th Street Y
Tell us about the play and why you wrote it.
This is a play about a man who was a surgeon in Guadalcanal in World War Two. With the help of his grand-daughter he faces the regrets of his youth.
You’re at the start of rehearsal… what is your process?
Listening to the script, discussing it with the actors and director, and doing rewrites as needed.
What the message of the piece?
Love one another. 🙂
What sensibilities do YOU bring to the piece?
The play has four amazing roles for women and I believe their accomplishments during the war, and after it are highlighted alongside those of the men.
Your festival is one of the leaders in the field and YOU are one of the ore recognizable names in Indie Theater … what’s it like being a woman in the 21st Century theatre scene?