I hail from Savannah, Georgia, spent some time in Atlanta, and then landed in Chicago for the past eleven years. Throughout my career, I have performed in theaters as small as a living room and as big as a broadway house. I have both created and acted in Theatre for Young Audiences as well as Theatre for Mature Audiences Only. What can I say? I like diversity in my work. I act, direct, write, and devise original work with playwrights as well as with ensembles. I am also the Founding Executive Artistic Director of Cor Theatre which has been my artistic home for the past five years. In addition to being a passionate theatre practitioner, I am an enthusiastic educator. Currently, I am a Visiting Professor of Theatre at Kent State University where I am also developing my hiking skills in the Cuyahoga Falls National Park. It is a lot, I know! My aim is for this site to give you a deeper insight into who I am and what I do. If you have any questions or just want to discuss, please give me a hollar (which means “email me” in southern).
“God willin and the creek don’t rise.” – My Great-Grandma, Treta Bell Boatright McVey
I was raised in the deep south by my great-grandma. We survived in poverty and this was her mantra. I hear it often as I seek an immediate, specific truth about the human experience. This truth is mysterious: existing in the space between words, at the intersection of dreams and reality, where the sky touches the sea, and when the subconscious opens to conscious.
I connect strongly to stories about women, gender identity, socio-economics, mental illness, and death. I work with stories that are relevant now and embrace the hard realities of life: whether it is through violence, sex, or physical expression of emotion. The manifestations of these stories into performance defy expectation and contain moments of raw realism juxtaposed with heightened theatricality.
My mission as an artist is to take no prisoners: to truly invest in an all or nothing approach to the work. Although I appreciate and lose myself in art that “sees the world not for what it is, but how it should be,” I do not prescribe to that mission. I am in the John Guare camp, “Theatre has to get into the deepest part of your dreams, has to show you a mirror you might recoil from, but also show you reality so you might know what to do with it.” My theatre relentlessly explores the human experience so that we as an audience might recognize it and move to change it, but all on our own accord. Now more than ever, I believe in asking difficult, provocative questions to create space for self-reflection and actualization.
I know my art is headed in the right direction when my Grandma’s voice comes back to me: the quality, the space between her words and then the words themselves. The hope that god willin and the creek don’t rise, we will just make it through to a deeper understanding of the human experience that is.