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365 Days/365 Plays: Quotes

The Message:

"I agree with Hemingway..."If you want to send a message, go to Western Union." Source: Gregory, D. (2002, 02). Theater: Suzan-Lori Parks Pays it Straight. Essence, 32, 80.


"The most important thing that Mr. [James] Baldwin taught me was how to conduct myself in the presence of the spirit - the writing comes from the spirit... The Spirit says, 'Write the next thing.' And I write it." Source: Oyamo Gordon, C.,F. (2011). Parks and repetition. American Theatre, 28(8), 142-143.

Tatto on her arm:

Parks wears a tattoo that quotes the Yoga Sutra #123: "Your life is an offering to God." Parks translated the Sutra as, "Follow God, the inner spiritual guide."  Source: Oyamo Gordon, C.,F. (2011). Parks and repetition. American Theatre, 28(8), 142-143.

What makes a perfect play:

I'm not interested in perfection, maybe because I don't know what that is. But I do know what a good ride is. So "perfect plays" could be plays that give me a really good ride. Oedipus is a really good ride. There are plays that I love--The Glass Menagerie is a great play. A lot of Shakespeare's plays are great, but none of them are perfect. A playwright friend refers to a good play as "actor proof," meaning that the playwright has done everything he or she can to ensure that the play doesn't fall apart from production to production, that the play's integrity remains intact.  Source: Sova, Kathy. "A Better Mirror." American Theatre 17, no. 3 (March 2000): 32

 What she would take to a desert island:

I would take my banjo, my guitar and a book. The Complete Works of Willian Shakespeare. One with pictures. The Riverside edition has pictures. I'd need a pencil to take notes...I'll just write in the sand.  Source: "20 Questions." American Theatre 31.1 (2014): 152.

What her plays are about:

Every play I write is about love and distance. And time. And from that we can get things like history.

About Labels:

The problem for me is being labeled anything. People assume, 'Oh, she is interested in language.' So when we notice she's interested in character, then she's made a big change, instead of, 'she's always been interested in character.' If we can allow painters to have different periods... then we can allow playwrights to have different periods, too. Source: "Pulitzer Prize Winner Shakes Off Labels," Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 2002.

 The Function of a Play on Paper:

“It’s the map of a piece of land. And what I try to do is say there are 10 roads, 20, 50 roads—take one. I get a kick out of just seeing what people do. I think that the playwright provides the map.” Source: Parks, quoted in Shelby Jiggetts, “Interview with Suzan-Lori Parks,” Callaloo 19 (Spring 1996): 312.