I want to do something a little different with this post. Instead of presenting my own ideas and hoping you respond, let’s have an open discussion.
As most of you probably already know, I’ve written a play entitled Tulpa, or Anne&Me. I’ve recently done massive rewrites that better capture the way I imagine the story. You can find the most recent version of it on my LiveJournal, but there are ways to get your own personal copy*. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is the basic premise:
When Anne Hathaway crawls out of your television, what do you do? When the topic of conversation is race, how would you navigate the truth of your experience and the human need to make connections?
Through a series of connected visitations from the tulpa of the famous movie star, “Tulpa, or Anne&Me” blends reality and fantasy to explore what is usually hidden in the way we talk about race. Taking the vantage point of a Black lesbian with an overactive imagination, “Tulpa, or Anne&&Me” explores the effects of racism on the human psyche. Will she find a way to express and fulfill her desire for a meaningful connection? Or will the weight of history and pain of the present sever ties before they can be made?
Rather than come up with essays and ideas about my work for you to read (which, frankly, gets boring), I want to open up a discussion to talk about Tulpa, or Anne&Me from the Ars Marginal POV. I know it’s a lot to say, “Read this and get back to me,” so here are some questions I have for you to get things started:
- Who do you relate to most? Why?
- Where did the story really speak to you? Why is that?
- What do you think this story is trying to say? Why do you think so?
- How have you reacted when people said some of the things the characters did? In retrospect, how do you interpret that reaction?
- Where do you think Anne’s Dr. Laura moment comes from?
- What do you believe is the main conflict between the protagonist and Anne? Do you believe the play resolves that? Why or why not?
- What roles do you think the Guardian Angels of Blackness play in the protagonist’s life? What do you believe they represent?
- What do you believe is the most important thing for the audience to understand about this piece? About a particular character? About the issues it raises?
Of course, you don’t have to answer all of these. They’re just some prompts to get you thinking about what you’re reading, and a way to continue the conversation.
ETA: If you have questions for me, this is the perfect place to ask them!