Sunday, October 05, 2014

Cygnet Theatre’s Playwrights in Process–An Interview with Diana Burbano

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L to R Diana Burbano, Tom Shelton, Christopher Shelton
Tell us about yourself.
Tom and I are partners and have a 7-year-old son. We wanted a project we could work on together. We brought Chris in as a director and he shaped the story. I suppose it’s a devised piece, I write Ana usually, Tom writes Carl and Chris shapes and edits, although that’s not absolute, as all of us tackle any problems that come up. We get together, eat a lot, laugh a lot and edit a lot. It’s like writing for television.
Tell us about your play. What was your inspiration?
I started writing Silueta as a project for myself to perform. I was and am dismayed at the lack of interesting roles for women of my age and ethnicity. I also found the story of Ana Mendieta compelling and interesting and rich and couldn’t believe no one had really heard of her! In my mind she is as fascinating as Frida Kahlo, and SHOULD become a role model for Latinas. Her tragic and insane death shouldn’t overshadow her very real powers as an artist. I am also very interested in rich language and text. I hope this play has that.
What do you hope to get out of the Playwrights in Process experience?
Collaboration with talented actors and directors! It is invaluable to hear the work read and worked by people who are not as familiar with it as we are. We hope to learn a lot about our play from the actors and director.
What is your next step? Any advice for other playwrights?
Write. A lot. Overwrite. Most of it will be awful. Then edit. Be ruthless. 
Thanks for talking with us Diana! Good luck with Silueta and Playwrights in Process!
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