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This interview with Lori Favela (Yanton Sioux) originally appeared on the blog Native Voices @ the Autry.

What is your favorite thing about playwriting?

Playwriting offers me the opportunity to be creative.

What is your least favorite thing about playwriting?
There are hurdles to overcome with characters, etc., which are challenges, but there’s nothing about the process that I dislike.

What is your favorite play?
I am a big fan of Culture Clash, a Latino writing and acting trio. They weave politics, history, and current events into very witty, poignant, and humorous productions. To me they represent the landscape of L.A. My favorite play, so far, has been Water & Power.

What’s a production that you’ve seen recently and think everyone should see?
End of the Rainbow just finished a run at the Ahmanson Theater. It’s about Judy Garland making a comeback toward the end of her life (she died in her late 40s from a drug overdose). The play successful balanced her immense singing talent while revealing the destructive nature of her drug and alcohol addiction.

What’s the best cure for writer’s block?
Take a break and clear your head.

What would the title be of the play/movie based on your life?
Unfortunately, I live a very ordinary existence so there would be no need for a play or movie to be based on my life.

What play do you wish you had written and why?
I’m fortunate in that I am writing the play I wanted to write!

Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
A few years ago, I attended a screenwriting event for Native Americans. It was mentioned that after the success of the movie, Smoke Signals, there was an expectation that there would be a wave of native films that would emerge, but unfortunately, that never materialized. That always stuck with me because I know Native people have important and interesting stories to tell. Knowing that we haven’t told our stories keeps me striving for that goal.

What are you most looking forward to during the workshop and festival?
I’m ready to meet my assigned dramaturg, Julie Jensen, and literary associate, Jessica Ordon, since we’ve shared so many conference calls over the past few weeks. I’m so grateful that Julie was there for me and my play. I’m looking forward to the feedback and the continued improvement of this play at the workshop.


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