You Will Neva Enter Our High Holy Land of Blackness-HIYA!
Set in present day. This comedy tells the story of three college friends who navigate life in an all-white society while trying to preserve their pro-blackness. Marco Polo, Cheyenne and Delicious wit a “D” tackle racism, the urban culture, gender equality, religion, gentrification and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Cece was honored with the 2018 The Advocate Magazine Legacy Award. She’s a trans activist, actress and playwright. She last appeared on the NY stages in Pride Plays’ Our Town directed by Jenna Worsham. Some of her stage credits include: NY Times critics pick off-broadway production Street Children (New Ohio), Incongruence (NYTW), Life Lines (Signature Theater), For Black Trans Girls (Wolly Mammoth), and the Bay Area premier of Chisa Hutchinsons Dead & Breathing (Gateway Playhouse). She is co-founder of TRANSLAB (along with MJ Kaufman and Kit Yang) and creator of Black Trans Stories Matter (TMI Project). As a playwright she had residencies with WP Theater, The Public Theater, National Queer Theater, The Lark and WIO (Donja R. Love). You Will Neva Enter Our High Holy Land was first presented by Tony-Award winning Long Wharf Theater (Aug 2020).
A BIT ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
MJ Kaufman and Craig “Mums” Grant pulled the writer out of me. I realized after having a stroke and being in a coma that NOW was my time to tell my narratives. I wrote my first play titled “The Deep Play” during my time in TRANSLAB.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I was commissioned to write You Will Neva Enter Our High Holy Land of Blackness-HIYA by Long Wharf Theater. It was part of Women at the Center (A program aimed at trans women writers). My inspiration came about growing up in a marginalized community in Brooklyn. I saw gentrification all around me growing up.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Authentic, Bold, Risk-Taker, Comedic and Dramatic.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Donja R. Love and Lucy Thurber who I consider my mentors and my theater pappa who has now transitioned Craig “MuMs” Grant.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
My age! People are really shocked to find out my age.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
Insurgents by Lucy Thurber.
The Piano Lesson by August Wilson.
The Song of Jacob Zulu.
BLKS by Aziza Barnes.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
Category Closed (Immersive Ballroom play). It’s based on my Ballroom journey as the youngest member of the Iconic House of Labeija in the 80’s.