We are so excited to have gotten a chance to get to know the incredible dramaturgs behind The Momversations Project, Sarah Johnson (she/her) and Emily Boyd Dahab (she/her)!
Can you give us a little background on you and your work prior to The Momversations Project?
SARAH: I am an Assistant Professor of Dramaturgy at Texas Tech University, and I also hold a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from CU Boulder, as well as an MFA in Dramaturgy from The University of Iowa. My research focuses on intercultural theatre, new play development, and dramaturgical methodologies. My writing has been featured in Asian Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics, and I’ve also served as a casebook writer for Broadway\’s Allegiance. In regional theatre, I’ve provided dramaturgical support for productions with Outpost Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Athena Project, Flying Solo Presents!, and several playwriting clients. Currently, I serve as the Executive Director and Resident Dramaturg for WildWind Performance Lab and the Performance Review Editor for PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research.
EMILY: I am a theatre artist, teacher, and administrator whose passion is building sustainable theatrical and artistic communities. With sixteen years of training in theatre studies, I hold an MFA in Dramaturgy and a Masters Degree in Medieval & Renaissance Studies from Columbia University in New York; a degree in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Art (LAMDA); and a Theatre and Performance Studies degree from The University of Chicago. I\’ve studied Meisner Technique under William Esper, and I currently teach Western Theater History and Dramaturgy on the faculty of the Tom Todoroff Studio in New York. Some of my recent work has included adapting and providing dramaturgy for Anna Rebek\’s KING LEAR at the Brick Theater in Brooklyn, as well as the same for Logan Reed\’s TWELFTH NIGHT for The Classical Theatre of Harlem/Columbia Young Company. I’m a mother of two, and I proudly serve as the Chief Representative for Long Island of the Parent Artist Advocacy League!
Fantastic! We at NWTF feel so honored to have you on the team. Can you tell us why you’re excited to be working on The Momversations Project?
SARAH: The Momversations Project is one of those rare projects for me that activates many of my identities at once. As a mother of young children, a dramaturg, and someone passionate about demystifying the experience of parenting and pregnancy through storytelling, this project fills my soul in many ways. The National Women’s Theatre Festival occupies an important space in the landscape of theatre at this moment, so getting to participate in the festival through such a powerful project is an honor.
EMILY: When mothers come together in conversation and community, something becomes abundantly clear: moms have stories that NEED to be told. We need to tell them, and other people need to hear them. And yet these stories aren\’t told––or if they are, only rarely. Perhaps in part because we\’re often so exhausted that the storytelling is all too frequently left in the hands of others. Others who are not mothers. Others who get it so wrong, who cast us in their narratives as subsidiary characters, as supports, as stereotypes. If The Momversations can help give voice to American mothers––the reality, plurality and commonality of our experience––then that is very necessary work indeed.
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