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Lena Waithe Reveals She Has a Theater Project in the Works with Debbie Allen

Waithe shared during a Dodge College master class, that she and Allen met during an IG Live conversation and have since been planning a project for the stage.

Chapman's Dodge College hosted a Master Class last night which featured Lena Waithe as a guest speaker. During the class, Waithe revealed that she has a theater project in the works with Debbie Allen, and covered everything from her writing process to the importance of networking and authenticity in storytelling, to race and the entertainment industry.

Check out quotes from the event below!

While discussing her writing process, Waithe revealed "I'm gonna try my hand at theater, because Debbie Allen is pulling me in. So that's a whole other way of - muscle of - writing, you know. Book writing for the stage...All of it is a constant state of...procrastination meets productivity."

Waithe couldn't share too much about the project that she is working on with Debbie Allen, but shared a bit background on how the project came together after the two met during an IG Live conversation: "I was like, 'What if we did this for the stage?' and she was like 'I would - yeah, I would love to do that.' And so we're working on something together...it's just nuts because Debbie Allen is a f-ing icon. She's brilliant...I love learning from her and work[ing] with her. But we're gonna step into that space. I wanted to step into the theater space anyway with some other projects."

"I mean, I think that for Black people the revolution has always been here...I have to be mindful of the position I'm in and where I sit as a person who is a person with privilege and means and access...For me...my job hasn't changed. You know, I didn't come here to entertain, I came here to tell the truth. And so that's our job - it is to write, to document."

"Movies and TV shows, all those things, they are a reflection of society - at the time...We went from Cosby Show to Atlanta. It's all a mirror...Dr. Huxtable represented what a Black man was supposed to be at that time. Donald Glover's character, Earn, is very representative of what a Black man is in many places now. Let the art be a time capsule."

On Queen & Slim: "The movie was a meditation on the fact that Black bodies are more appreciated in death. And look, I see it happen in front of me. I was very blessed to be on the cover of Vanity Fair...I think it was an amazing moment for myself [and] for Radhika Jones - who is amazing - who was the new Editor-in-Chief. And in that transition - I mark that. I mark her taking over that job. But Breonna Taylor had to die to grace that cover. I'm grateful that I didn't have to. So again, I was examining the fact that murals of us go up when we're gone. Put murals up of Black people that [are] still living."

On the industry: "I watched the Britney Spears [documentary] the other night...this is a very extreme example...but it's a reminder that the business is designed to break you." She went on to say, "I think the misconception is, if I get this thing - if I can prove to the people that said I wasn't worth nothing, if I convince them that, if I do this, I'm worth something. Or, if I can get this gig or do this thing, I can finally breathe. No, the truth is once you get that thing, that's when the journey actually begins."


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