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Danai Gurira (born February 14, 1978) is an American actress and playwright.
- My artistic mandate up to that point had always been: “I’m not going to talk about things close to myself. I want to go into vital issues about people who you never hear or see”…And I watched my own family’s dynamics, my own dynamics amongst my kin, and the dynamics of how these cultures had merged, and interacted, and clashed. And I just found the absurdity of our familial dynamics...
- On what steered her towards writing about the personal in her play Familiar in “Danai Gurira Artist Interview” in Playwrights Horizons
- I think that’s a goal in all my plays honestly, to get into the personal, but to have a macro ramification, or to look at things that people can look at as a statistic or stereotype in one way, and to make them have to spend time with a person that they may even end up relating to a little in some strange, tiny way, to see the complexity of something they might have thought of as something simply statistical and “over there somewhere.”
- On trying to make her characters relatable to various types of audiences in “Danai Gurira Artist Interview” in Playwrights Horizons
- In terms of writing, I just wasn’t finding enough stories about contemporary African people—or historical, just anything, the whole gamut. I was raised in southern Africa and I came back to the West for college. I was starting to look for what I would like to perform, what I would like to see put to life onstage, and I was finding many stories about everybody else, but none about my own people. My playwriting became a “necessity being the mother of invention” type thing. I wasn’t finding what I wanted to perform, so I started to create it myself.
- On what made her want to write about African themes in “Interview with Playwright Danai Gurira” (Marin Theatre Company)
- Meaningful communication is an aspect of who we are as human beings. You don’t need to know exactly what everyone’s saying word for word to hear it, to see people living in a different world and to hear that they don’t speak American English. And you know, I think people will think, “I get what’s going on,” and that’s what’s awesome…
- On the importance of communication in “Interview with Playwright Danai Gurira” (Marin Theatre Company)