What are the themes of your play
Education, institutional and societal racism, social mobility, identity, art and who defines it, music, fables and fairy tales.
Why did you write it and why now?
I wrote it initially around five years ago and it was a response to seeing the effects education had on my black and brown friends as adults. A lot of them were in therapy due to their educational experiences. A lot of them carried trauma, myself included. It felt wrong and I wanted to highlight it, break down how this was happening, start a discourse and hopefully, stop it from happening to others or in the very least validate people’s lived experiences. In the wake of the BLM movement and institutions scrambling to take accountability for their racism, The Canary and the Crow has become more prevalent in terms of conversations happening right now, but I’m all too aware these things have been going on for decades.
Which playwrights are you influenced by and why?
Phillip Osment, who the play is dedicated to, showed me that you need to write stuff that you believe in. He was also a brilliant, brilliant playwright. debbie tucker green’s work is always incredible to me, you never know what to expect but you know that it will hit you hard, you know it will be amazing. I have to say Tarell Alvin McCraney because I think he puts magic on the stage. Roy Williams, Tanika Gupta, James Baldwin… I could go on they are all dope.
What do you want to achieve as a playwright?
I hope to make work that resonates with people, challenges them and champions the authentic lived Black British experience.