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Gregory Award Nominated Play

Nominated for:

Outstanding Sound Design

Outstanding Director
Outstanding Performance
Outstanding Play

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Returning the Bones, the play!

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The play's origins

My grandfather was born in 1891, my father was the youngest of seven, and I’m the youngest of his four, so I have an immediate connection to their generations and yet their stories felt distant because they didn’t get passed down to me.  So in my twenties, I took it upon myself to interview my aunt just to know more about where I came from. She was humble and soft-spoken, so it took ten years of prying.  I stayed curious because every now and again she’d mention something that would make my jaw drop.


I needed a way to synthesize these stories so that I wouldn’t forget them. For about ten years, I interviewed my aunt, who was born in 1928, so that I could learn the stories of my family.  In 2007, a friend encouraged me to apply to CD Forum's Creation Project with the idea of creating a play from all the interviews.  I continued to work on it and reached out to Jane Jones, co-founder of Book-It Repertory Theater to direct me in its full-length debut at Hugo House.  I performed it again for the SPF Festival in Seattle, and at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.  In 2009, the play was selected for performance at Bumbeshoot, but I would have been nine months pregnant so I had to forego that.  Then I had a child!  Several years later, Key City Public Theater afforded me the opportunity to revisit the play, do some rewrites, and perform it again on their stage.  KCPT's 66 Women Producers (now 77), produced the show.  A couple of years later, in 2019, Book-It Repertory Theatre produced Returning the Bones, which was subsequently nominated for multiple awards.  It was the first time Book-It had ever produced a show that wasn't a book first.  The pressure was on!  In 2023, the novel debuted at last on Juneteenth.

Now that I'm a parent, I'm happy I have family stories to pass down to my son.

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