I AM THEATRE: Khanisha Foster

I AM THEATRE: Khanisha Foster


I’m working in the theatre, fairly new out
of college, and I’m backstage telling stories to everybody, like we do. And I was telling stories about my dad because
my dad has this really interesting life. My dad was a Black Panther in the Civil Rights
movement. And he became a Black Panther because he was in the Navy and it was 1968, it was
when Martin Luther King was assassinated. He was buried alive in the desert and left
for dead by the men who were in his unit because he was the only black man in his unit. So
my dad went AWOL which led to a number of other problems for him. These stories really live in my father. So
I tell my dad’s stories backstage quite a bit. And the cast said, “You have to write
those down.” And I was like, that is the most terrifying thing I can think of doing. So
I said yeah and I did it and I wrote them down. And now I’m the associate artistic director
for Second Story and I’m helping other people tell their stories. It’s my mission to find
the stories that are living in the world. That happen around tables when you’re eating
and drinking together, in the back of classrooms, on a street corner. I mean the stories that
are alive. That make me people laugh and that make people cry. Stories that people think
are just private and I try to bring those to the public and say, come tell a story with
me. If you don’t think you’re a writer, come learn to write with me. If you don’t think
you’re a performer, come learn to tell a story with me. If you know you’re just a great story
teller and you don’t know anything about what this artistic world is, then come share with
me. And so I build a community where we can create work together and tell each other stories. I am Khanisha Foster and I AM THEATRE, and
I’ve been waiting my whole life to say that.

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