Caleen Sinnette Jennings '72 on writing for 1st Stage
For DC Theater Arts, playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings '72 discusses writing for solo performance at 1st Stage with her new play, Wanda's Way.
Wanda's Way is the first of 1st Stage’s Commissions of Solo Work to premiere at the Logan Festival this summer. Based on real interviews, Wanda's Way explores the journey of a Black female police officer as she explains how and why she got into law enforcement. This intricately woven tale is one of corrupted dreams, seemingly impenetrable systems, and the extreme consequences of both acting and failing to act.
"It’s a difficult play. It’s somewhere in the range of 15 characters played by one actor," Jennings tells DC Theater Arts. "And these characters represent multiple facets of the main character’s life — her allies, her protagonists, her mother, her daughter, her boss, her partner. All these people are meant to show all the kinds of things a Black police officer has to negotiate in her life and in her job."
In 2021, Bennington College partnered with Everyman Theatre to share a virtual screening and conversation with the College community of Jennings' play about her time at the College, Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains.