"when I came back from the gas station, before getting into my car
I saw him
walking in the park, whistling"
Four individuals tell the story of Malcolm, a Black folk musician whose quest through the Eastern Seaboard to find himself was violently interrupted, painting an evocative picture of the connection shared among strangers through a single life.
Debkanya Mitra is a Maryland-based writer and is currently a student at the University of Maryland.
Get to Know Debkanya
When did you start writing? What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
I began writing plays in 5th grade, when a playwright-resident came to our school. My parents and friends have been my biggest influences. They've been my editors, and their personalities are at the root of my characters.
How did you come to write your #ENOUGH play? Given that there are many dimensions to the issue of gun violence, what aspect did you focus on and why?
In June, when I wrote the first draft, the issue of police brutality dominated the public conversation. I began with a question: what if it happened here? Even though Malcolm is set in a fictional location, it reflects the suburbia that I’m familiar with.
What other issues or subjects do you care deeply about that you wish you saw on stage more? Why is this issue important for you?
I’m very concerned about America’s opioid epidemic, and I’d like to see drama that explores addiction. Right now, many people see addiction as a moral failing, when in reality it’s a medical & psychological condition. Maybe theater can help correct this misconception?
If you could write a play or story that represented the future you want to be a part of, what would it look like?
I want to write a comedy that features a group of friends going on an adventure, possibly a road trip.
What are some of your favorite plays?
Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine by Lynn Nottage; Water By the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; and John by Annie Baker.
What will your next play be about?
I've been busy trying to figure that out.