The April 16 edition of The Dramatist LIVE begins with a shoutout to one of our DG regional reps, Anita Vatshell from the Gulf Coast, who is also a registered nurse. In an interview with Ed Verdin for The Dramatist Blog, she recently opened up about her experience at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, DG President Doug Wright comes on to read the Guild’s statement on Discriminatory Attacks Against Asian Americans, which he co-wrote with Christine Toy Johnson, Lisa Kron, and Ralph Sevush.

For the first time, The Dramatist LIVE did a virtual version of the magazine’s “Ten Questions” feature. Colman Domingo is put in the hot seat; he speaks about his writing process, why it’s important to create work that is “possibly polarizing,” and more. After all the questions were ask and answers, Jason Ma joins the webinar, to talk about his nearly 20 year collaboration with co-host Christine Toy Johnson. The two collaborators and longtime friends are currently working on a commission for Washington State’s Village Theatre. They’ve found it to be “a saving grace” to have something to collaborate on, and a deadline, during this pandemic.

This episode’s special guests also includes several of the writers who will be participating this June in “Alone, Together: a Zoom Festival of Monologues and Short Plays,” produced by UC Santa Barbara’s Launch Pad new play development program. UCSB theatre professors Risa Brainin and Annie Torsiglieri join writers Daniel Castellaneta, Deb Lacusta, Idris Goodwin, and John Walch for a conversation about what it’s like to write a play specifically for Zoom and the process of acclimating to this new performance medium. “Getting to write short things for Zoom has been really reinvigorating,” says Idris Goodwin, also pointing out that “since the advent of the radio, people have been engaging in virtual storytelling.”