Playwright and dramaturg Somebody Jones has just been announced as an associate artist of Seven Dials Playhouse.
A Los Angeles native currently living in London, whose work celebrates and champions Black culture in all its charms and complexities, Somebody works primarily within the genres of horror, magic realism, verbatim and Black fantasy, and will provide dramaturgical support to writers whose work will be presented as part of Seven Dials Playhouse’s next season.
Seven Dials Playhouse has developed the new Associate Artist Scheme to provide an opportunity for artists and creatives, working nationally and internationally, to engage with and collaborate on the organisation’s programmes. Seven Dials Playhouse has also introduced a new Artistic Policy to shape the organisation’s ongoing programmes, and this policy will form the basis of their new season of work.
You’re one of the new Associate Artists at Seven Dials Playhouse, how does that feel?
It feels really exciting! I feel honoured to help Seven Dials Playhouse usher in this new chapter and to be able to help support this season’s writers dramaturgically. And in the first few days of working with Seven Dials Playhouse, I already feel so supported and valued. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.
You’ll be providing dramaturgical support to writers in the next season, how did you get into this career, and what do you enjoy most about it?
Learning how to give and receive feedback has always been a part of my playwriting learning/journey, and getting a master’s in Dramaturgy really solidified my passion for it. If I could sum up my approach to dramaturgy, it would be like finding money in your jeans. It was always there, I’m just here to help you find it.
How did you get involved with Seven Dials Playhouse and what does it mean to you to be given this opportunity?
I got involved through the brilliant Steven Kavuma, who I cannot thank enough. And funny enough, we connected through Twitter! So don’t be afraid to shoot your professional shot. Because that’s where I’ve made a lot of genuine connections and friends.
In terms of what this opportunity means to me, it’s hard to put it all into words. Being able to make and support art feels more and more like a disappearing privilege every day. And I am a firm believer that Steven will be a pioneer in helping keep it alive and fresh. So being able to support him, the theatre, the staff, and the artists makes me feel a bit more hopeful and energised.
How do you think you’ll approach this new role?
I’ll approach this new role as I always do – with openness. I’m ready for changes and creative challenges, and I’m excited to be one of the first Associate Artists and to help shape the programme.
And what do you think will be the biggest challenge for you?
Probably not living so close to the theatre. Back home in LA, I lived 10 minutes away from my favourite theatre and I miss that so much! Just being able to pop in whenever you want at a moment’s notice is really nice. Of course, the pandemic has shown us the value and possibility of connecting online, but it’s hard to replicate an online experience of just popping into a theatre on your lunch break to see what’s going on.