Storyteller Adrienne Dawes is a playwright and producer in Austin, Texas. Through her plays, she aims to be a voice for those misunderstood or marginalized. She has been nominated for and won numerous awards for her work, including the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting. She also works for LifeWorks a nonprofit group dedicated to helping youth and families on their path towards becoming self-sufficient.
How do you lead through storytelling?
Dawes: I think in a number of different ways. I think usually if I have a story I want to tell, on some level even if I don't know it, there's something I want to say to someone and I want them to hear it. It might be that I want them to see the world in a different way or a different point of view or a different possibility for how things can be. And sometimes my stories are showing exactly that – like here's an example of what a relationship like this might look like or here's an example of some other characters that might exist in this world. My hope is that either someone recognizes themselves on the stage or they have a window open to someone who maybe they wouldn't have the chance of getting to know well in their personal lives.
A playwright usually has their audience for at least an hour, so you have the undivided attention of people who may or may not think like you, look like you or have the same experiences as you. You get a chance to show them something different. Hopefully you're showing them something entertaining and interesting, but you get to show them a different way of life that makes them think about their own.
By way of a single question, Signal Hill invites reflection from those whose stories inspire us. We call it A Really Short Interview About Something Big. Read more here.