Pull up a chair and chat with Lileana Blain-Cruz: NYTW Board Member, Usual Suspect, and director of the world-premiere production of Dreaming Zenzile, which arrives at NYTW in 2022.
What was the first experience working with the Workshop?
My first experience with the Workshop was through the 2050 Fellowship. I was a Directing Fellow and I also helped to lead the program for a short stint. It was amazing to be in a community of artists.
Most memorable show or experience you’ve worked on or seen at the Workshop?
There are so many wonderful experiences at the Workshop!! Working on Red Speedo and The House That Will Not Stand was dreamy… Interestingly, when I think about shows I’ve seen, the show that keeps returning to my memory is The Object Lesson—the sheer transformation of the space!! And the communal meditation on our relationship to stuff with a group of strangers was pretty wonderful.
What is your first memory of going to the theatre or how did you fall in love with theatre?
I felt pretty lucky to have spent some formative childhood years in New York… in my memory/imagination is a swirling mirage of Alvin Ailey meets La Traviata at the Met.
What or who inspires you?
My family inspires me constantly. Children inspire me, I have two nephews—their continuous openness to wonderment—I think I keep reaching for that—reaching for that sense of awe and understanding.
Without live theatre at the moment, what have you been watching, listening to, reading…?
I May Destroy You I think was a pretty seminole moment in TV history… so… that was definitely on my top list… I’ve also gone back to some Toni Morrison—SULA is AMAZING! JAZZ is AMAZING! Her relationship to character and epic is continuously inspiring. I also try to go on as many bike rides as possible—and when I do I listen to this amazing group Combo Chimbita. (Who I hope one day to work with haha! Shout out to them! They don’t know me! But they are cool!)