What is your name and where are you from?
Hi. My name is Ren Dara-Santiago and I’m from Harlem, but I lived in Yonkers until I was ten.
What is the project that you are working on here at SPACE?
I’ve been working on several, actually. I’ve just come from doing a lot of work and have gotten to make a lot of new artistic friends who have then invited me to participate in their artistic projects, so I had a lot of things lined up for this week. My personal projects were having a mission statement that I was proud of, one solid mission statement. I think that you should have three mission statements that cater to the companies that you are sending them to and their own missions. So I’ve been working on that today. And the other things were I needed a 15 minute piece for the writer’s group I’m in called Gingold Theatrical Group which is really cool, and the prompt is specific reaction to man and superman which ended up correlating with something I just started writing, I don’t know why, the day before I got here I just started writing this scene between a girl in the Philippines, and I’ve tried to address this before but child sex trafficking there is insane, girls start as young as six years old, and it’s not legal but there is regulation for the Bikini Bars and things like that so I’m writing a piece about that with one Filipino girl and then an American boy who comes to visit and that ended sort of speaking to the man and superman prompt because in that play women just have to do what they have to do in order to survive. And the other thing was figuring out what I was going to do for Clubbed Thumb because I just got into their Early Career Writer’s Group and I’m in the first block and I have to bring in a full play so I figured out what I wanted to do with that. Because I think the best way to utilize a writer’s group only getting read 3-4 times throughout the year that you are meeting is sticking with one play and seeing how that one can change, I don’t know, I don’t measure success by how well liked, or how awesome, and like superhero and celebrity I feel afterwards it’s just impact whether that just be for me or the people who’ve watched it so I think I’ve done a lot of good work on that.
Where have you been spending most of your time here at SPACE?
A lot of time in the rooms, but I’ll go in other people’s rooms. And steal the energy from those rooms. I walked to the lake, it’s nice to sit there and especially by yourself. It’s really meditative. I’ve said “hi” to the horses I think 4 times. But mainly, that’s how I am at home I’m really scheduled, so here it’s been nice to just not be as scheduled when I write. And I’ve only written once with everyone having a hang in a writing or sharing session, but usually I can’t work unless I’m alone so it’s been fun to have a different experience here.
What’s coming next for you and your project?
I’ll be in two writer’s groups and the play that I’m going to work on with Clubbed Thumb I actually hope to keep developing with Victor, who is here, because he directed the first reading of it. And then I have this really long project which I know will take up to 10 years before I want to produce it. I’m planning on getting workshops of it and starting to find funding, once I figure out whether it’s about formerly incarcerated women or if it’s about homeless women. But that’s a long project I want to do.
If you were reincarnated as farm animal, which would you be and why?
For me, as an animal that is around I would say a coyote but if it were on the farm probably a duck. Because they are funny! They are weird! Because I feel like no matter what they are always imposing on someone else and that’s how I feel.