What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Charly Evon Simpson. I was born in Queens, raised in northern Jersey. I moved around a bit and now I’m back in New York City.
Perfect. And what is the project you’re working on at SPACE?
Well, right now this week because I am with EST. I’m working on a play called,” Under The Sheet” which is about the history of gynecology and its intersection with race and specifically slavery. It’s a fictional portrayal based on a doctor named J. Marion Sims, who is considered the father of gynecology, but he did experiment on 3 women, black slave women. Some say he worked on as many as 11 women. But, there’s three we know for sure- Lucy, I think Betsy, and Anarcha. They are the three we hear the most about and they were experimented on without any anesthesia. So I’m writing about that this week and I’m working on that play, but since I’m also apart of the working farm I’m also working on a new play which is still very much in the air because I come back in August to work on that for like 4 weeks.
Where have you been spending most of your time here at SPACE?
I have been spending most of my time this time in the Sycamores. A lot of time in my bedroom. I have also ventured to the gazebo and have gone down to the lake, but most of my writing and work time has been in the Sycamores and specifically in my room.
What’s coming for you after your project here at SPACE?
So after this project I have like a week at home then I head off to DC. My play “Jump” was selected to be workshopped at the MFA playwrights play workshop at the Kennedy Center so I get to work on that for 8 days in DC. Then later in August I start back coming here. I have 4 weeks here as a part of the Working Farm. I’ll be working on whatever play miraculously appears between now and the end of August. So we’ll see!
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal what animal would you be and why?
Hmm farm animal. I definitely would not be a Duck. They have it rough man. I like sheep. Maybe i'll be a sheep. Maybe. Maybe. I don’t know. That or like the weird cat that’s antisocial and hangs around the farm and doesn’t like anybody. Does that cat still show up I haven’t seen it in a while? I don’t really like cats. But I think I am a cat. So either a sheep or a cat.
Interview by Malik Reed