I would like there to be gender equity. I would like the Broadway season to reflect sort of the demographic of the country.

I was really interested in the way in which poverty and economic stagnation were transforming and corrupting the American narrative.

Silence is complicity. I believe that.

'Intimate Apparel' is a lyrical meditation on one woman's loneliness and desire. 'Fabulation' is a very fast-paced play of the MTV generation.

African American women in particular have incredible buying power. Statistically, we go to the movies more than anyone. We have made Tyler Perry's career. His films open with $25 million almost consistently.

In the business of war, the role of women is really to maintain normalcy and ensure that there is cultural continuity.

'Ruined' was a play which was somewhat of an anomaly in that I did not take a commission until it was finished because I really wanted to explore the subject matter unencumbered. Otherwise, I felt as though I'd have the voice of dramaturges and literary managers saying, 'This is great, but we'll never be able to produce it.'

Plays are getting smaller and smaller, not because playwrights minds are shrinking but because of the economics.

The great thing about 'Vera Stark' is that my research was watching movies, screwball comedies, so I could literally sit back and relax.

For me, playwriting is sharing my experiences, telling my stories.

I teach at Columbia, and I'm always looking for books I can lose myself in during the 45 minutes I'm on the train.

My interest in theatre and storytelling began in my mother's kitchen. It was a meeting place for my mother's large circle of friends.

American audiences very rarely deal with material outside their borders.

I was repeatedly told that there isn't an African American woman who can open a show on Broadway. I said, 'Well, how do we know? How do we know if we don't do it?' I said, 'I think you're wrong.'

The essence of creativity is to look beyond where you can actually see. I don't want to dwell in same place too long.

I know what I'm trying to say, so I'm always open to learning how to say it.

Once working people discover that, collectively, we have more power than we do as individual silos, then we become an incredibly powerful force. But I think that there are powers that be that are invested in us remaining divided along racial lines, along economic lines.

I always describe race as the final taboo in American theatre. There's a real reluctance to have that conversation in an open, honest way on the stage.

We need to diversify the people who are backstage and producing and marketing these shows. It's the limitations of these people that are holding Broadway back.

I remain committed to telling the stories of women of the African diaspora, particularly those stories that don't often find their way into the mainstream media.

I think folks who are resistant to engaging in art become less so once they encounter art that really reflects them.

I wonder: Would there be a black president if people hadn't already begun imagining, through film and television, that a black man is president? It's self-actualization.

My fears about where theater is going - it's the Hollywood model, where people are chasing the almighty dollar and making commercial decisions based on nothing more than generating income for themselves and their theaters.

My grandfather was a Pullman porter, and my father put his way through college by cleaning floors at night in the libraries. I understand that working people are in some way the bedrock of my existence and the existence of many people here.

I don't think any of us could predict Trump. Trump is the stuff of nightmares. But in talking to people, I knew there was a tremendous level of disaffection and anger and sorrow. I know people felt misrepresented and voiceless.

I'm always hyperaware of the way in which working people are portrayed on the stage.

I am a storyteller by trade.

In my family history, there are generations of women who were abandoned by men. It's one of the themes of my family.

I can't quite remember the exact moment when I became obsessed with writing a play about the seemingly endless war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but I knew that I wanted to somehow tell the stories of the Congolese women caught in the cross-fire.

Broadway's never my end goal because of the plays I write. These are tough plays. Of course there's a lot of humor, but my goal is just to reach as wide an audience as possible, however that happens.

When you begin a play, you're going to have to spend a lot of time with those characters, so those characters are going to have to be rich enough that you want to take a very long journey with them. That's how I begin thinking about what I want to write about and who I want to write about.

Like Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, I try to balance reality with how we'd like the world to be.

Broadway is a closed ecosystem.

I feel like 'Sweat' arrived on Broadway at the moment that it needed to. I feel like a commercial audience was not prepared for 'Ruined' or 'Intimate Apparel' for many different reasons.

Even in Congo, where conflicts are happening, people have births, weddings, deaths, and celebrations.

In many ways, I consider those to be my formative years, because when you're in school, you have a distant relationship to the world in that most of what you're learning is from books and lectures. But at Amnesty, I came face to face with realities in a very direct and harsh way.

Saying, 'I'm going to create jobs' is great, but before you create jobs, something has to be offered to alleviate some of the suffering now.

If the Tony Awards want to remain relevant in the American theater conversation, then they need to embrace the true diversity of voices that populate the American theater.

By the sheer act of writing, we are trying to place value on the stories that we're invested in.

Each play I write has its own unique origin story.

We use metaphors to express our own truths.

I'm interested in people who are dwelling outside the mainstream. And very often, those people happen to be woman of color.

There is an enduring feeling that women can write domestic dramas but don't have the muscularity or the vision to write state-of-the-nation narratives.

There's never any ebb in human misery.

Ultimately, we're incredibly resilient creatures. People really do get on with the business of living.

I've been asked a lot why didn't 'Ruined' go to Broadway. It was the most successful play that Manhattan Theatre Club has ever had in that particular space, and yet we couldn't find a home on Broadway.

I love my people's history. I feel a huge responsibility to tell the stories of my past and my ancestors' past.

I wouldn't say I see my work as having a political ideology. Lynn Nottage certainly has a political ideology. I think that the work is an extension of who I am, but I don't think that when I write the play I'm looking to push the audience one way or another.

Growing up in New York City, I'd flirted with the idea of driving, but between the subway and the sidewalks, I'd never needed to learn.