Let’s Connect staff writer Shon Scott takes a closer look at Kerry Ann Zamora Frazier!
Shon Scott – What led you to write plays/theater?
Kerry Ann – I began writing at a very early age. As an only child, I was often alone at adult events and I enjoyed creating characters as I watched adults interact with each other. My mom was a teacher and my aunt a principal, so I was always around educators who encouraged me to write and read. I wrote poetry and short stories which developed into full stage plays by age 10. So I think I began to write from loneliness as well as boredom. I was also a hyper child that loved to act, dance and sing, so it was a natural proclivity to venture into theater. Writing allowed me to travel to places and experience adventures – it allowed me to create. For me, it became cathartic, it became my voice.
SS – Who have been your influences?
KA – My influences in life have been very diverse. I think my family has had the most influence in my life, however. We are a close-knit Caribbean family of strong educators. Secondly, I had extended family and friends who were affluent individuals in the community who I gleaned from as well. I was never one who looked to television or athletics for influences, I looked to books for inspiration. With that said, my writing has been influenced by so many different authors to include: Shakespare, Dickens, Hurston, Hughes, Morrison, Angelou, DuBois and so many more writers. As playwright, I am intrigued by Shonda Rhimes right now.
SS – Do you find formal education beneficial or unnecessary for aspiring writers
KA – Formal education is very important to me. I have a Master’s degree in Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and I plan on completing my terminal degree as well. For me, formal education was the path that helped me frame and define my natural skill to tell stories. Where raw talent and experience is great, formal education can open doors that may not otherwise be met. I believe in lifelong learning. As adults, we should be always in an environment to learn and grow, whether that is in a formal setting or apprenticeship. The goal is to study and practice the craft to become better each time.
SS – Have you faced gender/cultural discrimination along your journey?
KA – I have been fortunate to have had incredible mentors and opportunities for success without too many adverse experiences. I think the most disheartening thing I have experienced is the lack of support of love from other women of color. It seems to be a sense of competition and disharmony. It is something I find puzzling but it has not deterred me, it has actually made me want to succeed even more and truly operate in grace, transparency and ethical awareness in working with people.
SS – Do you participate in casting those chosen to bring your vision to life? Or do you entrust that task to someone else?
KA – I participate in all aspects of KZFrazier Drama. The company is my brain-child, birthed around the same time my youngest son was born. I write all the plays, participate in music selection, cast selection, set design and all promotions. My husband and I are partners in the business and I am very hands on.
SS – What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
KA – I would like to see my work on a global stage. The sky’s the limit! I would like my words to influence change, impact communities and regions, and inspire generations. I want my words to make a difference.
SS – How do you see the future of theatre and writing for theatre?
KA – Theatre has changed rapidly over the past 20 years and I see it changing even more in the future. As technology continues to grow and evolve, I would like to continue to grow with the times. There is a part of me that loves the black box live theatre with all the nuances of 30 or 40 years ago, however. I guess in that way I am a traditionalist. I love the old!
SS – What else do you want us to know about you?
KA – I am eager and excited to bring quality plays to the stage. The product is sound and I would like the opportunity to show my skills.