I face an empty stage as I write. It’s inspiring, humbling, and incredibly intimidating all at once. But this is what I believe in. I was a Catholic until my devout mother told me that writing about life as I see it meant I couldn’t possibly believe in God, much yet be Christian. Now, all I have is the stage. Maybe someday I’ll find something in a religion again; I am young, after all. But I’ll never have the comfort I had in Catholicism or the comfort I still have in that empty stage, full of possibilities. You know, a great actor with a great script can make a bare stage whatever she wants. As a playwright, I could make this stage anything. I can show my story or anyone else’s. It’s an effort that takes as many as hundreds of people, or I could do an entire show by myself. The stage is a place where I can tell my parent what I really feel about their reactions to my work without repercussion or censorship. So here’s what I know at twenty-three: I believe in my own talent. I believe in my strength to overcome parents who don’t love me as I am, but cling to who I was as a child. I believe in the healing, communal power of theatre. I believe that life is a bare stage, waiting for us to make of it what we will.