Beth Turner is a playwright and director who teaches at the University of Florida. She is the founder and publisher of Black Masks magazine.
From a profile in Tallahassee.com
Tallahassee’s green landscape conjures up lush images for playwright and professor Dr. Beth Turner. When traveling along its canopy roads, she imagines scenes of native Seminole tribes and the other individuals who may have walked these lands and roads over time.
Turner finds this envisioning useful in her writing, forming characters with historical perspectives in mind. She is particularly drawn to African-American life, teaching the interplay between history and theatrical works to her students.
“Playwrights don’t write in a vacuum,” asserts Turner. “They’re reacting to what’s going on around them, so you have to look at their world.”
Turner’s favorite subject matter is often found in the past. Her first full-length play, Ode to Mariah, was a woman’s coming of age tale at the turn of the 20th century. Her children’s play, Sing On, Ms. Gri, received grant monies that allowed Turner to travel to West Africa and compare African influences in African-American dance, music, and storytelling.
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