I believe theatre can occur any time a group of people gathers to breathe together. I am inspired by the most earnest, scrappy, and uninhibited modes of live storytelling - after-dinner living room plays, daylong games of pretend in the woods, community theatre so earnest and unpretentious you fall out of your seat laughing with love for the people from whom it came. I create theatre as a way to bring different people into the same room and I am constantly searching for ways to bring theatre to non-theatre audiences. I intend to utilize the unique liveness of theatre as the art-form that best generates empathy.

 

I trust in synchronicity, in the intersection of seemingly unrelated events that nevertheless illuminate each other and bear weight. My creative practice celebrates beauty and wonder for the sake of beauty and wonder. I defy capitalism’s insistence we commodify every second of our time. I walk without destination; I cook over fires; I spend a season reading Virginia Woolf. My work likewise attempts to create pause and presence for its audiences.

 

I am a playwright influenced by a love and practice of poetry. I am a person who attempts to dismantle artistic hierarchies and shares the room with all who enter. I am a deviser who embraces the value of play. I am adept at world-building within my work and often tackle questions of feminism and queerness while pushing against the limits of form. I want theatre that engages all the senses and possesses a heavy sense of ritual and place. My theatre endeavors to dismantle narratives constructed by patriarchy, capitalism, and heteronormativity and thereby create new mythologies for a new way of existing on earth. My work ignites from a place of previous silence that oxygenizes into a clarifying passion always seeking forward movement.

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"Val Dunn's keen intellect and huge heart make her a gift to her collaborators, and a joy to work with as a playwright... She brings light and laughter to her writing that remind us it is perfectly okay to go to frightening places, explore our own unending depths, because she and the work will guide us back to safety, once the hard work of the journey is through."

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- Jacqueline Goldfinger, Michael Hollinger, & Quinn Eli

(The Foundry @ Play Penn)