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The Subtext: Antoinette Nwandu

On the first episode of American Theatre’s newest podcast: Playwright Brian James Polak interviews Paula Vogel Playwriting Award winner Antoinette Nwandu.

Welcome to the Subtext, American Theatre‘s newest podcast series, where playwrights talk to each other.

In our first episode of the Subtext, playwright Brian James Polak interviews Paula Vogel Playwriting Award winner Antoinette Nwandu, author of Pass Over, Breach, Flat Sam, and other plays.

Nwandu discusses her improbable journey from pre-med student at Harvard to theatre critic in Scotland before she became a playwright. The many stops along her path included Homi K. Bhabha responding to her thesis on Samuel Beckett’s “So much thought about such a useless text,” and a key moment of inspiration, when she witnessed Rajiv Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo go from idea to Broadway.

Ever the seeker, Nwandu’s spiritual life was crucial in becoming a playwright, where the parallels between church and theatre created a sense of familiarity and fulfilled a need for “a nest, a home, a space, an identity.”

Download the episode here. Subscribe to the Subtext on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or via its RSS feed.

Have thoughts to share on this episode of The Subtext? Email the podcast at or send a tweet to @SubtextPodcast.

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