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With playwright, author, director Alretha Thomas


Alretha Thomas' plays have received rave reviews. In this high-energy interview, we focus on two of them: a comedy, Reddie Maid Wife, and a drama, Sacrificing Simone.

Author, playwright, producer, and director Alretha Thomas graduated from USC with a degree in journalism. She hoped to be the next Barbara Walters, but instead she discovered play writing. After penning more than a dozen plays for her church, she ventured out into the community with the NAACP-nominated A Shrine to Junior (2002), NAACP-award-winning Civil Rites (2004), critically acclaimed Grandpa's Truth (2006), and a play The Los Angeles Times called "an inspirational crowed pleaser," Sacrificing Simone (2007). Alretha recently published her first novel, Daughter Denied.  

Please join Alretha and host Paula B. as they discuss:

  • What she writes about and why
  • Where she starts when she sets out to write a play
  • Why she uses mistaken identity in her work, and what challenges she faces in using that device
  • Why her works include so many characters
  • What she's learned in directing her own work (and that of others)
  • How her acting background has affected her writing
  • What her overall approach to playwriting is.

After Alretha's interview, Jeff DeRego tells us why he hates fantasy.

Interviewee: Alretha Thomas
Host: Paula B.
Date: July 20, 2008
Running time: 53:10
File size: 25 megabytes
Rating: G
Alretha's Web site:

You can purchase Alretha's book Daughter Denied through