Watch Me
Dave Harris

“If it took all of history to bring me to you. 
If it took all of history, my love.
Then history was worth it.” 

How can I get over slavery if I can’t even get over my ex? WATCH ME takes place in subconscious void of an interracial couple from their first date to their first time, to a reckoning with heritage, ancestry, and Black Jesus.

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly, who has coincidentally been shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize before for his play Tambo & Bones in 2019, which is seeing its London premiere in 2023. Selected plays include TAMBO & BONES (Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, 2022), EXCEPTION TO THE RULE (Roundabout Theatre Company, 2022), and EVERYBODY BLACK (Humana Festival 2019). His first feature film, SUMMERTIME premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released in 2021. Selected honors include: the 2019 Ollie Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award and Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, The International Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize, the Venturous Fellowship from The Lark, and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship amongst others.

Dave is currently writing the feature adaptation of THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE amongst several other feature and television projects for AMC (Interview with the Vampire), FX, and Amazon. His first full-length collection of poetry, PATRICIDE, was published by Button Poetry. UPCOMING: INCENDIARY (Woolly Mammoth, 2023), TAMBO & BONES (Royal Stratford East, London Premiere, 2023).

Introducing playwright Dave Harris

What inspired you to write this play?

I was thinking about how ancestry, history, and power interrupt and motivate the ways we love each other today. In all of my plays, I’m often trying to take the grand sweep of humanity and contain it in a way that feels epic and personal. In this case, the vehicle is love and sex. WATCH ME is a love story. It allowed me to find the language for how history and romance intertwine.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a playwright?

I wrote my first play when I was in seventh grade. Every time I write a play, I feel like I’ll never write one again. It’s insurmountable. The act of writing makes me feel afraid of dying and so incredibly alive. The only thing that comes close is good sex or a night of dancing. As long as playwriting feels that way, I hope to keep journeying.

What or who inspires you as a writer and why do you want to write for the stage?

I’m inspired by the minds of the people I love. The only reason to do theatre is because our friends are also doing it. Writing for me is a very selfish pleasure. It must be. But the work of theatre brings me closer to myself and to those I care about.

What do you think about the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and, more specifically, the anonymity at the heart of the Prize?

It was an honor to be shortlisted in 2019, and an even greater honor to be shortlisted again. It is maybe the most fun I’ve ever had in the context of a playwriting ceremony. And the fact that the prize gets so many people to write or submit their first play is an incredible gift to the global theatre community.

How do you feel about being shortlisted? 

I can’t wait to be in Manchester again, and to meet another amazing group of artists.