My name is E. Salvador Chapman and I was born in a bathtub during the middle of a war. It’s not true; (I have no idea where I was born) but that’ s a story I tell. I enjoy creating stories; anecdotes which captivate; anecdotes which question; anecdotes that inspire.

I was born in El Salvador during a time of civil war and deposited at an orphanage shortly thereafter. I was adopted by a wonderful Caucasian family from New Hampshire. My formative years in New Hampshire were full of white people telling me how special I was in attempt to let me know being dark-skinned in the land of monochromatic opposites was ok. In New Hampshire the non-Caucasian representation is about 6 people, never mind the Indigenous representation is all but non-existent. I understood early on my difference was a unique strength, but that difference would also be a detriment. I created stories growing up as a way of connecting, recapturing and encouraging myself.

I am a playwright/creative non-fiction auteur who loves to challenge perspectives. I aim to create stories that bolster Native American voices while bringing to light cultural sensitives. Education is important, but equally important are authentic points of view, positive or negative, which contain the spectrum of human existence. It is within these common human spectrums understanding takes place.

As a playwright I focus on three types of storytelling: Ceremonial Theater, a Native American style of theater; speculative fiction, creating worlds of alternate realities/existences; and comedic human realities. While considered non-traditional in theatrical practices, Native American storytelling is rooted in theatrical traditions, or I should say, theatrical traditions are rooted in Indigenous storytelling. As an Indigenous storyteller and a historian of theatre, I love fusing traditional and contemporary ideas to create something different … something unique … for me, something special.

I infuse within my stories Native American issues, audience participation/interaction and unexpected surprises. Theater does not need to only be a spectator activity; Theater can be an inclusive idea swirling the audience into the story instead of letting them be passive voyeurs. Technology has allowed us to find alternate means of connection, why can’t the Theater use these similar types of ideas to enhance the experience? I enjoy pushing expectations and boundaries to captivate and entertain.

As I grow as a playwright and artist I strive to keep my Native American community at the heart of my work. I challenge myself to include the Native perspective without sounding maudlin or pedantic. I want people to enjoy themselves within the theatrical experience but also learn something along the way. Plus, I just need more places where I can include references to raccoons, the music of Yes, and Irene Bedard. We could all use more Irene Bedard in our lives.