041: How do we evolve as artists? Director, performer, writer Naima Yetunde Ince-Griffiths extends her voice into multiple genres

Amazing original poetry pieces performed by Naima Ince-Griffiths open and close this episode! Naima Yetunde Ince-Griffiths is a performance poet, writer, and playwright; she produces and directs theatrical works and is the founder of NYI Productions. We talk about the evolution of her piece MEN ALWAYS LEAVE first written by Naima as a poem which she adapted into a play, then adapted into a soap opera series, and most recently into an accompanying soundtrack. Naima talks about her experience as a performance poet, her hopes and plans for NYI productions, the value of collaborators and more. 

Mark your calendars, Naima’s play MEN ALWAYS LEAVE will be playing Feb 1-3, 2019 at Cary Theatre produced by the Cary Players.  Buy tickets! 

Originally from Brooklyn NY, a recent resident, of Raleigh North Carolina, Naima has a Bachelors of Arts in Drama Studies from SUNY Purchase College and a Masters of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. Her books can be found at the local So & So Bookstore on Person Street in Raleigh

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Naima’s bio.

[2:10] Naima opens the conversation by reading an original poetry piece, Woman, who are you? from her book GHOST LOAD.


[4:05] How did Naima find her voice as a writer? Painting words. Writing about being a woman, their strength and value. Her next book!


[13:06] What happens when poetry is performed ‘off the page’? Why is it important to perform poetry? Why did Naima retain the poetry when she adapted Men Always Leave from a poem to a play how did she adapt a poem into a play? Giving the audience a 3D experience with the characters. “This is my music.”


[20:23] Men Always Leave will have it’s second NC production in Cary, NC in February 2019. How will this production be different from the NC premiere in 2016?

[27:24] Naima is getting so much artistic mileage from Men Always Leave. How does she know when it’s time to evolve the piece? Does she see a time when she’ll say, “This is far as I can take this?”

[28:42] A theme in Men Always Leave: protecting our hearts and the hearts of our children in relationship.


[31:04] The ‘art fusion event’ and book signing to promote NYI productions

[34:00] The mission and beginning of N.Y.I. Productions: Encourage, illuminate, entertain. educate.

[40:28] What is the drive that takes Naima from idea to action?

[43:07] What’s next? Cry, pray, put on lipstick. A soundtrack for Men Always Leave (and a music video!). Book tour. Adding collaborators.

[57:10] Thanks and sign-off

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