Maythinee Washington acts, dances, writes, teaches yoga and knits. She’s also played a Moorish Lady Macbeth. But above all, she is a storyteller.
Washington, 29, is a careful observer and interpreter of the world. She’s come up with a phrase to describe her brand: “storytelling from an authentic place.” It’s a sort of unified field theory of what she is, does and seeks to be. Although she chases several creative strands, the stripping away of facades in a dogged, and often uncomfortable, pursuit of truth is a theme that runs through her life and discourse.
She says Las Vegas is “perhaps the most American city in the United States … and the most truthful city,” explaining that while most cities hide their artificiality behind staid facades, Las Vegas openly flaunts, glorifies, revels in and celebrates its ersatz nature.
She spent her K-12 years at The Meadows School in Summerlin, an experience she says was crucial in opening the door to Brown University and ultimately to an MFA in acting from the University of Washington.
Washington, the daughter of an African-American and Native American father and a Thai mother, is working on a semi-autobiographical solo show called White Girl. She performed it at the 2010 Las Vegas Fringe Festival, and seeks to grow, refine and tour it this year. “I’ve been scared to do that piece for a really long time,” she says. “It’s a piece that has to do with myself and my own multiracial identity growing up as a girl of color with predominantly WASP-y white images.”
In addition to working on her own performances, Washington continues to teach yoga and is developing an acting program that blends traditional acting instruction with yoga techniques to help students approach their life and art with fearless candor.