Thursday, September 03, 2009

I Interview Playwrights Part 49: Lucy Thurber

Lucy Thurber

Hometown: Huntington/Northampton MA

Current Town: New York City

Q: Tell me a little about the play you have going up at Rattlestick?

A: Actually it is a remounting of my play Killers and Other Family. Killers was my first reviewed production. It did not go well. I had wonderful actors but the directors interpretation of the play was a mile away from what I wrote. I was to young as a writer to communicate well or even be sure what I wanted to communicate. For years David Van Asselt the artistic director of Rattlestick has wanted to remount the play and do it right. He finally gave in to his temptation and I'm very happy about it.

Q: You just finished a run of Monster at 13P. You must be exhausted. Is it hard going from one production right into another?

A: They are both so different in terms of size. Killers is my only 4 character play where as Monstrosity was 30 people. So from a writing perspective the characters in Killers are easier to keep track of because there are only 4 of them. But at the same time, I wrote them both so it's me and more of my age old obsessions--loyalty, love, violence, sexuality, class issues, power and family. But I love being in production. It's such a relief to have other people to help make the world of the play actual and bigger than what I wrote.

Q: What are you working on next?

A: My play Dillingham City. It's another big cast with a singing chorus this time, but same old obsessions.

Q: Tell me a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a person or as a writer.

A: One day my Mom and me where walking home from the local country store. It was the end of the month and we had run through most of the money and food stamps. My mother had splurged and bought us a bottle of pickled bean salad. It was spring and sunny. I was carrying one of the food bags and dropped it, smashing the bottle of bean salad. My mother freaked, she was always scared at the end of the month and the treat she'd bought us to give a little luxury was broken on the ground. My mother yelled at me, The broken glass looked pretty in the sun with all the different colored beans. I bent down and picked one bean out of all the other beans and broken glass. It was unbelievable delicious. I was so happy to eat it and so sad I couldn't eat more.

Q: What kind of theater excites you?

A: Daring theater. Whether it's big and theatrical or small, gentle and romantic I like theater that asks me to be human and I also sometimes just like a bit of fun, gorgeous entertainment.

Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A: Be brave. Write a lot. Make your own work.

Link to Lucy's show here: http://www.rattlestick.org/

No comments: