Friday, October 23, 2009

I Interview Playwrights Part 81: Libby Emmons

Libby Emmons

Grew up in the Boston suburbs, NYC summers and winter breaks, and Philadelphia, PA.

Current Town:
Brooklyn, NY

Q:  You just won the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission. Congrats! Please tell me a little about the play you're writing for it.

A:  It's to be a play called Zeropia about Marta, an urban planner, and her trusty assistant Amy. They decide to plant a zero-emissions, zero-carbon footprint utopic eco-town. Alot of things can go wrong with that scenario, and I'm sure they will. Hopefully it will also be funny. Mostly I'm having fun with the research so far.

Q:  What else have you been working on?

A:  I'm working on a short film project with collaborator and friend Jacquetta Szathmari called Malcolm & Margerie, starring David Marcus, Dame Cuchifrita, Jody Christopherson and Greg Zenon. Also working on a play for that I'd like Blue Box to produce, working title Ashling & Enora, and of course Sticky.

Q:  Can you talk a little about Sticky?

A:  Sticky is just about the most fun I've ever had in theater. It's 10 minute bar plays, staged in bars, and music. People seem to really like it too, from artists to audience, so that's pretty gratifying. When David Marcus, husband and collaborator, and I started the project with Dave Scholnick at Bar Noir in Philly in 2000, it was for the sole purpose of doing theater frequently, inexpensively, and with the people we liked to work with, like Amanda Schoonover and Jeremy Chacon. It's still mostly about that, but now there's a hell of alot more people, and we don't have to rehearse in our apartment. Sticky would not exist if it weren't for the artists who keep wanting to do it.

Q:  How did you like MFAing it at good old Columbia?

A:  I liked grad school. I probably wouldn't have gone to Columbia if it hadn't been for the encouragement of Eduardo Machado, who was great to study with. I liked having time off from working full time to write full time, and learned alot. At Columbia I was also able to take courses in producing and management, so that was useful. And I liked my classmates quite a bit.

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

A:  In middle school my dad and step-mom decided I wasn't allowed to write anymore. They had their reasons, and I spent alot of time in my fantasies instead of in my actual life, but among these reasons was that an idle mind is the devil's playground. After that I spent alot of time feeling like a rebel, writing short stories and poems in secret, and when I walked home after dark from my friend's house across the street I always thought the devil was chasing me.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Lately I'm really into theater of immersion, which Sticky is, and which I find really engaging. As an audience member, I'm tired of sitting in my chair and keeping quiet.

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

A:  Write what you want to see, produce your own work, submit everywhere, create and seek out the community of artists you want to work with.

Q:  Any plugs?

A:  Sticky. November 13th & 20th, Bowery Poetry Club, 7 pm. Also live webcast of same at And Stage Blood Is Not Enough, which I have a little play in and is otherwise terrific as well, produced by Junta Juliel and RKP, 2 nights only at The Duplex, October 22 & 29, 9:30 pm


August Schulenburg said...

congratulations, Libby!

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