Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Interview Playwrights Part 157: Sarah Sander

Sarah Sander

Hometown:  Kansas City, Kansas

Current Town:  Sarasota, Florida

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  A couple different things. I’m doing rewrites on a play called Channel 3 which tells the story of a 16 year old girl who is visiting her estranged uncle in LA after her mother’s suicide. The girl, Adelaide, uses television as a refuge and as a means to filter her own experience. The narration is intercut with commercials, ideally fracturing what is “real” and what is scripted.

I’m also in the beginning stages of a full-length tentatively titled Copier Jam. It’s a play set in a corporate office where corn begins to grow out of the floor tiles, the copier spits out raw meat, and one of the characters turns into a chicken.

Q:  What's it like to be the NNPN Playwright in Residence at Florida Studio Theatre?
A:  It’s an incredible post. The fellowship is 10 months long and I have ample time to work on my own plays while also reading for the lit office, teaching with FST’s Write-A-Play program, and house managing. I came to playwriting relatively late and the opportunity to participate in the “business side” of the arts has proved tremendously enlightening. Witnessing the number of beautiful, original authentic plays our lit department rejects simply because they do not fit into our season makes the numerous “Dear Playwright” letters I receive much easier to swallow.

I’d also like to add that NNPN is a brilliant, BRILLIANT organization. In addition to the Playwright-in-Residence Program they also have the Continued Life of New Plays Fund where three theatres mount the same new play and share “world-premier” status. Essentially it’s a group of theatres who rally together to support and encourage new work. They also throw great parties.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A:  I used to bite other children.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A:  Money.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A:  Albee, Churchill and Pinter: brutally elegant all.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  It depends on my mood. For the most part I want theatre that challenges, provokes and inspires me to think above and beyond my own petty concerns. Other times, I’m happy to be coddled.

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

A:  Follow your instincts. Embrace failure. Enjoy the ride.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:   P73 is putting up Sam Hunter's Jack's Precious Moment beginning May 21 at 59E59. If it's anything like Sam's other work, it'll be gorgeous and revelatory and barbed. Also, Andrew Rosendorf's Cane is opening Florida Stage's new space on October 27th. It's gutting. It's worth the journey.

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