Sunday, June 06, 2010

I Interview Playwrights Part 188: Hannah Bos

Hannah Bos

Hometown: Evanston, IL

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY

Q:  Tell me about Buddy Cop 2.

A:  Buddy Cop 2 is the third play in our Americana Trilogy but sort of the second play in our architecture trilogy and the first play in our actors getting haircuts for roles trilogy and….

The play is about racquetball, cops and Christmas.

Q:  What is the process in which you and Paul write together?

A:  Paul and I write plays together and it’s horrible. He talks down to me because I’m a woman and because I’m shorter than him. Just kidding.

We try to write plays we would want to see. We start with the world of the play and that comes usually from a fable, idea, object or whatever. We generate the actual text on our own or in the same room and often even sitting next to each other at the same computer. We laugh a lot. That is just part of our development because we also have the luxury of then bringing the text to Oliver Butler our director and test driving material and then going back and changing lots of things. Paul and I are also performers so we think a lot about characters from a personal angle.

Q:  What else are you working on?

A:  I just finished preparing our script “You’re Welcome: A Cycle of Bad Plays” which will be published soon by Playscripts. I’m also finishing my first screenplay and working on the start of the next Debate Society play.

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 grew up in my mom’s antique store in Evanston, Illinois. I think that has had a huge influence on my life. Even as a really little girl my mom would let me do the shop’s window so I could set up a little scene with a theme like a prairie life or for Halloween I would put broken doll parts into jars and make tiny nooses. I guess the theme of that window would be murder. I should also mention I would sometimes stand in the window like a mannequin for long periods of time.

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

A: I like how Russian audiences treat going to the theater. It’s cheap and more like a highly respected sport. People are on the edges of their seats and know all the players.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Cherry Jones. I got to work with her once in a play. Jessica Thebus a wonderful director in Chicago is a hero of mine as well as Joyce Piven from the Piven Theater Workshop. Both of them taught me when I was growing up.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?
A:  I like new plays. I like things that give me chills. That’s usually the barometer for me. I also like Steppenwolf, The Piven Theater Workshop and Annie Baker.

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

A:  Write as much as you can. Produce your own work and meet young excited directors.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Come see Buddy Cop 2

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