Monday, December 12, 2011

I Interview Playwrights Part 411: Kirsten Childs



Kirsten Childs

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Current Town: New York, New York

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  Right now, at this very moment? A musical exploration of the African-American experience in the Wild West.

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

A:  Wilmington, North Carolina. Summertime. Visiting my grandparents. Happy as a clam, spinning around on the dirt road out in front of their house, singing a paean to the sun and sand and sky – the opening number to a nascent musical. Interrupted mid-spin and mid-song by the realization that my aunt was peeking out from the porch, watching me. Mortified, running to hide behind a vine gnarled fence.

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

A:  Its accessibility.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Edward Albee, Michael Bennett, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Anton Chekhov, Will Marion Cook and Bob Cole, Bob Fosse, Pamela Gien, Micki Grant, Lorraine Hansberry, John Jesurun, Cherry Jones, Sarah Jones, Ben Katchor and Mark Mulcahy, La Chanze, Frank Langella, James Lapine, Arthur Laurents, Robert Lee and Leon Ko, Audra MacDonald, Moliere, Lynn Nottage, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot, Chita Rivera, William Shakespeare, Diana Son, Stephen Sondheim, Joe Stein, Stew, Peter Stone, Nilaja Sun, Ivan Turgenev, Gwen Verdon, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Theater with music, dance, story. Theater that is not ashamed to be theatrical.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights, composers or lyricists just starting out?

A:  Keep writing.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Very excited to be working on a project with Lynn Nottage and Steve Cosson (The Civilians)

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