Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Interview Playwrights Part 456: Wendy Dann

Wendy Dann

Hometown:  Morrisville, NY

Current Town: Ithaca, NY

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  I'm writing a play with music called The Liberator, a project I've been researching and writing for a few years now. Starting work with a composer soon. And revising everything else. As always.

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 with two college professors as parents, and surrounded by eighteen acres of parents were friends but never slept in the same bedroom my whole life...I don't think I ever put together what was going on until I was an adult, but I spent a lot of time in the woods playing make believe...turning rocks into horses and trees into gods...

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

A:  More people would go. Productions would all be great so people would come back.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  I took a SITI workshop in grad school, so Anne Bogart. When I turned to her and said, "I feel like I need to think differently," she replied "No, you need to see and hear differently." That changed everything for me.

At the same time I was studying with Bob Moss, and learned a huge amount from his other directing proteges: people like Michael Mayer and Kevin Moriarty.

And from afar: George C. Wolfe, Tina Landau, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner, Donald Margulies, Sarah Ruhl, Annie Baker, Tom Stoppard, Brian Friel.

Wishing they were still here: Harold Pinter. Samuel Beckett. Chekhov. Shakespeare.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Stories that feel so close to home I get embarrassed. They force me to reexamine my own choices, my own decisions, and how to move forward.

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

A:  Endurance. Sit down every day (jeez, Wendy, listen to that yourself)

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Check out our new theatre company:

And my ongoing project:

1 comment:

Wendy said...

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