Monday, November 24, 2014

I Interview Playwrights Part 708: Amy E. Witting

photo by Jody Christopherson

Amy E. Witting

Hometown: Maplewood, New Jersey

Current Town: Sunnyside, NY

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  My colleague Nicole Pandolfo and I are working on a documentary play on acquaintance rape called A Bad Night that will have a reading at the Dramatist Guild on February 20th.

I was also super grateful to have just received a 2014-2015 LAUNCH Commission from The Atlantic Theatre company which will have a reading in August. 
My 10-minute play Planted, inspired by the The Lotus Eaters from The Odyssey will be included in ReLeaf Theatre companies spring one-act festival.

Lots of wonderful creative collaborations!

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 recently went through boxes of my childhood writing at my parent's house and was surprised by the existential pieces I was writing in elementary school. I have always been fascinated by the unseen. I think that shows up a lot in my writing now. When I was eleven my grandmother died and I sang a solo in the choir the day after which I insisted on doing. I remember it helping me with the overwhelming feelings of grief. I've always been turning to art to express the feelings that are hard to articulate in words. Usually it's in relationship to those mysteries of life. 
Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  I would continue to push for producing more work by women and artists of color.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  My theatrical heroes are all the artists that continue to work in the theatre with passion and love. It's a business that is easy to give up on and harder to stick with. But how wonderful is it when you watch the magic of the theatre and see words you have written leap off the page and into the hands of talented creative collaborators. I think everyone that continues to do theatre from the love of creating are heroes. I'm constantly meeting new and inspiring artists that continue to make the theatre an exciting on-going conversation that I'm grateful to be a part of.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Honesty in both writing and performance. Pieces that spark genuine conversation and allow audience members to engage in something outside of their comfort zone.

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

A:  I think that we are all here to support one another. So seek out artists who have a little more time in the business and ask them out for coffee. Pick their brain and in return say yes when someone with less time in the business asks you for coffee. All we can do is share our own experience and writing is such a solitary profession we need each other to continue to create exciting new pieces of theatre.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  You can keep up with on-going news at my website which was created by another fabulous playwright - Daniel John Kelley!
I'm also on twitter - @wittywitting
February 20th - A Bad Night - Friday Night Footlights @ The Dramatist Guild

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