Thursday, June 11, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 755: Kate Benson



Kate Benson

Hometown: Evanston, IL

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY

Q:  Tell me about the play you just won an Obie for. (and Congrats!!)

A:  Thanks! The play is called A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes; it is a Thanksgiving play with sports announcers, and an American Family Play turned upside down: it is the children who destroy their parents, in the end.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  A play about nuclear bomb proliferation, called Desert (for now), another play with the Assembly Theater Company called I Will Look Forward to This Later, co-written with Emily Perkins, and a play for the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission called Super Magic Wild Forest.

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

A:  Well. The theater obsession started in second grade, when Dr. Fisher cast me as the narrator in the Anansi Fables for the parent open house; the rest of my class got to make and wear animal masks, and I was really jealous of them until the performance, when I realized that they didn't have any lines, and all of the adults had to listen to me. She also gave me a shirt she got in Africa to wear for the performance that fit me like a dress. I thought that was pretty cool.

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

A:  I wish it were open to everyone.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Mac Wellman, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Erin Courtney, Lisa Kron, Lear deBessonet, Anton Chekhov, and Bertolt Brecht. But I'm trying to stand down from heroism right now. But those are the people in my head, when I think about who's doing or has done amazing things.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  The kind of theater that makes me ask questions about the way that I live; the kind of theater that surprises me.

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

A:  Keep going. Read everything. See as much as you can. Fight bitterness. Find the people who are working in ways you find exciting.
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1 comment:

travexas said...

I LOVE KATE BENSON!