Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 761: Bella Poynton



cross-posted to Samuel French's  Blog
 
Bella Poynton

Hometown:  Buffalo, NY

Current Town: Buffalo, NY.

Q:  Tell me about your OOB play.

A:  I have always loved science, and imagining all of the potential stories that could take place through the use of science and technology. A lot of my plays are based in this curiosity. My mind naturally wanders into the realm of science fiction, so when I heard about the Mars I project, I couldn’t help but think about the kinds of choices the potential candidates would have to make. The Offer came out of that curiosity.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  Right now I’m working on a few things. I’ve written a short film called The Girl in the Telescope Room going into pre-production in LA. I’m excited to be involved with that process. I’m also in the midst of writing 2 plays, one called Odyssea, about three very different women on a journey through space together, and another called The Zenith, about a cult dedicated to a woman who claims to have been abducted by aliens.

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 remember my parents being puzzled as to why I never played with toys as a kid, or wanted any toys for Christmas. I mean—I guess I did want a few things here and there, but most of my time was spent pretending I was either a great poet, or a Jedi knight. All you need for that is some paper, a pen, and a nice lightsaber.

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

A:  There would be more opportunities for new work, I think. Theaters would be more willing to produce new work, and specifically new work by women.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Naomi Wallace, Caryl Churchill, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Tennessee Williams, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and Doug Wright, as well as Jennifer Haley, Mac Rogers and August Schulenburg.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I want to see things I haven’t seen before. That’s honestly more exciting than anything else. If I go to a show, and I feel like I’m seeing new and different kinds of stories, relationships, and characters, I’m psyched. I like expansive storytelling, brave writing, but also grittiness. I love sitting in little 30-seat theaters and see something totally off the wall.

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

A:  Only write the plays that you want to see. Don’t ever feel pressured into changing your style or subject matter because they aren't trendy at the time. Embrace your passions.

Also, never take feedback unless it rings true to you. If someone gives you notes on a play, don’t feel like you have to incorporate those notes to make everyone happy. Trying to re-write a play using feedback you don’t agree with will never make your play better

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Firstly, my Theater Company, The Navigators, will be presenting their first theater event, The Lift-Off New Play Series, this July at the Players Theater. The Navigators produce new speculative and scifi inspired theater. Please check out The Navigators at www.navigatorstheater.com.

This fall, my play The Girl in the Washroom will be a part of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, and my play Speed of Light will premiere at Road Less Traveled Productions.

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