Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 777: Trisha Sugarek



Trisha Sugarek

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Current Town: Savannah, Georgia

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  A ten minute play, for the classroom, about transgendered teens. I have written 26 of these scripts addressing real life issues in a teen’s life such as, Bullying, running away, drugs, teen dating violence, cutting and suicide.

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

A:  As a writer: I grew up, before television, at my mother’s knee. She told wonderful stories of her growing up, in the wild forests of Washington state, with her 13 siblings. I have written 3 stage plays and 2 novels based on these true stories. My mother (raised in the early 1900’s) went on to own a bar and grill (speakeasy) in San Francisco and was a reigning ‘flapper’ during the roaring 20’s. Her sister, at the age of seventeen, ran away to Alaska to write her music, and homesteaded for the next twenty years. She was inspired by Robert Service’s time in Alaska.

As a person: I was always fascinated with Old Hollywood; ‘going to the movies’ with my Mom was a big part of my childhood. Which I believe led me to drama school (1978). I spent the next 30 years on the stage, and doing radio voice overs and commercials on TV. Which led me to directing. My most proud moment, as a director, was directing The Vagina Monologues. I chose to use 13 actors (instead of the traditional 3) and 3 of those were drag queens/transgendered who performed the monologue: ‘They Beat the Girl Out Of My Boy’ I began writing scripts in 1994 and have enjoyed seeing them produced on stages here and abroad.

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

A:   I wish more unknown playwrights, who are truly wonderful, had more opportunities getting their work produced. My fear is that the audiences will continue to dwindle as the TV and computer screen demands more and more of their attention.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Lawrence Olivier (Richard III), Nathan Lane (Love! Valor! Compassion!) Dame Judi Dench (whatever she does), Jim Parsons (An Act of God) and Robert Duval (American Buffalo). Oh! You meant playwrights! (grin) Where do I start? Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, David Mamet, Edward Albee, Peter Shaffer and Trisha Sugarek*. my ALL-TIME favorite writer/hero is Charles Bukowski!

*Hey! Did she just name herself as a hero? Yes, because I tried, I kept writing and….against all odds I got published by Samuel French and have had a few plays produced. We writers are all heroes in my book. It’s a damn lonely, hard job. It takes gargantuan dedication and a very thick skin (think crocodile). Oh yes, I have my own file full of rejection letters.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:   DRAMA and RISK TAKING!

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

A:  Keep writing! Be true to yourself. Write about what you know; your honesty will shine through. And study other playwrights and their scripts. Be open to other possibilities, many of my plays developed into novels because I was open to the idea of expanding my work.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  The most popular post on my blog is my teachings on “How To Write A Play”. I’ve published four Journals/Handbooks on the ‘how to’ of writing fiction and script writing, developing rich characters, and story arc. Leaving 275 lined, blank pages for your work. I have also published “Monologues 4 Women”

My ten minute play, The Art of Murder developed into a series of murder mysteries (novellas) and I am currently working on the 6th book.

My Tribute to Billy Holiday, a one woman show entitled “Scent of Magnolia” has been produced here and in Europe.

Please visit my web site. It is dedicated to the craft of writing. www.writeratplay.com and find all my books and scripts on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sugarek

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