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1000 Playwright Interviews The first interview I posted was on June 3, 2009.  It was Jimmy Comtois.  I decided I would start interview...

Mar 13, 2016

I Interview Playwrights Part 819: Gracie Gardner

Gracie Gardner

Hometown: I’m from a town in Connecticut where a disproportionate number of families give their kids last names for first names.

Current Town: Brooklyn

Q:  Tell me about Primary.

A:  This play is about the difference between who people think they are versus what other people decide they are. It takes place during the nineties. There’s a family, an intruder, Sailor Moon mythos, and a primary campaign for local office.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  A show about fencers and a show about hunters.

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

A:  My parents read a book on parenting before I was born. It told them to call my infant poops “nice.” Apparently, every babysitter I had during my sensorimotor development was instructed to change my diapers while saying “nice poochies” and “wonderful poochies.” This story has haunted me. I’m worried it made me permanently complacent. So to compensate I’m hypercritical. I get suspicious when I feel precious about my scripts.

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

A:  Once I was at a show where an older woman in the audience, bless her, yelled out, “Whyyyy??” It was like, this woman with a walker comes out to a play and she sees right through you and she’s having none of it. That breaks my heart. I think theater has a moral obligation to make some kind of argument for being alive.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Lately my heroes are my pals who are working their tushes off making and putting up meaningful work. For a long time I’ve admired the Forsythe Company and Meredith Monk.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A: It’s great to see vivid perspectives, and it’s definitely exciting when I think, “I didn’t know you could do that…”

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

A:  Get actors you like to read new work out loud.

Q:  Plug your upcoming projects:

A:  Come see Sanguine Theater Co.’s production of PRIMARY at IRT April 6th-24th! Tickets here: http://irttheater.org/3b-development-series/winner-of-project-playwright-2016/

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