Monday, March 28, 2016

I Interview Playwrights Part 821: Laura Zlatos

Laura Zlatos

Hometown:  Pittsburgh, PA

Current Town:  Brooklyn, NY

Q:  Tell me about Happily After Ever.

A:  Happily After Ever is a screwball comedy that unfolds as a gender-bending sitcom and fervently disarms its audience. Yet, underneath the rapid-fire dialogue and physical comedy lurks a biting examination of gender identity in America. Confronted with the choice of gender for their intersex child, a couple struggles--baring their prejudices and those of society. Happily After Ever wears the guise of a modern sitcom to subvert society's construction of boy, girl, and the nuclear family that upholds America's ideals.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  I'm writing a companion play to Happily After Ever starring its supporting characters and titled Dharma and Jerry Get Pregnant. Because Dharma is such a dynamic character and an audience favorite, I want to delve into her story and explore her struggles. I'm also writing for the Exquisite Corpse Company's 24 hour play festival at the beginning of April and one of their larger works later in the year.

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

A:  When I was 7, my parents took me to Chincoteague to see the famous pony run. I became infatuated with a horse named Misty, who was the subject of one of my favorite books. I wrote Misty a letter that I left on her tombstone, and when my dad wrote an article about the trip for his newspaper, he published my letter. I'm still waiting to be published again so hopefully I didn't peak at 7.

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

A:  I wish that there were more and equal opportunities in theater for women, people of color, and trans people.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Sarah Kane, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrienne Kennedy, Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I am excited by theater that challenges me, surprises me, and inspires me. I am excited by theater that shakes up the status quo and theater that takes risks. I am excited by theater that gives a voice to those less heard.

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

A:  Find people who you love working with and help each other out.

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