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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...

Oct 3, 2016

I Interview Playwrights Part 879: Marisa Smith

Marisa Smith

Hometown: Hanover, NH

Current Town: I split my time between Hanover NH and NYC

Q:  Tell me please about Mad Love.

A:  Mad Love is a four character romantic comedy about four 20somethings in NYC. It was inspired by my discussions about the frat and social culture at Dartmouth with the sorority sisters of Kappa Kappa Kappa.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  Just finished a three hander called SHE EXITS, LAUGHING, a mother daughter comedy about power, popsicles, morphine and things in closets, and a 5 character comedy called SEX AND OTHER DISTURBANCES about adultery, friendship and the end of the world.

Q:  Tell me about Smith and Kraus.

A:  S AND K publishes theater books and has over 650 titles in print. We ( my husband Eric Kraus and K) publish anything of interest to the amateur, professional and school K through college theater community. Monologue and scene books, play collections, how-to books, tons of great books for kids, and some quirky, esoteric titles like the seven hour play by IBSEN called EMPEROR AND GALILEAN that no one has ever heard of but is fantastic. If anyone has an idea for a book, please email me a one page proposal that describes the proposed book and we can take it from there. We also have a new program called PIP ( Productions in Print) whereby we publish a play (and supporting materials) that's being produced NOW and sell it in the lobby of the theater. If you are a playwright or a theater please contact me for more details and do check out our website smithandkraus.com and go to the Productions in Print section.

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'm an only child and that explains a lot. I love solitude and I spent a huge amount of time with my face in a book in many different fantasy worlds. But as an only child I'm always in search of the brothers and sisters that I never had so I look for them in the theater world. I had a very happy childhood ( shocking, i know!) and working in theater is the next best thing to being back in the sandbox or up a tree, reading..

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

A:  That more kids would attend so that they would become life long theater goer.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  I know it's corny and I'm sure I romanticize him but..Chekhov. And all the drama teachers who are passionate and introduce theater to kids.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Writing that rings true to me no matter what the universe and actors who inhabit their roles and don't "act."

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

A:  Write every day, even if it's just for 15 minutes because to some extent writing is a muscle and you have to keep it in shape. Read tons of plays. Tell a story. Read this article about Edward Albee, he gives great advice: https://www.americantheatre.org/2016/09/22/albee-the-quotable-mentor/

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Come see MAD LOVE at New Jersey Rep, a theater that ONLY produces new plays!


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