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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...

Nov 20, 2019

I Interview Playwrights Part 1068: Alexis Scheer

Alexis Scheer

Hometown: Miami, Florida.

Current Town: Boston, Massachusetts.

Q:  Tell me about Our Dear Dead Drug Lord.

A:  Our Dear Dead Drug Lord is a thriller about 4 teenage girls who try to commune with the spirit of Pablo Escobar. At its core, it's about 4 young women seeking power and agency, and the dangerous depths they go to get it. It's funny and vicious. Someone told me it "puts you in stitches, and then rips them right out," which feels right.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  A commission for Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Sensational, which goes up in January as part of their PTC's New Play Project, and a commission for Manhattan Theatre Club about Birthright/Taglit. I'm also in development land for my other plays, Laughs in Spanish and Christina. Lots of irons in the fire right now.

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 not one to quit things (real Capricorn energy), but when I was 12 I quit Hebrew school. I told my parents I wasn’t sure if I believed in god and that I wasn't ready to be Bat Mitzvahed. But really I just wanted to be in Actors Playhouse's production of Fiddler on the Roof. And I was--I played Shprintze--and to this day it remains my favorite celebration of my faith.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A:  Affordability. Radical inclusion and hospitality by making theatre affordable to attend, study, and make.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Sarah Kane, Paula Vogel, Jose Rivera, Anne Bogart.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I love theatre that reaches out to us and demands we reach back. Beautiful chaos. Divine intervention. I go to the theatre to be transformed, to have my inner alchemy changed. And that doesn't necessarily always come from shock, intellect, or acts of intimacy--I've been known to get joyfully weepy watching big Broadway musicals.

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

A:  Start before you're ready. Cultivate loves, hobbies, and practices outside of theatre. Lift up your community. Bloom where you are planted.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Our Dear Dead Drug Lord runs through January 5th at WP Theatre. www.ourdeardeaddruglord.com

Follow me on Instagram (@scheer_madness) and Twitter (@alexisscheer)

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