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1100 Playwright Interviews

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Nov 2, 2018

I Interview Playwrights Part 1012: Annie Harrison Elliott

Annie Harrison Elliott

Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia

Current Town: Atlanta, Georgia

Q:  What are you working on now? 

A:  Many projects involving powerful women in unusual situations. Traditional plays include a thriller, The Handprint, inspired by one of my ancestors who was killed during the Molly Maguire trials in 1860’s-70’s America. Also on the docket is a modern day look at Hedda Gabler.
I’m co-writing or co-creating two projects. The first is an immersive Frankenstein with Found Stages Theatre. I’m working on the Mary Shelley character, which fits in well with my “powerful women in unusual situations” theme. The second is a dance theatre piece co-created by Amber Bradshaw and Danielle Deadwyler entitled Unknown Woman, which is about women who dressed as men in order to fight in the Civil War. 

Writing for children is also a big interest, and something I plan to continue. I published my first children’s play this year, Math Problems, with YOUTHplays. I’m also working on my first TV project with a development company here in Atlanta, and I’m learning a lot about that industry, which is new and challenging.

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 a small child, I was easily scared. Swim class terrified me. Until one day I got tired of being scared and threw myself into the deep end of the pool-- to the shock of everyone around me.

I feel like my experiences as a writer are just me continuing to throw myself into the deep end of the pool and learning to swim as I go. To be honest, that’s what I prefer. I thrive by learning from experience.

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

A:  Some theatre companies do a GREAT job at nourishing their artists and communities. But I do think theatre can easily breed toxic environments, and that’s something to always be aware of and question.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes? 

A:  I’m impressed by people who are both talented and kind. I’m personally over the whole “tyrannical genius” trend we’ve had in the arts. I look for people as role models that represent an entirely new definition of “genius” than we’ve sometimes had in the past.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you? 

A:  Plays that have their own unique structures. Plays with a unique voice I’ve never heard before.

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

A:  Listen. Listen to other people. Listen to your own voice. Ask yourself tons of questions.

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