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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 19, 2020

I Interview Playwrights Part 1080: Ann Timmons

Ann Timmons

Hometown:Akron, Ohio

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY

Q:  Tell me about your show that was cancelled because of the coronavirus.

A:  It’s My Party! tells the story of the women who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment, ensuring U.S. women had the right to vote. It tells of the political maneuverings and popular protests that the two major factions, National American Woman Suffrage Association (the old guard) and the National Woman's Party (the upstarts) engaged in. Also their dismissal of the efforts of their black sisters. It deals with broken promises, institutional racism, and pervasive misogyny. It’s a play very much for our time. It’s also a hopeful story about citizen activism. And a celebration of the Suffrage Centennial of 2020. March 21st was to have been my university premiere at Bellarmine University in Louisville. I was able to Zoom in to several rehearsals, and was so impressed with what the cast was doing onstage, and the vision of the director, Megan Burnett. It is heat breaking that they will never hear the audience applaud their terrific work!

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

A:  Theatre is going to change a lot, in the face of our New Normal. Last month I would have said we need more government and corporate support, as an acknowledgment of the importance of arts, story-telling, and the connectional nature of theatre to people everywhere. Now I am thinking that the economic and political leaders of our reshaped world must prioritize all arts. It should be one of the first things they do. Theatre, especially, will provide a healing balm— a place for stressed, weary people to come together in community, to dream of better days ahead, and to find new reserves of imagination and empathy.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Theresa Rebeck and all the founding members of Honor Roll!, an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over forty - and their allies - whose goal is inclusion of these playwrights in theater.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Theatre that makes me think is what I like best. And that can take many forms—non-realistic plays; retellings/restagings of well known stories; even “well-made plays” if they have a strong argument. I also love musicals, and keep searching for my own way to convey character, theme, and plot in the same kind of magical shorthand as a good song.

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

A:  Find a writing group that reads your pages aloud. You need to hear them. Get some actor friends together, too. Listen to comments, but learn to separate the ones that involve personal taste from those that ask more craft-related questions. The first you can disregard, but the latter will lead to discoveries. Be steadfast, and be guided by your own inner vision.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  It’s My Party! is scheduled to have its Southwestern Regional Premiere at Echo Theatre in Dallas in September. 

My play Becoming Calvin is available on Amazon.com 

My one-woman show, Off the Wall: The Life and Works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman is available on Stageplays.com

And you can read my other plays on New Play Exchange!

My website:  www.annntimmons.com

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