What I love about most theater is the layers of illusion. The illusion that action is a normal, recognizable conversation. The illusion that people become sutured in and out of dramatic reality, an experience that is both symbiotic and symbolic. I’m inspired by the co-creation of a play. The writer providing the context, the director interpreting it, the actors breathing life into it, technical experts adding sensory dimensions, and of course, the audience as participants. Plays are powerful in their unique ability to address life’s questions while engaging one’s whole self.
My plays situate women in gendered paradigms. Often I use historical contexts to strengthen conflict or I place characters within traditional literary conventions such as female protagonist of a love story. I introduce unsettling themes while maintaining a comedic connection with the audience. I have often heard audience members question the reliability of my protagonist. If something is off, it must be her. In that way, I see a deepening complicity in the specter of prescribed norms. Just as in real life.
The playwrights who have inspired me most are among the greats: Paula Vogel, Eugene O’Neil, Lynn Nottage. Their seemingly effortless skill in constructing a story, an uncanny reality, is mind blowing. First and foremost, they create a place. And within that world, injustice is illuminated. Carefully and skillfully. No one accused, but all culpable. In this, there is possibility for human transformation. When a playwright connects with the audience, the universal is distilled into the personal. I believe in the power of this. I suppose, I am just as captivated by theater’s dimensions of reality as I am by its layers of illusion.
2014 If There Are Any Heavens, Hillsboro Artists Regional Theater. Scene Selected for Promising Playwrights Showcase
2014 Love Is Enough, 2014 Selection Portland Civic Theater Guild, Fertile Ground Festival / directed by Chrisse Riccaro
2013 Fortune Cookies, Staged Reading. Produced by PDX Playwrights, Fertile Ground Festival / directed by Megan Sweigert
2013 Fortune Cookies, Scene Selected, Part-Time Playhouse Productions.
2001 Love Is Enough, Staged Reading, Playwrights Center of San Francisco/ directed by Susan Nichols
1999 The Retroflector, Staged Reading, Playwrights Center of San Francisco / directed by Susan Nichols
1998 This Evening Spent & Destiny, The Game Show, LaVal's Pizza-Berkeley / directed by Susan Nichols
1998 Bicycle Built for Two, Staged Reading, Playwrights Center of San Francisco/ directed by Laura Smith