08 Jan RPW IV – Meet playwright Charly Evon Simpson
Letters and airplane tickets fall from the sky. Memories, like snowflakes and feathers, come in on a breeze. Grace waits for an email to come. James waits to send it. And as they wait, they replay memories, imagine futures, and deal with an uncomfortable present.
Read. Play. Write. IV playwright Charly Evon Simpson shares her thoughts on collaboration, process and what she loves about her ‘messy’ new play, While We Wait. Reserve your tickets at www.CrashboxTickets.com to see While We Wait on January 25th at 8pm.
Thoughts on Process (writing or preparing for a reading)
I think I am still figuring out my process as a writer. Right now, I tend to write in bursts and then scramble to edit my drafts before a reading or workshop. I think I do that because I find editing downright scary. What if I make the play worse? Oh man…so I try to focus all the editing into a strict time period. I am not sure if this process is the best for me, but I can also see how my process changes slightly for every reading, every workshop, every play.
Thoughts on Collaboration
Illana Stein, my director, has worked with me on two other full length plays. It is always great to work with her because at this point she knows my work well. She knows my habits and she knows my pitfalls. Illana can honestly tell me a scene isn’t working and we’ll talk about it and I’ll go back and do my best to make it better. I love workshopping plays with her and actors because I always learn something new about the play. It is great to have someone working with you that feels like they too want the piece to succeed.
Favorite moment for your play
There is a moment in the play when flower petals are falling from the sky. The main character, Grace, admits that she is allergic to flowers. And then the petals stop falling. It is a silly little moment, but I love it. I love that I can create a world where petals fall like snow and that they’ll stop falling when they find out someone is allergic.
Thoughts on New Works (what excites you about them, a memorable experience with a new play)
I love new plays. I love the possibilities inherent in them. They haven’t been done yet. The world hasn’t made the play fit into a certain box yet. Years ago, I used to work on new plays as an actor and as an assistant director. I loved facilitating the process and helping a playwright solidify their vision. Now, as a playwright, I relish the time to play, to discover another story.
What excites you about your play
It is messy! The play deals with memories and love and searching. And those things are messy. The play has paper and flower petals and other things falling from the sky, which is also messy. I think many of us try to make our lives as clean and as uncomplicated as possible and I am excited to try to muck it up as possible. I think I am most excited to see how messy the play can get without losing sight of the story and the people.