Thursday, March 4, 2010

INTERVIEW WITH A PLAYWRIGHT: this week, featuring Erin Bregman

Hi PF Fans,
We’re going to showcase our Resident Playwrights every Thursday. Today’s subject: Erin Bregman.


Question:
Where do you most often find inspiration?

Erin:
Everywhere! That is part of the problem. Living in San Francisco it's impossible to not encounter pieces of stories everywhere you turn. Sometimes it's a conversation you overhear. Sometimes it's a song. Sometimes it's reading something and wondering what it would be like to live in that place, experiencing those things. Most moments of inspiration for me never find their way into plays, but in some ways that's almost better--then the process becomes a huge sieve of inspired ideas, with only the best of the best finding their way through.

Question:

What one tip can you offer aspiring playwrights?

Erin:
Find people you like and respect, who like and respect you. Then make theater together. Now. Don't wait for permission (or money).

Question:
How did you get your start in playwriting? Where and when was this seed planted?

Erin:
Well, my family tells me I wrote a Thanksgiving play when I was seven, and made my younger cousin curl up on a table to play the Turkey, but since I don't really remember that, I might say 5th grade. A friend and I "adapted" (a/k/a copied almost verbatim) a book into a play that our class then put on for the other upper grades. Though that was my first play, I would probably say the real playwriting seed was planted while doing backyard summer theater in Santa Cruz in middle school. Thirteen of us spent a month writing, rehearsing, and putting on a play directed by an amazing woman named Stephanie Golino. That's where it really got going. And then I attended CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts) and took a dramatic writing class there. That was the summer before I was applying for colleges, and I liked the class so much I decided to go to school in a place that offered playwriting courses (though I never officially studied theater). This, totally coincidentally, landed me at UC Santa Barbara while Naomi Iizuka was there and I got lucky enough to take class with her for three years. That was definitely the point of no return.

Question:
What was your most embarrassing high school moment?

Erin:
Besides all of it?

Question:
Beckett or Stoppard? One word only please.

Erin:
Beckett

To read more about Erin, click here: www.playwrightsfoundation.org/index.php?p72"

1 comment:

About Bobbi C. said...

Great interview! Very inspirational and helpful.