Friday, January 29, 2016

Interview with a Playwright: Christina Gorman

The 2016 Season of Rough Readings is beginning, and with it a fresh set of new plays still in development. The Early February Rough Readings features Fidelis, a brilliant new work by playwright Christina Gorman. We were able to speak with her about her work and process, and she's shared some wonderful insight below:

Rachel Finkelstein: Thanks for your time, let's get started! So much of the play is dedicated to getting to know the main character, Nick. The audience clearly sees him an honorable man who has dedicated his life to the Marines. Why was it so important for you to emphasize this to the audience?

Christina Gorman
Christina Gorman: Growing up, the Marine Corps was revered in my household.  My father served in Vietnam, so he experienced the absolute worst of what it means to serve.  He would also say he experienced the best: the discipline, the camaraderie, the self-confidence.  His time as a Marine was a double edged sword for him, and I wanted to capture that by showing the positive effects being in the armed forces can have on one's character.

RF: How did you get to know this character so intimately?

CG: I'm glad it feels that way.  In constructing the play, I wanted to keep the audience as close to Nick's journey as possible.  I wanted to keep us inside his head, so we experience the world through his eyes and experience the emotions he feels.  So I did a lot of research.  And, as I said, I'm the daughter of a former Marine.

RF: The play jumps around in time - why did you choose that method of storytelling?

CG: Nick's past and present are so closely tied together, it's almost all one moment, so I chose to have the play unfold in a way that, at least on a subconscious level, reflects that.  The play spills out the way our thoughts do when we are at a critical point in our lives and we ask ourselves, "How the hell did I get here?"

RF: Is there anything you would want audience members to keep in mind before they see the play?

CG: Though the play takes place in the 1960s-70s, I hope audience members will see the strong parallels to what's happening today.

RF: Will do! Thanks again for speaking with us.

The Rough Reading Series is Pay What You Can. The 2016 series begins with "Fidelis" by Christina Gorman, playing Monday, February 1st, 7:30pm at Roble Hall, Stanford University and Tuesday, February 2nd, 1:30pm at Custom Made Theatre in San Francisco. 

Read more about "Fidelis", Christina Gorman, and the Rough Reading Series at  Playwrightsfoundation.orgSave a Seat with an RSVP! Email or call 415.626.2176.