Writing is something I've always loved to do (and it always seemed to come naturally to me in school). Being a playwright was always my biggest, wildest dream as a little girl because I loved theatre and writing so much - but it's something I never thought I'd get to do. I didn't think I had something worth saying that people would be interested in hearing. It wasn't until I was at Stony Brook University back in 2011 when I was the stage manager and asst director on an original piece that I was inspired to write something I was proud enough of to want to get it on its feet.
I went to work on my first play, writing down scenes with the two characters that had been camping out in my head for a couple of years by that point. Those characters just happened to be Emily and Jason - that play later became The Empty Swing (which later turned into A Game of Roulette).
Two drafts later, I thought the play was terrible. So I gathered four friends for a super informal reading, which was just as much terrifying as a dream come true. For the first time in my life, I was going to hear the words I wrote being read out loud - something I'd dreamt about for years. But, I was naturally terrified of the feedback I would receive. I honestly went into that room prepared to throw the play out afterwards, and give the playwriting thing up.
After the reading, Cate, who read for Emily, told me that I should go for my master's in playwriting. I was shocked, I asked her if she actually thought I was that good. She told me she thought I had the potential to be that good. Coming from her - who has had professional experiences in the business, and knew her stuff - I took that to heart, and was beyond thrilled.
My next adventure found me at the Off-Broadway theatre company Primary Stages at their theatre school (community) - the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) where I spent the next two years just soaking in all the information I could from all the incredible talent I was surrounded by. While there I took classes with such playwrights as: Rogelio Martinez (The Rewrite), Kate Moria Ryan (Comedy Writing - three times), Winter Miller (The Rewrite, and Advanced Playwriting - two times), and Brooke Berman (Screenwriting)! I met so many wonderful playwrights, actors and directors through ESPA, it really does become more than just a place to take classes - it becomes your family, but more, it becomes your home!
It was surreal when after only two semesters I was invited to take the advanced playwriting class, that is invitation only, by Tessa LaNeve herself after she heard a scene from A Game of Roulette at the play festival at the end of the semester. It was at that moment I felt like maybe I am doing something right, and I am a real playwright after all!
Over this summer, I had another milestone: I was one of the playwrights selected for the first annual Midcoast Women's Playwright Residency as the Emerging Artist! Over this year I am further developing A Game of Roulette with a dramaturge, which is pretty cool.
But, in the meantime, I am back in Maine, going back to college. I plan to get my bachelor's degree in criminal justice, so I can go off to grad school in a couple of years to get my master's in playwriting!
I am just beyond thrilled with my life right now. Writing fulfills me in a way that I've never felt before. So, make sure you keep an eye out for my plays, because it won't be long now!