San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

SEPTEMBER AND HER SISTERS–An Interview with Out on a Limb Playwright Jenny Lane

on June 29, 2015
Jenny Lane

Jenny Lane

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up just outside of Detroit, thinking I wanted to be a performer. That lasted until I got to college where I split my time fairly evenly between theatre studies and creative writing, and it was in my senior year of college that I wrote my first play. It was a total mess, and after working in theatre administration for a couple of years, I decided to go back to school to formally train in dramatic writing. So, I went to Columbia (a program headed at the time by Chuck Mee, where I got to work with such writers as Sheila Callaghan, Lucy Thurber, and Sarah Ruhl) and graduated in 2011. Then, I worked as the administrative director for the League of Professional Theatre Women for several years before making the cross-country move from New York to San Diego. Now, I teach (playwriting, fiction, and creative non-fiction), and split my time fairly evenly between playwriting and fiction writing.

So that’s been my career trajectory. Outside of all that, I am obsessed with travel, I can’t read enough books, I love all things water-related (swimming, kayaking, boating, whale watching), I play in a pool league (though not very well) and am a growing photography enthusiast (I got a Nikon D3200 last Christmas). My boyfriend and I live with our Crested Gecko, Juno, in University Heights.

For more information about me, check out my website at jennifer-lane.net.

Tell us about your play.

So, about a year ago, I caught an open mic night at Queen Bee’s in North Park. I was so inspired by the raw talent of the spoken word performers that I wrote my very first spoken word poem — the poem that is the opening of “September and Her Sisters.” The play really formed around that poem, and became an exploration of all different types of love.

What are your challenges? What are your successes?

Oh, man… Well, my biggest challenge right now is trying to balance writing for money and working on my passion projects. The majority of my income right now is from freelance and ghost writing, some of which is creative. So while it’s a fun gig, it’s difficult to strike a balance between getting that work done, and getting my own work done.

My successes… I think, really, getting to be a part of Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out On A Limb (OoaL) festival is my biggest success in the last few months. I left a huge network in New York, where I was a part of writing groups, and having readings or workshops or productions all the time. Over the last two years, I’ve had to build my network again from scratch, and I’m just so thrilled to finally have a play going up in the city where I live. I’ve missed it a lot over the last 2 years, and I can’t wait to further build my community.* I have really loved working with everyone involved in OoaL, and hope I have the chance to work with them all again.

*To that end, if you’re a SoCal Theatre Artist and you’d like to connect, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter, or you can e-mail me at Jenny@jennifer-lane.net. I definitely want to hear from you!

What is your next step?

I’ve actually already started expanding “September and Her Sisters” from a 30-page One-Act into a full-length. So my next step is to finish that, and then beg my amazing cast to do a reading of it with me!

Outside of “September,” I have a few other upcoming projects: I’m headed to Vermont in July to work on a generative theatre piece at Bennington, I have a workshop of a new play called The Burning Brand in the fall, and I have a production of a new play called Agents of Azeroth going up in DC in the winter.

Thanks for talking with us, Jenny! Good luck with “September and Her Sisters” and Out on a Limb!

Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out on a Limb runs July 10-12 and July 17-19. For more information and tickets visit http://www.scrippsranchtheatre.org/out-on-a-limb/.

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