San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

TURBULENCE–An Interview with Breaking Waves Playwright Katie Brady

Katie Brady

Katie Brady

Tell us about yourself.

I am a word-obsessed, board game-loving, tennis smashing, singer/songwriter who loves music, theater and open mindsets. I am also lucky enough to be married to my best friend and be the mother of two awesome boys. I had the privilege to front San Francisco-based bands Crackerjack Tattoo and Sweet Harriet and have enjoyed being on the other side of the curtain in Jesus Christ Superstar, 1940’s Radio Hour, The Boyfriend and Hello Dolly.

Tell us about your play.

“Turbulence” is a heart-warming comedy about a teenager flying to his first year of college on an athletic scholarship.  Chaos arises when the son reveals that he didn’t actually get the scholarship and, in fact, was not accepted to the college. It’s an exploration of authenticity and acceptance in an anxiety-riddled environment.

What was it like to work with the actors to workshop your play?

Day one I was impressed. Our auditions were 100% improvisation. I think it takes a good bit of moxie to stand in front of three playwrights and be an Ewok on vacation or a foul-mouthed grandmother. Post-audition it’s been inspiring to watch these talented folks bring the characters to life.

What’s next?

I’m currently co-writing a musical that explores some similar themes as “Turbulence.”

Katie Brady’s play “Turbulence” will be produced by Actors Alliance and San Diego Playwrights as part of the Breaking Waves Festival in the 2015 San Diego International Fringe Festival.  Performances are July 24 @ 9:00 pmJuly 25th @ 2:30 pmJuly 29 @ 6:00 pmJuly 31 @ 7:30 pm and August 2 @ 11:30 am at the Raw Space Theater.  https://sdfringe.ticketleap.com/breaking-waves/dates

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KIDNAPPING LOLA–An Interview with Breaking Waves Playwright Michael Vegas Mussman

Michael Vegas Mussman

Michael Vegas Mussman

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a theatre dork, an old-fashioned romantic, a wannabe novelist. My adorable husband is from Chile, and we live in Mission Hills with a belligerent Maltese named Sweetie.

Tell us about your play.

About a year ago I woke up from a weird dream, grabbed a yellow pad, and wrote: “Monologue from POV of woman locked in the trunk of a car.” Then I promptly forgot all about it. Months later, I signed up to write a play for Breaking Waves. At the auditions, I met the actors, and that car-trunk idea came right back into my head. Now the woman in the trunk has a name, Lola, and a story.

What was it like to work with actors to workshop your play?

It was thrilling, stressful, amazing, insane, wonderful. These actors are ridiculously creative. All I did was give them a simple premise – two guys driving an old car, woman in the trunk – and they ran with it. They practically wrote their characters’ stories from scratch. They threw so many ideas at me. I only wish I could have used more of them.

What is your next step?

I wrote a one-act a about a closeted gay man who learns the true meaning of Pride. It’s basically “A Christmas Carol” but with disco balls and rainbow flags. I call it “A Pride Pastiche.”

Last night I had this weird dream that featured drug cartels, spies, and aliens from another dimension. My goal is to work all of that into a play and take it to Broadway.

 “Kidnapping Lola” by Michael Vegas Mussman will be produced by Actors Alliance and San Diego Playwrights as part of the Breaking Waves Festival in the 2015 San Diego International Fringe Festival. “Kidnapping Lola” tells the story of Diego and Lil Bing, two partners in crime who kidnap people for money. One of them is thinking about a career change. Performances are July 24 @ 9:00 p.m., July 25 @ 2:30 p.m., July 29 @ 6:00 p.m., July 31 @ 7:30 p.m. and August 2 @ 11:30 a.m.   https://sdfringe.ticketleap.com/breaking-waves/dates

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QUARANTINE–An Interview with Breaking Waves Playwright Wesley Mullins

Wesley Mullins

Wesley Mullins

Tell us about your play.

“Quarantine” tells the story of the first night a doctor spends in isolation once she returns from treating Ebola patients overseas.  As if being confined to one room for two weeks isn’t bad enough, she soon discovers her new home is haunted by two inept ghosts.

Where did you come up with the idea? 

The doctor is inspired by real people in the news over the last year.  I’ve been fascinated by the stories of Ebola workers who risk their lives, surrounded by death, working in unimaginable conditions and then react so strangely when asked to spend time in quarantine.  I wanted to write about someone doing something heroic and then being forced into isolation where they’d have to deal with the realities of what they’d just experienced.

Because this was for the Fringe Festival, I wanted there to be something Fringe-worthy about it.  A good Fringe play features some experimental, fun elements in the storytelling.  What better way to liven up the doctor’s confinement than to put her in a room with a couple of ghosts.

This is your second year participating in the Fringe Festival.  How do you like it?

I like the festival because Fringe attendees seem to want to have a good time; they are a welcoming, accommodating audience.  I’m usually afraid to take risks in my writing, but the Fringe Festival is the perfect spot to explore new genres and aesthetics.

“Quarantine” by Wesley Mullins is produced by Actors Alliance and San Diego Playwrights as part of the Breaking Waves Festival in the 2015 San Diego International Fringe Festival.  Things go from bad to worse for an Ebola doctor.  After she’s ordered to spend time in quarantine, she discovers that the room where she’ll spend the next two weeks is haunted by two ghosts. Performances are July 24 @ 9:00 p.m., July 25 @ 2:30 p.m., July 29 @ 6:00 p.m., July 31 @ 7:30 p.m. and August 2 @ 11:30 a.m.   https://sdfringe.ticketleap.com/breaking-waves/dates

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TINY–An Interview with Out on a Limb Playwright Tori Rice

Tori Rice (Photo Credit Dana Patrick)

Tori Rice (Photo Credit Dana Patrick)

Tell us about yourself.

I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pen. I’m a Mom, a Teaching Artist, a Playwright and an Actress. I was born in Indiana, raised in Arizona, and have lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and now here.   It’s like I just kept moving further west.  Next stop . . . the ocean. (Tori’s website  www.toriking.com)

Tell us about your play.

The inspiration for “Tiny” came out of an article I read about the thousands of people who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.  The article spoke about the ‘ambiguous loss’ suffered when there is no verification of a missing person’s status as alive or dead.  I started reading up on disappearances, and how those who are left behind cope differently.   I wondered what would happen if a child disappeared out of a home without a trace–how would those parents navigate through that.  Sometimes I write about things that scare the crap out of me.  This is definitely one of those plays.  And I don’t know if I’d have written the play this soon without the competition from Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out on a Limb (OoaL).  I read that article about ‘ambiguous loss’ right around the time of the deadline requesting a ‘Statement of Intent.’  It was Lizzie Silverman, who was produced in last year’s OoaL (and now for her second year in a row!) who encouraged me to enter.  The stars aligned there for me.

What are your challenges? What are your successes?

I have a very strong inner critic.  I tend to overthink and overtalk.  I fear that I am not all that eloquent when I try to talk about writing, or shoot, anything in general.  I carry ideas around for a long time . . . sometimes so long that instead of percolating, they can stagnate.   Balancing life in general is another challenge.   But I do have endurance, which I think is key for a writer.  And I love storytelling.  I love to hear other people’s stories, I love crafting a story, and I absolutely love the process of collaboration.  I recently enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with my immersive play, Sisters in the System, commissioned by Playwrights Project: Telling Stories, Giving Voice to Foster Youth. (See https://sandiegoplaywrights.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/sisters-in-the-system-an-immersive-theatre-piece-by-tori-rice/.)

Truly though, each play now feels like a success because my work has matured so much over the years.  I’m grateful for new play development opportunities.  Mad props to all those supporting new play development in San Diego.  There are so many talented artists here; I feel incredibly lucky.

What is your next step?

I’ve been writing shorter plays, so my next step is a new full length.

Thanks for talking with us, Tori! Good luck with “Tiny 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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WATER LORDS–An Interview with Out on a Limb Playwright Lizzie Silverman

Lizzie Silverman

Lizzie Silverman

Tell us about yourself.

I wrote my first play in high school. When the spring one-act festival came around, I directed, stage managed, and ran lights for my own show. What a whirlwind! But I was hooked. In college I wrote frequently for Nomads Theatre Company, a student organization at UCSD that produces only new works. I also worked extensively on the New Perspective Festival for two summers. I’ve had workshop productions at 10th Avenue Theatre through Playwrights Project, OnStage Playhouse through Nomads, and productions of numerous shorter plays, including a piece in That 24-Hour Thing at last year’s Fringe Festival. I am the Office Manager at Playwrights Project, so even when I’m not writing, I’m helping facilitate other people’s writing!

Tell us about your play.

When I started writing “Water Lords” a year ago, the drought was barely on anyone’s radar. Awareness has increased since then, but even with photos and water infographics circulating, nobody wants to talk about water issues because water is so boring. Nobody wants to talk about the snooze-fest that is desalinization pros and cons, the taboo and disgusting idea of recycling, and the dreaded word “conservation” that means we have to be inconvenienced and change our daily routines . . . all for a problem we may not even personally see yet. Given the complex circumstances of water in the state – antiquated water rights laws, aging infrastructure, lack of public interest, etc. – water managers are doing an incredible job. But what if we didn’t take any action? What would the current trends look like if they were extrapolated to their somewhat hilarious extremes, and that became the new status quo?

What are your challenges? What are your successes?

With this play, research was the major challenge – not because it’s difficult to find information, but because there’s so much! The water situation is incredibly complicated and I find it all fascinating. It was tricky to strike a balance because I didn’t want the play to get bogged down with too many facts, but I also wanted this fictional future to be somewhat plausible. Some of the fun facts that I couldn’t fit into the play have been funneled into my blog instead, which you can visit at http://www.lizsilverman.com/tag/water/

I think the success of this play is in its relevancy to the here and now. There are very few opportunities like Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out on a Limb in terms of such a quick turnaround from the writing of a script to production.

What is your next step?

I will continue to work on “Water Lords” and various other scripts, but I am also very excited to return to my back-burner project: an epic science fiction space adventure novel. Look for that in about ten years.

Thanks for talking with us, Lizzie! Good luck with “Water Lords” 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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