San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

WATER LORDS–An Interview with Out on a Limb Playwright Lizzie Silverman

on July 2, 2015
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

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


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