San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

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

on July 3, 2015
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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