• Playwright Kristina Leach: On the Process of Writing "Cursed.", Her New Work for SCR’s Teen Players

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Apr 23, 2018
    Cursed Logo
    Kristina Leach Photo

    ​Playwright Kristina Leach.

    Kristina Leach is a playwright, director and actor who has been working professionally in theatre for more than 15 years. As an instructor in SCR's Theatre Conservatory, she has taught kids, teens and adults. Her plays have been produced in New York and Los Angeles and in the U.K. Leach recently took time out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions for us about Cursed., her new work for SCR’s Teen Players.

    When did you realize that you wanted to become a playwright?

    I've always felt that theatre saved my life. I've been an actor since I was about 10 years old. The first play I was ever in—I was hooked and I didn't need to be ON stage to feel that sense of “home”. I became a playwright, in earnest, in college. I think I've always understood the power of language. I'm almost positive that's what drew me into the world of theatre in the first place.

    With Cursed., how did you approach writing a play for teen actors?

    I started sitting in on Hisa Takakuwa’s Teen Player classes in January. Hisa was so amazing and she basically tailored acting exercises and projects to help me visualize these students in what would become our play. Hisa and I talked a lot about concept and structure—and then, I went home and wrote. When writing for adults, you're typically writing in a vacuum. You might have some actors in mind (particularly if you're lucky enough to work with a company) but the process is, for the most part, just you and your laptop. The challenging aspect of writing for a group like Teen Players is – there are 20 of them and it's my job to, hopefully, give them all something meaningful to do or say. Lucky for me, this group is so talented and interesting it was a gift to be able to do it.

    Cursed. is a continuation of the classic Greek story of Antigone.

    I've always been drawn in by the parts of the story that aren't on the page—the “what ifs” of a classic fascinate me. I knew that working with a group as sizable as Teen Players meant the play needed to be epic in scale, but it also needed to resonate with actors of their age. I re-read Antigone and realized that here’s this young adult woman, dealing with some deeply troubling events. Hisa and I started talking about it and I couldn't get the idea of the siblings (Antigone, Ismene, Eteocles and Polynices) out of my head. Their “what ifs” kept me up at night—and so, Cursed. was born.

    What was the first play that really resonated with you?

    Oh, no! The first play? That was so long ago; I don't even know what that might’ve been. I mean, it could have been The Three Little Pigs, as I've been going to theatre since before I could talk. But, the thing I find absolutely miraculous is that I continue to be moved and inspired by theatre. Plays still resonate with me—even after 35 years. That fact has never ceased to amaze me. (And now I'm going to be up all night trying to remember the first play I was ever floored by. Good question!)

    How did being a member of SCR’s artistic team as Literary Associate inform your own writing?

    Working in the Literary Department (a total of five years at SCR) was such a great gig. It kept me up on what writers were writing about all over the country, and I loved reading new plays by writers who would eventually become hugely successful—such a great part of the job! ​Although I was sad to leave in 2015, I started writing plays again and I haven't stopped. And even though I work mostly on the other side of the building now, in the Theatre Conservatory, even just being around an environment that’s built for playwrights—like the one here at SCR—continues to have an immeasurable influence on me as a writer and a teacher.

    As a playwriting instructor, what advice do you offer your students who are hoping to see their work produced at some point?

    Besides the usual “keep working, keep trying, keep writing” advice that I usually try to impart to my students, I also very plainly let them know that if a theatre doesn’t pick up your play, produce it yourself. Get it out there. But more important than that—keep at it. You never know when something you see or hear will inform your work. Keep writing it. Keep hearing it. Keep reading plays, keep seeing plays, keep watching movies, walking through museums with strange and wonderful art installations, go to slam poetry nights, listen to podcasts—keep being inspired. There are always writing opportunities out there for every age and background, so you owe it to yourself, as an artist, to feed the beast.

    When you’re not writing or teaching playwriting, what else do you like to do?

    I'm a mom of a 6-year-old boy, so I love hanging out with him. I now have more knowledge of superheroes and Pokémon than I ever thought possible.

    What can audiences expect when they come to see Cursed.?

    Expect to see a little unrequited love, a little sibling rivalry and some sword fighting. With Hisa’s remarkable direction, we’ve been able to create such an interesting world using typical “Greek Style” smashed up against the (at times) contemporary sounding dialogue. Whether you’re an expert in the plays of Sophocles or if you’re a little put off by the notion of the “Greek Tragedy”, I think there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this production. Plus, I think audiences are going to be blown away by the performances—these actors are the real deal.

    Learn more and buy tickets.

  • Meet Sofia Alvarez, Playwright of "Amos & Boris"

    by 
    Lena Romano
     | Apr 19, 2018
    Amos & Boris Logo

    Playwright Sofia Alvarez: From Page to Stage

    Playwright Sofia Alvarez

    ​Playwright Sofia Alvarez

    I wrote my first play in fourth grade and have wanted to be a playwright ever since. In high school, I wrote and directed a play inspired by the poetry of Sylvia Plath and went on to study literature and theatre at Bennington College. My first professional play, Between Us Chickens, was produced here at South Coast Rep in 2011 while I was a playwriting fellow at Juilliard. Since then, I have made my living writing plays, TV shows and movies. I also teach screenwriting at NYU. I recently wrote the screenplay adaptation of Jenny Han’s best selling young adult novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; it will premiere on Netflix this summer. Amos & Boris is an adaptation of one of my favorite children’s books. Theatre and books are my two great loves and I am thrilled to have established a career that combines them both.

    Sofia Alvarez is a playwright and screenwriter, whose work has been produced and read at prominent theatre companies around the country. Her play, Between Us Chickens, premiered at South Coast Repertory in 2011. Here, she answers a few questions for us about adapting the children’s classic Amos & Boris into a musical for young audiences.

    Did you read Amos & Boris as a child? What inspired you to adapt this story into a play?

    Sadly, I never read Amos & Boris as a child. I discovered the book while I was working as a nanny in graduate school. Of all the books I read to my charge, Amos & Boris was one that, no matter how many times we went through it, I never got sick of it (nor did he!). I thought it was so beautiful, emotional and moving that it would make a great musical. I inquired about the rights, and six years later, here we are!

    What were your favorite books growing up? Are there other children’s books you would like to adapt into a play?

    My favorite children’s book was this very dark Wilhelm Grimm story called Dear Mili. It was illustrated by Maurice Sendak and I just loved it. Like Amos & Boris, it is also about death and mortality, although I don’t think I realized how much so when I was a child.

    I’d never written theatre for a young audience before Amos & Boris, and I really enjoyed it. Dan [Roland Tierney] and I are already talking about other possible adaptations we could tackle. I love From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler and think that could make an interesting stage piece. There is another book I remember loving in elementary school called Hannah is a Palindrome about a girl whose family buys a hotel. I searched for this book online for months before discovering the title had been changed to Welcome to Grand View, Hannah. I recently bought that for a reread, so who knows. But I think more theatre for young audiences shows are definitely in my future.

    What was your path to becoming a playwright?

    I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents are writers, so I always knew that was a career option, and I loved performing in the Christmas musicals my Catholic parochial school put on every year, so I guess that’s how I got the idea I could be a playwright. The first play I ever wrote was a spoof on Snow White called Pretty Princess and the Seven Cockatoos. I was in fourth grade and the idea was for me and my friends to rehearse the play at recess and then perform it for our class. I wrote and directed a play about Sylvia Plath called Blue Hours for my senior project in high school and then went to Bennington College, where I studied literature and theat​re. After college, I worked in the Blue Man Group costume shop and as an assistant in the theat​re department at CAA, a big talent agency. That job was great because I got to see dozens of plays I never would have been able to afford on my own. The whole time, I kept writing and directing on my own time and applied to everything I could that had an open submission policy. This paid off as I eventually left to attend the Royal Court Young Writer’s Program in London and then Juilliard.

    What is the difference between writing a play for children and a play aimed at adults?

    When I am writing for adults, I really just try to keep myself interested and the same was true for this project. It was important to me not to try and write down to a younger audience. Based on why I like the original Amos & Boris and also Dear Mili and the other books I was drawn to as a child, kids are interested in some pretty intense subjects. I figured I would write the script how I wanted to write it, and if there was a problem, someone would tell me. Ideally, we have made a play that both kids and adults will respond to, which was always the goal.

    The real difference between this show and my other projects is simply that this is a musical and thus a collaboration with my composer, Daniel Roland Tierney. Writing with a collaborator was very different than how I usually tackle a play. But I think Dan and I were lucky in that neither of us had written a musical before, so we got to create our own way of doing it. I remember at the start of this whole process I asked Dan how he used to write songs with his band. He told me that he would write various pieces of music and then send them to their singer and lyricist who would sing over the ones he responded to, creating the lyrics as he went. I had no prior experience as a lyricist to compare, so I suggested we just work that way as well and that's actually how Dan and I wrote the first drafts of many of the songs that ended up in the show: him writing a piece of music, emailing it to me, me singing over it and sending it back.

    Learn more about Amos & Boris and buy tickets.

  • Party Play: "Little Black Shadows"

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Apr 16, 2018

    From the opening scene, Little Black Shadows captured the First Night audience’s attention and never let up, delivering an emotional evening of powerful drama and moving performances. For nearly two hours, award-winning playwright Kemp Powers’ historical, family drama enthralled the audience as theatregoers were transported to the “Big House” of a Georgia cotton plantation in the 1850s.

    Along with laughter—and some tears—the First Night audience showed their appreciation for the world premiere of Little Black Shadows with generous applause and a standing ovation. Theatregoers greatly enjoyed the extraordinary performances of the cast under the direction of May Adrales, in addition to the fantastical elements and shadow-like projections featured in the set design.

    Led by actors Giovanni Adams (Colis) and Chauntae Pink (Toy), who reprised their respective roles from the play’s reading at the 2016 Pacific Playwrights Festival, the entire ensemble delivered impressive performances while giving audiences a glimpse into life in pre-Civil War Georgia. The cast also includes Daniel Bellusci, Mark Doerr, Elyse Mirto and Emily Yetter.

    Honorary Producers, the Playwrights Circle members who were in attendance for First Night included Julie and Robert Davey, Janet and Michael Hards, Yvonne and Damien Jordan, Pam and Jim Muzzy, Michael Oppenheim, Joy and Peter Sloan, and Julia Voce.

    Playwrights Circle members Peter and Joy Sloan enjoyed seeing the play and commented, “From under the bed comes something scary…it is the historical Truth of children slaves. Kemp Powers’ Little Black Shadows speaks truth, through the ‘mouths of babes.’ An eye-opening and stomach-churning new work that brings light to an unknown part of our history.”

    Playwrights Circle member Michael Oppenheim was also in attendance on First Night and described the play as, “An unforgettable, profoundly haunting and shocking dramatization of an aspect of slavery that is probably all but entirely unknown to most people."

    Guests who attended the cast party, co-sponsored by the Center Club, were welcomed to the elegant venue with a beautiful tableau of white roses and greenery. Mason jars filled with moss and tea lights and covered by burlap tops were also scattered throughout the event space.

    Among the menu highlights was a scrumptious mac & cheese bar with a selection of toppings such as Andouille sausage, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, fresh peas and chopped green onions. The festive crowd also enjoyed an array of delectable passed hors d’oeuvres including mini buttermilk fried chicken skewers with honey mustard dipping sauce, butter bean ragu with pork belly and corn fritters with Cajun remoulade. Tempting treat including Georgia peach tarts, provided a sweet finish to the celebratory soiree.

    The evening’s signature cocktail was “Georgia Peach Punch”—a fitting libation for Powers’ Southern Gothic play that was comprised of whiskey, peach schnapps and sweet and sour liqueur, served over ice.

    First Night guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the entire cast, director May Adrales and playwright Kemp Powers in the Center Club’s chic setting. All the while, lively conversation continued to swirl around Little Black Shadows, a compelling testament to the human spirit from one of America’s most promising playwrights.

    Learn more and buy tickets.

  • Pacific Playwrights Festival 2018: New Play Starter Kit

    by 
    SCR Staff
     | Apr 13, 2018

    Pacific Playwrights Festival

    South Coast Repertory’s annual Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) is a major national showcase for new plays and it's this weekend—April 20-22. The three-day festival attracts theatre professionals and new-play lovers from across the nation, who are drawn by the chance to be the first to see some of the best new plays in the country.

    This PPF New Play Starter Kit is your guide to getting the most out of your PPF weekend.

    Get PPF Updates and Join the Conversation
    Follow SCR on Twitter at @SouthCoastRep for updates throughout the weekend.
    Connect with us and other PPF attendees, tweet with us using #PPF18.

    Go Behind-the-Scenes of PPF
    Follow us on Instagram at @SouthCoastRep for behind-the-scenes photos of the festival. Follow our PPF story on Snapchat at @SouthCoastRep. Get a look at the PPF weekend through the eyes of SCR Communications Associate Nicholas Pilapil.

    New Play Development at SCR
    SCR has produced more than 500 plays over its more​ than five-decade history. And the number continues to climb as we watch plays developed here go on to other productions across the country. Check out the lobby display to see where some of our new plays have gone.

    The South Coast Repertory Podcast
    Festival co-directors John Glore and Kimberly Colburn dish on how this year’s festival lineup developed, how they select plays and more.

    PPF Playwrights Panel: What Does It Mean to Be a Playwright in America Today?
    Sunday, April 22, at 9 a.m., Julianne Argyros Stage
    Skyler Gray, director of new play development at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, moderates the panel discussion. He and the writers will discuss what it means to be a playwright in America today. As writers, do they feel the need to respond to the ever-changing political landscape? Why or why not? Do they feel a responsibility to tell certain stories in this time? Admission to the panel discussion is free; no reservation is required.

    Experience a PPF Play!
    There's no better way to experience PPF than by seeing a new play. Learn more and buy tickets to the full productions and new play reading​s here.

  • Meet the Cast: "Little Black Shadows"

    by 
    Tania Thompson
     | Apr 06, 2018
    Little Black Shadows Cast

    ​Mark Doerr, Giovanni Adams, Daniel Bellusci, Chauntae Pink, Emily Yetter and Elyse Mirto in Little Black Shadows.

    Two of the six actors in the world premiere of Kemp Powers’ Little Black Shadows have been with the play from the beginning—when it started being developed at South Coast Repertory nearly two years ago. All of the cast members are returning to SCR—where they celebrate the opportunity to create their characters for the first time. Read on to learn some of their secrets, indulgences and more.


    Adams-Giovanni

    Giovanni Adams
    My character is Colis.
    My previous credit at SCR is the Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) reading of Little Black Shadows.
    My other credits include The Model Apartment, Mount Misery, One Night in Miami… (by Kemp Powers, world premiere), Br’er Cotton, The Recommendation, Miss Julie, King Lear, “Criminal Minds, “Grey’s Anatomy,” Nina.
    The book I read as a child, in secret: I wouldn't say I read anything in secret. Despite growing up in Jackson, Miss., I had liberal parenting from my social worker mother who gifted me pamphlets on the many changes I could expect from my pre-pubescent body, though most things were out in the open. Oddly enough, I was also born into a very religious extended family and I remember being obsessed with the Christian apocalyptic Left Behind book series; I gobbled them suckers up like Harry Potter!
    The movie that made a big impression on me: Dirty Dancing for sure! That movie told the story way better than momma's sex pamphlets! I remember watching Patrick Swayze's moving hips and dipping the ladies and thought, "How can I be like that guy!"
    Something else that had an impact: Seeing Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre was definitely a powerful encounter. I was a middle school dance student, in the public performing arts school in Jackson, and seeing those beautiful black bodies in motion I was arrested at first by the magic of their leaps and turns. But, on a much deeper level, I saw my story, witnessed maybe for the first time, a life I knew in the movement, music and the emotion. Watching a tape of them performing "Revelations", no doubt, convinced me there was a place for me in the art world. ​(Watch "Revelations" here.)
    Colis is: Bright-eyed and curious. He knows no other life, other than his position as slave/servant to his childhood master, Daniel. Having said that, like any other boy, he takes pride in watching over and looking out for Daniel. He's competitive and wants the world to know it; he wants to be seen and affirmed. So, it only makes sense that his biggest wish, however good he's convinced he has it living under Daniel's bed, is to see his momma! More than anything, he wants her to tell him he's valued and loved.
    I love working on a new play: Because I feel the excitement and responsibility of bringing something new into the world. I've been with this play since the first public workshop that May [Adrales] directed two years ago at the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Lucky me, this is also my second world premiere with Kemp [Powers]. And I feel just that, so lucky to be involved in work that matters.
    My literary hero: Of course, it would be too hard to name just one. Elizabeth Alexander—poet, essayist and playwright—is a personal hero of mine. As my professor at Yale, she was my introduction to the black literary canon and helped me imagine a life as an artist.
    The dessert I indulge in: My momma's pound cake...cuz it reminds me of home.


    Bellusci-Daniel

    Daniel Bellusci
    My character is Daniel.
    My previous credit at SCR is Ella Enchanted: The Musical.
    My other credits include The Fantasticks, Urinetown, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Rock of Ages, Merrily We Roll Along, Hit Song!
    The book I read as a child, in secret: I was obsessed with a young adult fantasy series called The Spiderwick Chronicles. It was blessed with a bad movie adaptation.
    The story that had a lasting impact on me: The one with the heaviest impact on my life would have to be Harry Potter. Growing up with those characters was a blast and the series really solidified my love for fantasy novels.
    Daniel is: A sweet, sensitive momma's boy who loves his musical instrument—the flute—as much as he loves his mother. He is not the man his father wants him to be.
    I love working on a new play: Because I get to collaborate with the playwright. It is such a joy to be able to have Kemp [Powers] around to give us his insight into the piece and to make changes for us on the fly in rehearsals.
    My literary hero is: Patrick Rothfuss. He is the author of my favorite book and series ever, The Name of the Wind.


    Doerr-Mark

    Mark Doerr
    My character is Father.
    My previous credits at SCR include Studio SCR (Ameryka, Track 3, Big Shot).
    My other credits include The Visit (Broadway), Sharon: The Musical (off-Broadway), The Treatment, Peace in Our Time, The Malcontent, Liberty Inn: The Musical, “Mad Men,” “Leverage,” “Bones,” “Lie to Me,” Red Tails, Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles II.
    I didn’t have a book that I read secretly as a child because: My family were big readers, so I never really read in secret. I was one of those kids who would get obsessed by something, go grab books from the library to read all about it, and then lose interest a few months later when I was on to a new obsession. When we went on summer vacations, my mom and dad would bring a bag of books that they wanted to read in the evenings, so my brother and I would bring some as well. I read in bed at night a whole lot, and constantly fell asleep with books in my hands. One of the things I used to read in bed was the Encyclopedia Britannica. My father’s old encyclopedia set ended up in my bedroom, so I read entries on things like the solar system, how to throw a curve ball, Harry Houdini and whatever seemed interesting. The funny thing is, I do the same thing now, but with a laptop and the Internet. And sometimes I fall asleep while reading with that on my lap, too.
    The story that had a big impact on me: A school production of A Christmas Carol that I did in sixth grade. Up to that point, I was a bit of a cut-up in school, not always paying attention or doing my work, causing trouble and being a distraction to just about everyone around me. There were going to be students and teachers in the show, so I went to the audition because a friend of mine was auditioning. I ended up getting cast as Harry Cratchit. Rehearsals were fun, but when we got in front of the audience for the first time and I got a laugh on one of my lines, it was like a huge light bulb went on. I decided my mission in that show was to make everyone laugh, both onstage and off, so I would make up new lines every performance just to see if I could get everyone to laugh. It worked. I had the cast laughing and the audience laughing and I thought, “Hey, this is a whole lot of fun and I’m good at it. I have to keep doing this.” I’m not sure the rest of the cast or the director entirely appreciated my newfound mission, but it gave me something to focus my unbounded energy towards and led me to the path of becoming an actor.
    Father is: The head of a family in 1851 who owns a Georgia cotton plantation. He wants to move the family to Louisiana where he can get more land and run a sugar plantation so they’ll make even more money. He’s worried that his son isn’t capable enough to help him or even take over for him some day, so he plans to get him prepared. Some people might say he can be harsh, but I think he’s just passionate.
    I enjoy working on a new play because: I love the mystery of it. When you’re doing a known play, you typically have an idea of how it will be received by an audience. You know if it’s funny or not, how it’s been reviewed in the past and, if it’s a classic work, there is probably already a set of expectations of both the great performances and productions that everyone is aware of and by which you will be judged. With a new play, all of that is unknown. It’s like starting out on a great expedition to uncover all those answers. You have no idea how people will react to it, whether they’ll empathize with certain characters or whether the plot will resonate with them. Audiences will only judge it based on who they are on the day when they experience it in the room. It’s especially exciting when the expedition is led by smart, passionate people like May [Adrales] and Kemp [Powers], who bring so much creativity and care to the process.
    My literary hero: Wow. That’s hard. Putting aside playwrights—since that seems like cheating for an actor—I would say that two of the writers who had a huge impact on my life, if judged by the fact that I read their biggest novels multiple times each, would have to be Frank Herbert and Robert Pirsig. In high school, I read Herbert's entire Dune series twice and Dune itself four times. And in high school and college, I read [Robert M.] Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance five times. Just thinking about them now makes me want to go read them again….
    My favorite dessert indulgence is: Generally whatever is within arms’ reach….


    Mirto-Elyse

    Elyse Mirto
    My character is Mother.
    My previous credit at SCR is Shakespeare in Love (as Queen Elizabeth).
    My other credits include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, As You Like It, Collective Rage, A Flea in Her Ear, Figaro, The Guardsman, Steel Magnolias, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Next Year in Jerusalem, “NCIS,” “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Last Ship.”
    I didn't read in secret: I only acted in secret. Making up elaborate scenarios that I’d act out in my room, behind closed doors.
    Mother is: (Hmmm what is her name?) is a product of her times. Not a mean woman, but a privileged woman concerned with appearances and perceptions of others in her community. Outspoken but ultimately knows her place as all the characters do in this play. She says “cruelty to animals and slaves is NOT normal behavior.” Yet she believes, like Father, that “God gave us the cursed children of Ham to aid us (white people) in our mission so that we might be fruitful.” It’s hard for me to stomach that and to play it as an actress, but that is the task at hand: to show how these people were and how distorted and grotesque one's views and beliefs can be.
    I love working on a new play because: It’s exciting to do a world premiere knowing you are the first actor to put your stamp on a character that many others will eventually play.
    My literary hero: Well, I don't know if I have a literary hero, but I'm partial to Ayn Rand, Paulo Coelho, William Shakespeare and Joseph Campbell.
    My favorite dessert indulgence: Ohhhh! Dessert is my favorite meal! I'm a dark chocolate fiend, especially when combined with either mint or peanut butter and I’ll never turn down ice cream!


    Pink-Chauntae

    Chauntae Pink
    My character is Toy.
    My previous credit at SCR is the (PPF) reading of Little Black Shadows.
    My other credits include Bulrusher, The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Scream, “Two Broke Girls,” “Franklin and Bash,” “American Koko,” Straight Outta Compton, I Do…Until I Don’t.
    The book I read as a child in secret: A Divine Revelation of Hell. I was really into apologetics from an early age.
    The recent film that had an impact on me: Black Panther. I can honestly say it was the first time I saw black femininity portrayed in such a positive light, strong and intelligent. Natural. Tender. And sweet. Nuanced—like me.
    Toy is: A child slave who sleeps under her master’s bed. She is as innocent and imaginative as she is maternal and nurturing. This is the only life she has ever known and she is truly content with things, just the way they are.
    I love working on a new play because of: New discoveries I always end up making about myself as a person. There’s something about inhabiting a new character that sort of inadvertently holds a mirror up to you a lot of times.
    My literary hero: Brené Brown. She taught me to view my vulnerability as my strength and not a weakness
    My favorite dessert indulgence: Cheesecake! Carrot cheesecake and red velvet cheesecake ... don’t make me choose between them!!


    Yetter-Emily

    ​Emily Yetter
    My character is Mittie.
    My previous credits at SCR include The Night Fairy, OZ 2.0.
    My other credits include The Exorcist, Peter Pan (national tour), Oregon Trail, The Strangers Experience, “Grimm,” “Spooked,” “Relationship Goals,” Project X.
    The book I read as a child, in secret: Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snoggings: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson.
    The film that had a lasting impact on me: Requiem for a Dream was my favorite movie for a long time. I was so affected by it because it offered me a window into a world I knew nothing about. It was, and is, a challenging movie to watch, but I was left feeling like I had entered another's reality and therefore had a greater appreciation for my own. I wanted to tell stories to make others feel as strongly as I did when watching that movie. And I still do.
    Mittie is: A strong-willed, precocious and crafty adolescent girl living on a plantation in 1851 Georgia. She lives during a time in which women were not able to aspire to anything beyond finding a husband and she makes the best of that.
    I love working on a new play because of: The unknown! There is no blueprint, so the whole creative team is stepping into, what feels like, an undiscovered land. It's also exciting having the playwright in the rehearsal room as the script changes throughout the process, which keeps me on my toes and constantly seeing the play under new light.
    My literary hero: Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons from “Game of Thrones.”
    My favorite dessert indulgence: Ice cream. Ideally with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

    Learn more about Little Black Shadows and buy tickets.