At the PWC this week: Barbara Field

Core Writer Barbara Field is at the Playwrights' Center for a workshop of her play Book of Vashti. The free public reading is at 3:00 p.m. on Friday. We talked with Barbara about her work and inspirations.

What are you currently working on?

I'm proofreading the galleys for my next book, Volume II of my collected plays, and I'm beginning to work on a second draft of my play The Book of Vashti.

Why do you write plays?

It seems a natural medium for me. I think in dialogue: what's spoken and what's left unsaid. I value the space between two characters; the tensions which are continually shifting. And I love the all-important silences which say a lot. Also, although I believe that film and television are brilliant forms when used wisely, I am interested in a kind of theatricality that can only be exercised on a stage with living actors.

What playwriting/theater advice do you have for others?

Advice? Practically speaking, get a gig. Get someone to commission a piece, preferably with a recognizable title. Cynical? Yes. Because that often rules out dreaming up your own play, which may languish in the trunk for a long time.

Who or what inspires you?

Shakespeare, the Wooster Group, Moliere, Mabou Mines, Chekhov, Danny Kaye, etc.

What are you looking forward to this year, artistically?

New play, new book, new ideas.

What kind of theater or art excites you?