Core Writer Christine Evans is at the Playwrights’ Center this week, workshopping her play Galilee with director Lisa Channer and actors Jennifer Blagen, McKenna Kelly-Eiding, and John Riedlinger. We asked Christine some questions:
What have you been working on this year?
Galilee, a play set in a small fishing village on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where local and global struggles converge over expanded coal mining, tourism, the fishing industry, climate change and preserving the 430 million-year old coral reef.
Revisiting You Are Dead. You Are Here, a ghost story for the digital war age, for 2015 tour.
Workshopping Can’t Complain (PlayLabs 2013) prior to its forthcoming world premiere with Spooky Action (DC Women’s Voices Festival, 2015).
Why do you write plays?
I never know. But here are three things:
- I live for those moments of power and beauty in the theater—when everyone holds their breath—and aspire to create work that can do that.
- At base I believe we’re connected in invisible and potent ways and when a play works—you feel those invisible threads.
- We live in shrunken times, politically, and I feel the need to speak back to instrumentalist world views through imagining things otherwise.
What playwriting/theater advice do you have for others?
Quit while you’re ahead. OK… If you haven’t… Seek like-minded artists and follow your own sense of meaning and joy. Don’t wait to be sanctioned or to “arrive.”
Practice generosity to other artists. Be curious.
Most important by 100x: if you’re a writer—Write. Schedule your time and write every day.
What is your writing process like?
A lot of staring out the window. Usually, an awful first draft. Then pursuit if the glimmers of life I find in it. Most importantly—glueing bum to seat and typing at a scheduled time.
What kind of theater or art excites you?
All kinds. Especially visual art lately, and poetry. And work where the inside is bigger than its container. Work that sets the rules, rather than following them.