At the PWC this week: Kate Tarker

Jerome Fellow Kate Tarker is at the Playwrights’ Center this week, workshopping her play Laura and the Sea with director Hayley Finn and actors Shanan Custer, Terry Hempleman, Tracey Maloney, Randy Reyes, Charlotte Calvert, and Chase Burns. The public is invited to a reading on Friday, March 13, at 3:30 p.m. We asked Kate a few questions:

Why do you write plays?

I write out of conflicting impulses of idealism and anti-idealism. My idealism comes with the hope that we can do better, as a society - and that something a small as a play might be good enough kindling to start a fire. But my anti-idealism says: Don't forget reality, as you daydream. People aren't made to be saints, they're mammals. So: I write to bring us down to earth, to our bodies and smells and mistakes. I want to point out all that is ridiculous, embarrassing, and beautiful about holding big dreams and base needs in one body.

What playwriting/theater advice do you have for others?

Use playwriting as an excuse to lead an interesting life. Keep two journals - one for words and one for scribbly drawings. Once you start a new play, don't stop and don't give a damn: Write with a devil-may-care attitude. Confidence is what sets great plays above the rest. Write under time constraints and with lots of caffeine. Listen to Fleetwood Mac to remind yourself that you can go your own way.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by actors and paintings. Paintings, because they were my first artistic love - I revisit many of my favorites when laying the initial groundwork for a play. They inspire me and give me courage to make my own world, and color it more brightly than the one we live in. And actors - the really good ones, the funny ones - the ones who teeter-totter and cry and wobble on stage with wild abandon - they're the reason to do this work. God bless actors and paintings.