Jerome Fellow Steve Moulds is at the Playwrights' Center this week, workshopping his new play Sergio's Museum with dramaturg Elissa Adams and actors Neal Skoy, Pegeen Lamb, Jim Lichtscheidl, Christina Baldwin, Brant Miller, and Shanan Custer. We asked Steve a few questions:
What playwriting/theater advice do you have for others?
I’ve always found it paralyzing to think too much about how my career is going—“career” can be a very intimidating word for an artist. So I say, Think about your next opening night. If you don’t have an opening night on the calendar, get out there and hustle. Or produce it yourself. Think about your next reading, or your next draft. Hopefully, if you’re always focusing on your next project, years will pass and you’ll look back and say, “What an interesting career I had while I was distracted from worrying about it.”
What is your writing process like?
I try to force my own hand as often as possible. Before almost anything else—before I probably should—I’ll choose some dramatic ingredients and a structure, and I’ll commit to them. I feel more comfortable treating a play like a logic puzzle than a voyage into the unknown. Because every puzzle asks the same question: Given this story and these characters, what’s personal or intimate here? What do I really think about all this? And how do I either escape from this corner I’ve painted myself into or decide that this is where I live now?