Friday, August 6, 2010

An interview with playwright Rachel Atkins

What festival number is this for you?

I believe it is number five. Yeah, five.

Over the years what have you learned as a writer?

That if you follow the rules that they tell you up the screen, the rules really work. As in six pages, give everybody something to do, the more the words you want spoken the less you should write.

I think about where I am in the order and at the end of the day I want the directors, the actors, the designers to like me. I want everyone to have fun! Because it should be fun right. People are here to have fun. Having fun doing theatre has got to be high on the list for most of us. I don’t want to write a play that is going to make people tear their hair out.

Do you think about 14/48 when you are writing at other times?

Yes, when I am mired into writing one historical piece after another. I think, wouldn’t it be nice if I could just write for 14/48 and be able to write something that has no educational value, whatsoever.

And what are expecting to see tonight of your play?

I feel like they did a really nice job. I wrote what I wanted to be a simple actors play. I saw the run and they are real characters, real people dealing with real problems, making real choices and that is what I hoped for. It’s slot number two so you can write a serious piece and it doesn’t have to be the song and dance of play number seven for example.

What’s your favorite thing about 14/48?

It’s hard to choose just one. I like to see and work with so many people. I like the immediate gratification of cranking something out and seeing what people do with it, I like the community, the camaraderie. If only 14/48 could live in a French Chateau! (but Rachel, what the French think???)

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