Introducing: 2015 ONSTAGE Playwright Hannah K. Baker

Learn more about our fabulous playwrights, and then join us at the Prescott Center for the Arts in Prescott, AZ this Thurs, Sat and Sunday (Aug 6, 8, 9) for the OUTSIDE THE LINES Festival!  Tickets Available HERE

HannahKBaker_ProfileHannah K. Baker’s short play FOR ANYONE WHO CARES will speak to anyone who has ever struggled to create something meaningful… and wound up instead staring at a blank page/canvas/computer screen for hours without a single worthwhile thought to show for it.  It’s a whimsical play about creativity, our desire to be heard/seen/remembered, and how futile the whole fight can be.  I can’t wait to see it come to life this weekend with Mary Timpany directing and Amber Bosworth and Janelle Devin in the starring roles!

LBDI:  Why did you decide to submit your work to this year’s ONSTAGE Project?

HANNAH:  I like challenging myself to try new things and to step outside of my comfort zone. This competition afforded me the opportunity to do both of those things, so I committed to creating a piece to submit.

LBDI:  Describe your writing space…

HANNAH:  It changes. Sometimes I need to be in a smaller room so my ideas stay more contained and are easier to manage, and other times I need larger spaces with really high ceilings so my ideas can be bigger and have more room to move around.

LBDI:  If you could be any literary character, who would you be?

HANNAH:  I don’t know if I have a definitive answer, but Robin Hood seems like a good choice. I’d get to be a charming rapscallion who has a great time challenging “the man”, is a beloved philanthropist, and is extremely skillful with a bow and arrow.

LBDI:  What was your first play titled/about?

HANNAH:  My first play was written for and performed in my AP U.S. History class in high school. It was a short comedy titled The Scary Cherry (I don’t remember why) and it marked the norms and changes occurring in America in the 50’s. The Scary Cherry covering all topics from the rise of teenage culture, to the woes of house-wife life, to McCarthyism. In the final act, McCarthy had gone so crazy with hunting communists that he started accusing high-ups in the army and thus lost the favor of the court. In the very dramatic ending, McCarthy, having a nervous breakdown, sees himself in a mirror, thinks he is seeing another communist, and shoots himself with a water gun.

LBDI:  Which theatricians do you admire and what about them inspires you?

HANNAH:  I very much admire Mike Nichols’ directing career. I am developing as a writer/director for feature films and to see how Nichols adapted his craft for theatre and film, and how each one translated to and inspired the other, is fascinating and awesome. Neil Simon’s vast portfolio of works as a writer for both theatre and film is something I greatly revere. His ability to translate characters and comedy across mediums proves how well he commanded his craft. His comedies accessed all types of humor — a skill I hope to harness and hone myself. Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was a direct inspiration for the tone and tempo of my short stage play. I love the playful volley of words between the two characters, who are seemingly oblivious of themselves, and who discuss hefty existential thoughts. He is a master of this smart, dry, quick humor and it is definitely something I want to emulate. Finally, I’ll mention Elaina Kate, a dear friend of mine who moved to New York to pursue her writing career. Her dedication, determination, and confidence in her craft are all so inspiring to me. She is a writer in the truest sense of the word and writes for theatre among many other mediums. Seeing everything she has accomplished for herself thus far pushes me to cross my own perceived boundaries and to believe that I can.

LBDI:  Why do you write for theatre? (as opposed to other written mediums…)

HANNAH:  As much as I love the theatre, I don’t have much practice writing for it. So, I’d have to say I write for theatre for the challenge of trying something new, for the change in style and focus, and for yet another perspective of storytelling.

LBDI:  What message would you put in a fortune cookie?

HANNAH:  If you want to, you can find meaning in anything.

LBDI:  Morning, Noon, or Night?

HANNAH:  I surprise myself. I don’t know if it’s the weather or what, but where I would have assumed I would say Night, I have to go with Morning.

More about Hannah:

Hannah K. Baker is an alumnus of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts where she earned a BFA in Film Production with an emphasis in directing. She continues producing creative content such as working on John Legend’s music video “You and I” and the indie feature THE SUBMARINE KID, co-written and starring Finn Wittrock. She is a member of the Coronet Writers Lab, which has fostered such talent as Mickey Fisher, the creator of the network TV show EXTANT.

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