Introducing: 2015 ONSTAGE Playwright, Nancy Cooper Frank

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

Nancy Cooper FrankNancy Cooper Frank is the mastermind behind AN ANNOUNCEMENT, a deviously clever piece about an over zealous actor and his defiant scene partner, the virgin Mary.  This fun spin has had playwrights and audiences laughing all over the country as a part of our review process and finalist readings, and we can’t wait to see it come to life this weekend!  Directed by Frank Malle, and starring Allie Kate Elliot and Austin Olsen, this play is sure to keep you laughing!

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

NANCY: I first heard about the project when I met Tiffany Antone at the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference. I was impressed by her dedication to this enterprise. Also, I liked the idea of involving playwrights who submit work in the first round of selection. I love getting inside other playwright’s minds by reading their plays.

LBDI:  Describe your writing space…

NANCY: When I work at home, I work in the room that used to be my office but now is the cat’s office. This room is as cluttered as it needs to be. Possibly more. There’s a coffeehouse I go in the neighborhood, but I’m starting to get to know other people there, so I may need to find another coffeehouse where I can be completely anonymous when I write.

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

NANCY: The little girl (Meg?) in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

LBDI:  First ever play:

NANCY: A ten-minute called “Ancient History, With Chicken.” Two guys, ex-husbands of the same woman (not present), bond over an elaborate chicken dish cooked by one of them.

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

NANCY: The Belarus Free Theatre folks—with directors in exile in London conducting rehearsals with actors in Minsk for secret, underground performances. Also, in no particular order: Anna Deavere Smith, Martin McDonagh, Annie Baker, Lynn Nottage… I could go on and on. If you only knew the subject matter and the basic premise of, say Ruined or the Pillowman, you’d say, no, it’s impossible to write a good play about that. I like ‘impossible’ plays. I’m inspired by artists who set high stakes and do nothing by halves.

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

NANCY: For the electrical charge when actors take my words and make them theirs.

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

NANCY: “Produce Nancy Cooper Frank’s plays and good fortune will come your way.”

LBDI:  Morning, Noon, or Night?

NANCY: I’m much more likely to be able to write at night if I’ve already written (even if just a little bit) that morning. Wait, you were asking about writing, weren’t you?

More about Nancy: Nancy Cooper Frank’s plays include “Daniil Kharms: A Life in One Act and Several Dozen Eggs,” which, fresh from the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference, was given a staged reading by Virago Theatre Company for the opening of The Flight Deck in Oakland. Her kitchen-sink comedy “The Plumber” premiered in the 2014 Arundel Theatre Trail in the UK, won first prize in FirstStage LA’s One-Act festival, and, as part of “Assorted Domestic Emergencies,” won “Best of Fringe” in the 2014 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Nancy is currently working on a play about the tumultuous friendship between Catherine the Great and the outspoken Princess Dashkova, first female director of a national science academy. Dramatist’s Guild; the Monday Night Group (San Francisco); board member, Custom Made Theatre; literary advisor, 3Girls Theatre Company. With a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from Brown University, she still dips into Gogol when nobody is looking.

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