What can’t I say about Jennie Webb? The woman is a force for change (LAFPI) and a mad creative to boot, and I adore her.
I also really, really like her play, Rebecca on the Bus.
It’s a tough piece. And it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – but this is of course why we had to produce it. The play tackles rape culture and the grotesqueness of the oft-employed societal shrug that accompanies sexual violence. Obviously, it’s a big issue – and it’s an issue close to the heart of LBDI’s goal to give voice not only to female playwrights, but to women.
Which is why we’ve decided to partner with a guidance clinic that specializes in working with victims of sexual violence for this autumn’s production in Prescott. LBDI always partners with a non-profit in order to share ticket proceeds with our community, and we look forward to working with this year’s partner organization on that front.
But back to the fabulous Ms. Jennie Webb. Let’s meet this woman, shall we?
Jennie: Because Tiffany Antone is amazing and I want to be a part of whatever she’s up to. Seriously, I am so thrilled about Little Black Dress INK’s support of women playwrights, and love seeing the way the project’s grown.
(And I’m honored to think that LA Female Playwrights Initiative may have played a part in its initial creation!)
From Tiffany: Yes it did, Jennie! I have been so on board with the LAFPI, that when I moved to AZ I wanted to keep the action going – thanks for lighting that candle!
LBDI: Describe your writing space…
Jennie: I am lucky enough to live in a great part of LA (Eagle Rock), and have an office with a fantastic view. I like to think that opens up my world or creative mind (esp when the mind’s not being very creative), but it probably just gives me an excuse not to get up and take a walk.
LBDI: If you could be any cartoon character for just 24 hours, who would you be?
Jennie: Man. I so do not have cartoon characters in my head to even consider. Go-to: Wonder Woman? But I’m exhausted just thinking about what all that lasso action would mean.
LBDI: What was your first play titled/about?
Jennie: KILLING MISS AMERICA. It was co-written with Brent Morris (we ran a theater company for a short while), and about a fired female TV journalist who takes contestants hostage as a protest against the objectification of women and traditional standards of beauty. But it’s a dark comedy, so it all gets personal and goes terribly wrong.
LBDI: Which playwrights do you admire and what about them inspires you?
Jennie: I always wish my first responses were women, but to be honest on the top of my list are Ionesco and Beckett: the rhythms, the absurdity and the possibilities. Over the past few years I’ve become a fan of Suzan-Lori Parks for petty much the same reasons. And of course Caryl Churchill.
LBDI: Why do you write for theatre? (as opposed to other written media…)
Jennie: Laziness, because that’s what I know. I’m pretty sure I am the only playwright in LA who’s never written a screenplay. But I’m supposed to be starting on adapting a novel with my friend Janis Hashe (her novel) and other stuff (TV, webseries) keeps popping up in conversations. So we’ll see. But fiction is too hard.
LBDI: What is your spirit animal?
Jennie: I just googled “What is your spirit animal” and took two different quizzes and apparently I’m a deer. Or an owl.
LBDI: Paper or Plastic?
Jennie: Neither. I have my own damn bags, thank you very much.
Jennie Webb is an independent Los Angeles playwright, currently in residence at Rogue Machine (where her dark retail comedy Yard Sale Signs premiered) and Theatricum Botanicum (where she runs workshops and “Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights”). Her plays, including Remodeling Plans, Unclaimed Assets, GreenHouse, On Tuesday, It’s Not About Race and Buying a House, have been produced in LA (most recently at Theatre of NOTE and Santa Monica Rep.), on stages across the country and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s been part of The Playwright Center’s PlayLabs, past Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festivals and the Virginia Avenue Project, and is published by Heinemann Press and ICWP. Her play Crazy Bitch will be developed at the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference. She is a member of The Playwrights Union, EST/LA’s Playwrights Unit, Fell Swoop Playwrights and co-founder of the LA Female Playwrights Initiative (LA FPI). jenniewebbsite.com + @jenniewebbsite
The Planting the Seed Festival runs this week for 3 performances only
at the First Congregational Church Theater in Prescott.
Showtimes – Jan 2nd @ 7:30, and Jan 3rd @ 2:30 & 7:30.
Tickets just $14 online or at the door!