ONSTAGE Playwrights 2016: Meet Jen Huszcza

When it comes to Jen Huszcza, I’m a total fan!  She is our only five-time ONSTAGE Playwright, and yet every play she writes has a unique angle, interesting characters, and undeniable appeal.  She’s an incredibly visual writer, but does so with economy: Jen’s stage directions and dialogue are crisp, clear, and brilliantly lean.   If you haven’t yet become acquainted with her work, I encourage you to do so!

Jen2Title of Play: 
Big Belly

Why did you decide to submit your work to the ONSTAGE Project? 
Totally love this festival.

Describe your writing space:
I write in a variety of places. I like to write long handed. It makes me less long winded.

If you could have lunch with any playwright alive or dead, who would it be and what would you have for lunch?
Playwright I would meet for lunch:

I put my panties in a bunch
About my playwrights’ questionnaire
Which playwright would I meet for lunch
Like Eliot I wondered, ‘do I dare?’

A solution dripped down so clear
There’s only one playwright worth a meet
I will eat with William Shakespeare
No other playwright can compete.

We’ll talk of Italy, we’ll talk of Spain
We’ll drink wine and tell jokes
About tragedy, ecstasy and pain
We’ll make sexy puns like a pair of blokes

But I’ll never be as sharp as a bodkin bard
My jokes are flat, I try too hard.

But he’ll forgive my flubs and falls
As we eat spaghetti and meat balls.

Why do you write for theatre?
Why do I write in the play form?

I ask myself that every single day. Jen, why do you write in play form? There’s no money in it. There’s no glory in it. It brings you nothing but pain and rejection. It doesn’t help the bank account. It’s borderline un-American. But then there’s another voice in me that answers, Jen, you know you’re not gonna stop now.

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time and why?
I spent a lot of time thinking about this question. Who is my favorite fictional character and beyond that, what do I want to say with my favorite fictional character? Since I work with fictional characters myself, I have a lot of favorites. In plays, I like Didi and Gogo in Godot. In books, I keep going back to Cassandra Mortmain in Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. But the character I keep going back to again and again and liking every time is Han Solo in the Star Wars. He’s not the smartest dude in the galaxy, but he has a cool space ship and hangs with a wookiee. Fly casual, my friends.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?
I have nothing pending, and that’s okay.

Please share the synopsis for a full-length of yours that our readers should know about!

Rebec, CA. This is one of those plays that started as a one act and kept expanding and expanding. It’s about a mother and son who live in a fictional California town called Rebec. The mother is retired. The son works construction and is a grower. One day, an LA agent’s assistant visits them and changes their lives forever. It’s a comedy.

More about Jen:

Jen Huszcza is a playwright currently based in Los Angeles. Four of Jen’s plays (Rinse, POP, Flowers, and This) were performed in Little Black Dress INK’s first four festivals. Her short play, It Has to End in Tears, was produced by Greenlight Productions in Santa Monica in March 2015. Four of her plays have been presented as staged readings in the Monday Night Living Room Series at The Blank Theatre in Hollywood. She wrote and acted in Gunfighter Nation’s collectively written piece, LA History Project: Pio Pico, Sam Yorty, and the Secret Procession of Los Angeles, presented at the Lost Studio in 2010. She has guest-blogged for the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. Jen has her BFA in Dramatic Writing and MFA in Musical Theatre Writing both from NYU.  You can learn more about Jen at her website www.sunshinejen.com or follow her on Twitter  @playwrightjen

Don’t miss Jen’s play, July 14-16, at Acadiana Repertory Theatre’s production of this year’s ONSTAGE Festival: Curves Ahead.

Curves Ahead -ART

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