ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet C.J. Ehrlich

Every year we interview our winning playwrights, and this year is no exception!  Join us over the coming weeks as we post more interviews with playwrights, along with information about each play’s director and cast!

C.J. is officially a two-time ONSTAGE playwright with this year’s incredibly funny piece, CO-WORKERS.  If you saw last year’s festival, you’ll remember her beautifully sweet play, THE LILAC TICKET (audiences “Awe”d at the play every night!).  This year you better hold onto your tights though, because Batman and Batgirl are hanging by a thread over a vat of hot, molten, messy, steel – so grab your bat-masks and get your butts to the theatre to find out what happens to the (admittedly older and slightly out of shape) Batman this time…

 

 


If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

To stare at someone until they are filled with a sense of uplift, reasons to be cheerful, and their own potential to do good. It would be disarming! And people would give up their seats on the subway!

Describe your writing space…

My office, overcrowded with books and paper and color. My desk faces a stand of pine trees, where the squirrels do naughty things that shouldn’t be possible on those tiny branches. Also outdoors if I have a pen and an A4 notebook.

What is the title of your play?

Co-Workers

How did this year’s ONSTAGE theme inspire you to write/share this play?

In Co-Workers an old-school superhero interviews an abrasive potential sidekick, as they dangle over a vat of boiling steel. “Hot Mess” seemed like a super fit. This is its premiere production and I hope no one gets melted.

What play (by another playwright) have you read a gazillion times, and what about that play keeps you coming back to it? 

I may be swimming against the tide of the “theatre of significance,” but I favor the “theatre of enjoyment”. I come back to classic comedies and farces with an unshakeable architecture. Like Frayn’s Noises Off, of course. Cooney’s It Runs in the Family — mayhem in a hospital doctor’s lounge (the Brits do out-through-door, in-through-window so well). Durang’s Vanya and Sonia. Also plays by August Wilson, and Sarah Ruhl, which are indeed significant.

Do you have any upcoming productions elsewhere that our readers should know about?

The Cupcake Conspiracy, my full-length comedy about marriage and terrorism (co-written with Philip J. Kaplan) is coming to the Florentine Theatre of Omaha in August. “When a nearly-divorced couple mix up internet dates, they wind up on opposing sides of a conspiracy involving cupcakes. Really evil cupcakes. This could be the greatest night of Max’s life, if he can just convince the sultry Natasha he’s the dread-sexy mastermind Bob X, foil her evil scheme, ditch the G-man hot on their trail, and most important, keep his wife from finding out.”

The Ridgefield Theatre Barn, Ridgefield CT, is producing A Package Deal, in their summer shorts, June 30-July 15. “On a super-bargain tour of Eastern Europe a couple is confronted with challenges and possibly house arrest.

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

The Maltese Babka, my full-length noir comedy, was just produced in New York and had a staged reading in Valdez, Alaska:

Join private investigator Jake Pantograph on a delightfully comic sally into the world of noir, as he tries to track down a missing girl, a blackmailer, a one-of-a-kind black diamond necklace, a hot babka, and some ice for his drink.

How far will a socialite go to break up her son’s engagement? What happened at the scanties-party on the yacht? Will the will be read on time? How many sides are there in a love triangle? Can Jake make it through this tangle of suspects, seductions, red herrings, and off-kilter theories, to punish at least one bad guy? There won’t be any black-and-white answers in this homage to the shapely characters, snappy innuendo, and sultry settings of film noir.

C.J.’s Bio:

C.J. Ehrlich’s award-winning plays have been performed in many states, notably of undress and panic, around the US and on five continents. Full-lengths include: The Cupcake Conspiracy: “Terrorism is Easy. Marriage is Complicated” (w/Philip J. Kaplan): performed in NE, TX, HI, WA, NY; finalist, Getchell award; Mountain Playhouse International Comedy competition. Zane to Gate 69 (TX, AK) The Maltese Babka (NY, AK). Published: Best American Short Plays of 2014-15 (Applause/Hal Leonard); five S&K Best Ten-Minute Plays anthologies; Heuer: Rutledge. C.J. is thrilled and honored to again be part of the Female Playwrights Onstage project with her brand new piece, Co-Workers (no heroes were harmed in the writing of this play). With great appreciation to the actors, Kila, Jennie, and Tiffany, who makes all good things happen. Visit at CJ-Ehrlich.com.

If you want to learn more about C.J., you can do so at CJ-Ehrlich.com or you can foller her on Twitter @cjelondon

And don’t forget to grab your tickets to the 2017 Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival: Hot Mess running July 6-8 at the First Congregational Church in Prescott, AZ.

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