ONSTAGE Playwrights 2017: Meet Micki Shelton

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!

Micki was one of our very first ONSTAGE Playwrights!  Her play, THE FACE IN THE MIRROR was part of the Dirty Laundry fest – which was only 6 years ago, but feels like forever! – and so it’s super exciting to have a new play by Micki in our lineup this year.  Micki’s new play EVOLUTION FAST TRACK is all kinds of funny, with three cave-women discovering language, skeletons in their closet, and… coffee!


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

It would be teleportation and a voice that soothes and heals the soul injures of all who injure others (through anger, abuse, greed, war, ego, and so on) opening the person’s spirit to kindness so that all their future actions would be open-hearted. My name would be “Siren,” and while people might misinterpret that as a bad thing, my singing would do only good.

Describe your writing space.

Since I’ve written and edited language arts textbooks for decades, I have an office in my home. My desk faces a big window overlooking a pine and juniper forested street; I have 4 floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. My cat is often on the desk and sometimes walks across my computer “helping me write,” or he sleeps on one of the other two desk chairs. However, sometimes I don’t want to be in my office, so I write at Wild Iris Coffeehouse in downtown Prescott, on the road; or when I awaken with a brilliant idea, I write on my bed.

What is the title of your play?

Evolution Fast Track

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

Good question. First off, I didn’t know that there was a colloquial term “a hot mess.” Thus, I wasn’t working with the idea of overwhelmed women, so it’s kind of funny that I ended up with what I have. I just started thinking about things that are hot and imagined a campfire. I wondered who would be sitting around this campfire—cavewomen of course—and from there, the women wrote its first draft. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I am crazy tired of hearing people just assume that everyone has issues with their mother, and by implication that mothers are ultimately to blame for every kind of issue or flaw anyone has to deal with.

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

Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang. I first saw it performed at City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose. I so wanted to play Charlotte, the female psychologist;but memorization is hard for me. So a few years ago, I organized a reading of the play at The M.A.D. Linguist and got to read Charlotte. What a delight!

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

Evolution Fast Track, the same play that is in Female Playwrights ONSTAGE, opens this week at Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale, AZ as part of the studio’s “Summer Shorts.” It runs June 15th to the 25th.

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

Cheap Food and Sex:

Who better to reveal one’s foibles than one’s kids? Supporting his mom’s inner work—to heal her inner child she carries a baby doll—can’t prepare Garth for Frank’s psychotherapy. When a chance encounter brings together mother-son Mars and Garth and father-daughter Frank and Serena in the Arizona desert, we have the catalytic catapult for comedy. Vegetarian Garth and his flower-child mother, and faux-macho Frank and his NYC daughter, Serena, may seem like oil and water, but love has a way of mixing opposites.

Micki’s Bio:

Micki Shelton grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. After studying playwriting at South Coast Repertory’s Professional Conservatory, her first full-length play, Circles, was included in Ashland, Oregon’s 2nd Annual New Plays Festival. She has written 5 full-length plays and about 20 short plays.

A resident playwright at Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale, AZ, her play Medea’s Ghost premiered there in 2010. In 2012, Fred and Mary: An Unconventional Romance, a quasi-historical play, received its world premiere at Prescott’s Elks Opera House as part of Arizona’s Centennial Celebration.

Other credits include productions by City Lights Theatre Company (San Jose, CA), Arizona Classical Theatre (Prescott, AZ), South Coast Repertory’s Summer Series (Santa Ana, CA), Phoenix AZ’s Fringe Festival, several short plays at Theatre Artists Studio (Scottsdale, AZ), The@trics, and Prescott’s one-day play festivals. Her newest play, Discovery is now seeking its first production.

If you want to learn more about Micki you can do so at mickishelton.com

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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