We will be posting interviews with this year’s winning playwrights every day between now and our July 11th reading in Hollywood. Stay in touch and come back often to learn about these FABULOUS writers, and then join us at 2:00 on July 11th at the Samuel French Bookshop in Hollywood, CA (7623 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046).
Anne Hamilton is a playwright and dramaturg who sent us a delightful monologue last year called OFEM that just rocked the whole audience with laughter. This year, she sent us a delightful short play called THE SHOEBOX about two women who haven’t been in touch in years, reconnecting unexpectedly over ice cream, potato chips, and some bad Catholic School memories. The play is funny yet touching, and sure to move our audiences and I can’t wait to see it come to life!
LBDI: Why did you decide to submit your work to this year’s ONSTAGE Project?
ANNE: I had a wonderful experience last year when my comedy OFEM was chosen as a finalist. I enjoy participating in Little Black Dress’ peer evaluation process. Also, Tiffany Antone provided me with the opportunity to have my brand new play read on both coasts. I like the immediacy of this competition. I can write a play, submit it, and have it read in different locations, and also produced – all within a year of submitting.
LBDI: Describe your writing space…
ANNE: I move my writing space around the house. Currently I sit in a large, cushy pink armchair in the living room and place my computer on a glass table I inherited from a favorite aunt.
LBDI: If you could be any literary character, who would you be?
ANNE: I don’t think I would like to be a literary character unless I could write my own story.
LBDI: What was your first play titled/about?
ANNE: My first play was entitled ANOTHER WHITE SHIRT. It’s about how grief moves through the body and features four couples. One person has died from each couple, and the play features an Angel Ghost (female). Only the women speak in the play. The male (ghosts) dance, or have their lines appear as projections. I feel that grief is such a non-linear process that I needed to write in many methods of expressing it, including dance, puppets, projections, and music. When the audience enters the space, I want them to be surrounded by impressions, sound and changing light.
LBDI: Which theatricians do you admire and what about them inspires you?
ANNE: I admire Kathleen Chalfant for her fierce intelligence, humility and work ethic. I also admire Meryl Streep because I can watch her on film and somehow perceive what she’s thinking in certain scenes. Also – Michael Mayer, Anne Bogart, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, and Tony Kushner.
LBDI: Why do you write for theatre? (as opposed to other written mediums…)
ANNE: I love the stage. I was a singer and actress for many years, and I love the behind-the-scenes process. I can be as imaginative as I want when writing plays, and I love to experiment with breaking form and audience-performer boundaries.
LBDI: What message would you put in a fortune cookie?
ANNE: “More life” – Tony Kushner
LBDI: Morning, Noon, or Night?
More about Anne:
Anne Hamilton is a NYC-based freelance dramaturg and the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy. She holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, and has worked with Andrei Serban, Michael Mayer, Lynn Nottage, NYMF, Niegel Smith, and Classic Stage Company. She created Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, and her specialties include new play development, production dramaturgy, new musicals, career advising, advocacy, and oral histories. She was a Bogliasco Foundation Fellow. www.hamiltonlit.com