Playwright and Youngblood member Courtney Lauria tells us what she loves, and hates, about theatre, why she probably will never eat sea urchin, and how she almost got trapped in the closet.
What brought you to playwriting? Why write plays as opposed to writing novels, or acting, or, even, practicing medicine? I don't have a great answer for that one; I just write, I get ideas or funny lines and I write them down. I enjoy my daydreams and my ideas about what someone should be doing or saying, and I just write. I have to try to enjoy one part of my life. I don't want to be in a cube forever.
If you weren't pursuing playwriting, what would you be doing? It hurts my brain to think of an answer for this question
What is or was your greatest experience in playwriting, to date? When I was having a reading at NYSAF and one of the actors was fighting with the director on how the lines should be delivered... The actor was right. He knew exactly how that character should have sounded, and I was so proud to see him fight. I felt like my writing was being understood without the actors or the reader knowing me.
Alternatively, what has been your biggest playwriting fiasco to date? Although I like the word "fiasco," I can't think of anything. Sorry to let ya down.
Whose work do you most admire? The only writer that has ever kept me interested was Roald Dahl. From James and the Giant Peach to Switch Bitch, I love the way he writes.
What excites you most about theatre? What enrages you most about it? One answer for both: Limitations. You are so limited in the space that you have, which is good to keep your mind on track on what to write, but also sometimes your ideal vision is cut because "Oh yeah, you have no budget."
What do you hate most about writers? I love everyone.
What themes do you find are consistent in your work? I always write about families. Questioning the structure of a family, what makes it up, what relationships will crumble and which ones will hold firm.
What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you? When I went to Emerson I had a roommate who had some emotional problems, it is a very long story, but it ended with her getting angry with me and physical with me and she locked me in our dorm room closet... I'm not making this up, she locked me in the closet and ran away for 2 days and then ended up in a psych hospital outside of Boston -- the same hospital from Girl, Interrupted.
What is the grossest food you've ever eaten? I am still getting use to sushi, and the first time I had sushi with wasabi already in it, that was pretty gross. I do like spice, but it was a different kind of heat... I just started shouting, "What's happening to me? What's happening to me?" It was a gross act all around.
- Courtney Brooke Lauria as interviewed by Michael Sendrow, 11/2006