Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet Rachel Bonds

Christopher Sullivan interviewed fellow newbie Rachel Bonds.

Christopher Sullivan: Where did you grow up? Do you feel like it had an impact on your writing?

Rachel Bonds: I grew up in Sewanee, Tennessee, which is a tiny college town in the mountains. There are literally two stoplights in the entire town. It's a beautiful place, a very quiet place. I spent a lot of time growing up getting lost in the woods. Though everyone there knows everyone there, so in another sense, it was difficult to ever really be lost or to blend in. It's the opposite of New York. I miss it very much sometimes.
It's absolutely had an impact on my writing. I think it has spurned my fascination in the idea of isolation, in the strange or frightening things that happen in small places. I was also raised by academics, which instilled in me a deep love and reverence for books and an obsession with language.

CS: How would you describe your work? Are there elements/themes/ideas you find yourself returning to again and again?

RB: I'm interested in our quotidien language, in our often inarticulate methods of interaction. I'm interested in "yeah" and "oh" and "okay" and "um" and the possibilities that live in these little words. I'm also interested in theatricality and magic and a character's ability to suddenly speak very elegantly and eloquently. I think my current work explores what happens when these two elements collide, when the everyday world of work and bosses and "yeahs" and "okays" meets with something whimsical or dark or otherworldly. I write a lot about grief. And fear. And death. Dark things. Time passing. I find myself returning again and again to the things in my life that I can't seem to put into words or explain. I keep trying to find a way to explain them. I'm a bit haunted.

CS: How do you balance your work in theater with day jobs/supporting yourself? Do you find there is always a conflict between the two?

RB: I've been lucky over the past four years to have a very flexible job that's allowed me to work from home and fit my writing in around it. In the past year, however, I've found I need more and more time to write and really need to fit my day job around my writing. Working from home has also taken its toll on me, as I've spent a lot of time alone in my apartment with a computer going crazy and suffering from lack of human interaction. I recently decided to leave my job. So. Come January I'm looking for part-time work that involves human interaction.

CS: Any artists/writers/companies you find particularly inspiring lately?

RB: I've been a huge fan of Pig Iron's work over the past several years. I'm interested in devised work and I think they've collaboratively created some smart, theatrical and gorgeous pieces. I'm also an enormous fan of Nature Theater of Oklahoma. I'm a little obsessed with Melissa James Gibson and Jenny Schwartz. And I love Tim Crouch. And I recently saw ERS' Gatz, which I can't stop thinking about.

CS: What are your interests outside of the theater?

RB: I have a background in creative non-fiction---though I've recently gotten away from essay-writing as I focus on my plays. I love to cook—I have a farm share with the Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA. My boyfriend and I have been making our own pasta lately. I love to travel...I wish I could afford to do more of it. I also love dance parties. I run a lot, too, which helps keep me sane. I'm quietly and slowly training myself to run a half-marathon. What else? Yoga. My bike. HBO shows. Looking for a new job. Cats and dogs. Coffee.

1 comment:

adrienneclark said...

I am so excited to see Rachel Bonds on this blog.

I met Rachel briefly in 2005 when we both attended the SITI Company summer intensive.

Her work, creativity, and spirit inspired me greatly.

So happy to see her doing so well.