WOS Special Edition: Jessica Allison

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conducted by mike doyle on 5/16/13

md: Just talk to me a little bit about what it’s been like getting ready for Wrights of Spring. You can talk about your experience in general in the playwriting sequence from the beginning of the courses in fall of 2011, or this year in particular working on this specific play. Feel free to start wherever you think is most significant.

ja: Well, we first started these fall of this year. For fall quarter it was mostly just generating random material, and then from there we kind of picked out things we liked. That’s kind of where these plays have come from––just random generation of material. Then, winter was kind of more exploring and getting a little more critical in trying to figure out an actual play from all of our random material. Then, after Day of Plays, which is our first kind of reading that we have to get actors to read it and hear it for ourselves as a whole play, that’s kind of when I was like, Okay, now I have actual work to do for Wrights of Spring. The beginning of spring quarter is where I started to do actual work, and make this an actual play that people can see. So yeah, that’s kind of been the process so far. Spring quarter’s kind of been like refining and tightening everything up and getting ready for Wrights of Spring, which is another good milestone we have with the process.

md: So how’s your play changed since Day of Plays up until now? Did you learn anything specifically from Day of Plays that’s helpful in your writing process?

ja: Just being able to hear it all at once read by people who weren’t just in the playwriting class, but to have actual actors read it was really helpful. You notice, Oh, this wasn’t very clear, or this didn’t read very well with people at the reading. So I think Day of Plays kind of made me realize––it was a good way of noticing where areas need improvement, like this is where the holes are, this is what I can fix and tighten up and kind of streamline to make it a better play.

 md: So what’s preparing specifically for Wrights of Spring been like? Like finding actors, directors, and stuff.

ja: I think the most anxiety-inducing part of Wrights of Spring is casting, which I think is a good thing.  I don’t think it would be Wrights of Spring if I wasn’t scrambling for actors at the last minute and trying to assemble everything. I asked Emily Marlatt to direct, and then throughout the quarter I’ve been trying to find actors and people have had conflicts. I’ve been trying to adjust and get replacements and all of that. Then, for the script specifically I’ve just––we’ve been working on that in Carlos’s class as well throughout the quarter so with that I’ve just kind of made a hit list of things I need to fix for Wrights of Spring. Then, I’ve been working from there and we’ve been bringing in pages for Carlos’s class and workshopping, so I’m closer to having a draft that’s ready for Wrights of Spring, so yeah that’s where I’m at right now.

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