My guest today is my long-time friend, fellow Jersey Girl and author, Lori Myers. Lori's play, A 21st Century Christmas Carol, was just published by Contemporary Drama Service, which gave me an excuse to chat with her here!
Welcome, Lori. Congratulations on the publication of A 21st Century Christmas Carol! Is this the first play you've written?
Not by a long shot! I'd had 7 plays and musicals written and produced before A 21st Century Christmas Carol was commissioned last year by a director who wanted a holiday-themed show for a local middle school. We agreed on an adaptation of the Dickens classic and I set out to write a play that would not only be enjoyed by audiences of all ages, but also one that young actors would have fun performing. Admittedly, I was overwhelmed by the response from both groups. I'll never forget attending a rehearsal prior to opening night when the young leading lady ran up to me and told me how much fun they'd all had doing this play. I wanted to cry for joy.
I've read your articles and short stories. What inspired you to write plays?
It wasn't so much inspiration as it was a chance encounter. Have I piqued your interest, Lisa? You certainly have! Tell me more about this encounter. Does it have anything to do with your own experience as an actor?I had been performing in theater for years, memorizing lines from other playwrights, but never thought of writing my own even though I soon became a professional writer for magazines. Several years ago, I'd decided to attend graduate school in the Wilkes University Creative Writing program, and it was during that first residency that I made my decision to focus on fiction and creative nonfiction for that beginning term. I happened to sit next to another student in the lunchroom who asked me what two genres I had chosen. When I told him, he said "Why creative nonfiction? You already do that. You should choose play writing because it will help with dialogue in your fiction." Well, that made so much sense to me that I immediately switched and I'm so happy I did. I worked with some incredible faculty in that department who mentored me, challenged me, and continue to help me in so many ways.
Do you have a favorite genre in which to write?
I know it sounds cliché, but my favorite is anything I am working on at the time. Really. I've discovered that getting "in the zone" doesn't take as long as it used to, so I truly get involved with and into whatever I'm writing, whether it's a magazine article, an essay, a short story, an interview (I'm Interviews Editor for Hippocampus Magazine), or play writing.
I know that you teach writing as well. What do you like best about teaching?
Well, as a professor of writing, it's definitely NOT the stacks of papers I have to comment on and grade! Seriously, what I DO like best is that wonderful interaction with students. I learn so much from them; probably more than they learn from me.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Just wanted to thank you, Lisa, and much congratulations on your own success!
Thanks, Lori -- for those good wishes, and for “visiting” today!
|For more information on Lori or A 21st Century Christmas Carol,|
follow the links by clicking on Lori's name or the title
in the first paragraph of this blog.