We’re kicking off our 17th Writer/Director Lab with Milo Cramer’s new play CUTE ACTIVIST, directed by Benjamin Kamine. This is the first in a series of interviews with the participants of this year’s Lab. Come and join us at the first reading at Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street, April 22nd at 3PM!
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1. Briefly tell us about your play.
I’m writing a play called CUTE ACTIVIST
About a young professional who becomes an activist
In a spooky little town in mythical Connecticut
Where inequality reigns
And where two attractive middle class young people are trying to fall in love.
2. Who are your greatest influences in your writing?
Young Jean Lee’s early play Pullman, WA and Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Moral – although I didn’t see them I just read them – so who knows if they are what I think they are.
Friday Night Lights the television show
Daniel Fish and JoAnne Akalaitis
My brother and sister
Naomi Klein and Erving Goffman
The Nature Theater of Oklahoma, 600 Highwaymen,
3. What part of the Writer/Director Lab process was the most instructive and entertaining?
Ken and Jenny are both tremendously warm and wise
It’s comforting to be in a room where everyone one is in the middle of a messy process
No one knows what is happening with their play
Forces have been unleashed on paper that no one can control
Meanwhile you’re in the Soho Rep offices, surrounded by large posters celebrating the greatest theater artists alive
It’s daunting and fun
4. How have your dramaturgical skills developed over the course of the past nine months?
I’m more committal
And less precious
Jenny has told me I need to be ‘dramaturgically rigorous’ several times and I am trying to be
If you write something you have to deal with the consequences
5. Seventeen years in the Lab has produced some pretty great plays. Looking over them, do any stand out to you?
It’s sad because I haven’t read so many of the individual plays
The early work of writers can be hard to get your hands on
So I’m struck less by the plays than by the artists
How many people have gone through the program
And how different they all are
Especially the directors!
Jay Scheib, Lear deBessonet, Anne Kauffman
Before they’d found their thing