Guest Artist:

Lauren Weedman

Actor, Writer

Lauren is an award winning comedic actress, playwright and author. Her first show, Homecoming began as a 15 minute performance art piece at Seattle's On the Boards and went on to go off-Broadway in NYC. i, about her work in the LA county jail was awarded a Macdowell Fellowship for playwriting by the Alpert Awards as well as several 'best of the arts' across the nation. She has written and performed 9 solo plays. Homecoming, Amsterdam, If Ornaments Had Lips, Huu, Rash, Wreckage, Bust, No... You Shut Up – a piece commissioned by Boise Contemporary Theater and directed by Jeff Weatherford. Most recently The People's Republic of Portland for Portland Center Stage. Her television credits include The Daily Show, True Blood, United States of Tara, Reno 911, Curb Your Enthusiasm, New Girl, Arrested Development, Hung, and Looking.  Film credits include Imagine That, Date Night and Judd Apatow's A Five Year Engagement with Jason Segal. Weedman's first book, A Woman Trapped in a Woman's Body: (Tales from a Life of Cringe), is a collection of comedic essays and was named by Kirkus Review as a top ten Indie book for 2007. Her second book, Miss Fortune, was published by Plume in 2014. Weedman lives in Santa Monica, and has served as the host of the popular Moth Storytelling series in LA.

Why do you write plays (as opposed to something else)?

The freedom. Knowing that the story-the moments--will be in front of REAL PEOPLE. Live performance and how powerful it is...that motivates me. Humans experiencing things in front of other humans. Collectively . Of all the mediums I've worked in, Theater is the purest form of expression. You are not answering to the studio head. The corporations. The play write has a voice that is much more clearly his/her own. Not art by committee. And knowing that I can at least put up a play in the back of a bar. It's a cheap date compared to getting a film made, and not as lonely as writing a book.

What playwrights inspire you the most?

I don't see many new plays anymore because of my soul-sucking life in Los Angeles! Sarah Ruhl is the top. Adam Block. Growing up, I loved Pinter and Spaulding Grey and Whoopi Goldberg (her solo Broadway show).

How did you become a writer?

Someone told me I was, and I took the prompt and ran with it.

Does writing energize you? Exhaust you? Both?

It stresses me. Saves me. Embarrasses me. Keeps me wanting to live. It reveals how brave I am–how not brave I am. It's this gateway to get out of and get into what I care about, and into [a] place I didn't know existed. But I feel like it's this ignored portal. I know it's there and I don't dive through enough because once I'm in....I'm in. Unlike some writers who write every day, I write when I have the energy and need to get it out, to finish a story or understand a story. Or myself.

Do you ever start a new play and abandon it? How often? Why?

I have notebooks and notebooks and notebooks full of scenes and characters and ideas and moments.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

 

The challenges change with every project. Some projects I can't find the right words. I have to dig and dig to get to what I MEAN. Right now the most difficult part is TIME. As a single mother and artist it's ROUGH finding the time to just create/write. It always feels like there's literally a crowd of person on my doorstep going, "No pressure. Just let us know when you're done. Are you done?! Okay, no pressure."

What is the most rewarding part of writing for you?

 

When I'm able to write without stress. I love those rare moments. And of course--finishing. And break-throughs.

Do you see theatre as a tool for social progress? As entertainment? Both? Neither?

I think it's both and if it's not both.....if it's only goal is Social Progress....we're screwed. It's always entertainment. The personal as political has been my THANG. and if it's not funny/engaging/challenging/mind blowing then....why did people leave get up off their lazy boys? (the chair...not their husbands)

What are you working on now?

 

Plastic Air, a one-person musical. A cabaret/comedy show, Big In Boise. [And] a web-series about single mothers that I haven't titled yet (I just realized).

MORE ABOUT LAUREN:

 

Lauren's website - LaurenWeedman.com

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PO Box 411

Silverton, Colorado 81433 

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