Clare Lizzimore’s play Animal debuts at Studio Theatre X on September 30, 2015. She is a playwright and an Olivier-Award winning director. Her first play, Mint (2013), was produced at the Royal Court’s Open Court Season and long-listed for the prestigious Bruntwood Prize. Her first radio play was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014, her new radio play The Rage will be broadcast in 2016. She is currently under commission with the Royal Court Theatre and the Almeida Theatre.
Why are you a playwright?
I started as a theatre director, and only after a number of years working on exclusively new work, did I get the courage to start writing myself. There’s a freedom to explore contemporary, complicated ideas, and to do it in a live, shared, context means it has an immediacy which is unique.
I don’t think there’s anything you can say in a play that you can’t in a different medium, but the form of expression is different, and emphasizes discussion, and metaphor.
What type of theatre most excites you?
I’ve always been drawn towards contemporary plays that speak about people with dignity struggling against the harshness of the world. But that manage to do this with humour and life, rather than simply misery.
What starts a play moving in your imagination?
Often quite small things – a few lines of dialogue, an image, or something I see or overhear. The play will grow from this point.
Do you have a favorite writing place?
When I have a good amount of time ahead of me, I often like to go to a café and write there. I find the buzz of other people energizes the writing.
WOMEN’S VOICES THEATER FESTIVAL
September 30 – October 25, 2015
1501 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Details and Tickets
How did you choose this play to debut at the Festival?
I was commissioned by David Muse at Studio Theatre to write a play, and it seemed to both of us like it would be a good fit.
Which female playwrights have influenced your writing and how?
Caryl Churchill – for her ability to take something conceptual and give it theatrical form, whilst also imbuing the work with humanity and honesty.
What’s missing from theatre today?
I don’t know how it is in American Theatre, but in Britain I wish theatre could find a way to attract a wider, more diverse audience. It’s much better than it was, but there’s a long way to go.
What are you working on now?
As a writer I’ve just finished a new radio play for BBC Radio 4, called ‘The Rage’, which will air in 2016, and I’m also writing a new play for The Almeida. And as a director I’m bringing back a production I directed of a play by Mike Bartlett, Bull, to the Young Vic Theatre in London in December.
Answer this: “If I weren’t a playwright, I would be … “
A kick-boxer or an architect. Or both.
DCTS’ Guide to Women’s Voices Theater Festival
More interviews with WVTF playwrights
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