First Draft will be conducting four readings of Leslie Kobylinski’s new play, Stolen Beauty, beginning at the Arts Club on October 6, 2015. She is the Artistic Director for First Draft, a non-profit professional theater company dedicated to developing new plays alongside audiences and partnering with theaters looking to produce new work. She has collaborated with DC playwrights on over 30 new works for the stage, and has guest directed over 25 readings. In 2007, Leslie made her playwriting debut at Round House Theatre with The Director: The Third Act of Elia Kazan starring Helen Hayes award-winner, Rick Foucheux. A DC native, and former producer for network television programs at NBC, CNN and TNT, Leslie is a frequent script consultant for television and films.
What can you say in a play you can’t say in another medium?
Human beings are driven to understand and find meaning in their lives. We are, all of us, trying however we can, to tell the stories that make us who we are. A theatrical play allows for that instant present moment alchemy between storytellers (actors, designers, playwright, director etc.) and audience. There’s an exchange of oxygen that is unique. Your words take on a life of their own, and will never be interpreted or heard exactly the same way twice.
What type of theatre most excites you?
Whenever I’m sitting in a theater experiencing any type of live performance, in that moment, it’s always my favorite.
What starts a play moving in your imagination?
To paraphrase an idea often spoken of in the theater: “it’s a mystery.”
Do you have a favorite writing place?
I love to write in restaurants and hotel lobbies. There’s always an active energy to feed off of and enough white noise to keep me focused.
WOMEN’S VOICES THEATER FESTIVAL
October 2 – November 1, 2015
7:30pm October 6, Arts Club of Washington
7:30pm October 20, Theater on the Run
7:30pm November 2 and 3 Keegan Theater
Details and Tickets
How did you choose this play to debut at the Festival?
The play is based on a fascinating real life story. Exploring the nature of moral dilemma through the eyes of a female protagonist seemed like a good fit.
What female playwrights have influenced your writing and how?
There are so many fabulous female storytellers I’d be hard pressed to choose among them. Early on, I was lucky enough to encounter the incomparable storytelling of Polish director/writer Agnieszka Holland, and the classic dramatic structure of Jane Austen.
What’s missing from theatre today?
I think our definition of theater needs to change. Theater as storytelling is a common trope. The means and media are constantly evolving, from cave paintings to Vine. And while it’s common to include many forms of live performance in our definition of theater, it is just as common to attempt to restrict the definition of theater to an event that hasn’t changed all that much since the beginning of recorded history. Why shouldn’t theater be allowed to change and evolve right along with the human condition?
What are you working on now?
I tend to work on a lot of stories at once and see what bubbles to the surface. A play exploring the foundations of racial and ethnic division is foremost in my mind right now.
Answer this: “If I weren’t a playwright, I would be … “
“… less occupied.”