Monique LaForce’s new play Hootenanny opens October 2, 2015 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her work includes Kenneth, What Is the Frequency? (co-author with Ian Allen), The Blizzard Comes (part of The Belle Parricide Project), and Isis and Vesco Investigate the Curious Death of Dr. Freud. Her latest play, Virago, had a workshop production at this year’s Page to Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center. She is the author of two original screenplays, a thriller and a black comedy, both of which placed in the top 10% of entrants at the Austin Film Festival.
Why are you a playwright?
Even though theatre is an ancient art form, writing plays in the twenty-first century is almost rebellious. The philosophy of the digital age is to record and post everything, which then lives in a remote corner of the cloud, seemingly forever. I love that a play is a series of ephemeral moments in time that promptly disappear – never to exist again.
What type of theatre most excites you?
I am impressed by theatre that speaks to a wide range of ages. B-Fly Entertainment’s Liner Notes is a standout in this respect.
What starts a play moving in your imagination?
I am usually working to a deadline, so the ticking of the clock and the passage of time inspire me.
WOMEN’S VOICES THEATER FESTIVAL
October 2 – 18, 2015
at National Museum of Women in the Arts
(Oct 2 – 11)
and The Vault at Ivy Hill Cemetary
(Oct 17, 18)
Details and Tickets
Describe your writing day.
I usually sit down to formally write at night when the house is quiet and I can focus my attention. I am, however, constantly jotting down ideas as they come to me, so I am always sort of writing.
Why did you choose this play to debut at the Festival?
Hootenanny was commissioned by Guillotine Theatre specifically for the Festival. Guillotine’s mission is to produce classical plays or works that explore classical themes, so Hootenanny takes place backstage at a bluegrass production of the Scottish play and explores some of the same themes that Shakespeare’s work does – ambition, manipulation, power, the nature of love, and the notion of free will. Artistically, this play is a bit of a departure for me. I typically write my plays in iambic pentameter, but for Hootenanny, I left the challenge of writing in verse to the talented bluegrass musicians (Dead Men’s Hollow) who composed the original music for the play.
Which female playwrights have influenced your writing and how?
I admire Aphra Behn, who blazed the trail for all female playwrights.
What are you working on now?
The working title of my current project is And The Moon Sees Me. The play is set in Moscow during the brief period when Konstantin Chernenko was leader of the former Soviet Union and features Leonardo da Vinci and Violet Hunter (from Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Copper Beeches) as cold war era spies.
Answer this: “If I weren’t a playwright, I would be …”