Lynn Nottage, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (Ruined, Sweat), returns to Theatre for One, the company which gave new meaning to “intimate theatre” with its one actor/one audience member live performances started a decade ago. Theatre for One’s series Here We Are , presents eight live mini-works for free, including Nottage’s What Are The Things We Need to Remember? performed by Eisa Davis.
But, Jonathan Mandell reports, as part of his conversation with Nottage, you need luck on your side to be the solo audience for the 15 – 30 minute plays. “You have to sign up at exactly 10 a.m. on the Monday before, and it’s sold out within minutes.”
Nottage on writing in the time of COVID: “I assume that the majority of writers feel somewhat paralyzed by this moment. I think it’s true that writers crave quiet times, but I don’t think that writers necessarily crave isolation, and I’m not a novelist or a poet. Theater is a collaborative medium, so I’m used to spending some time by myself writing, but I’m also used to spending an equal amount of time being in the company of others in developing the work. It is difficult developing work when you don’t have that second half of the process — collaborating with directors and actors and designers in that theater space and seeing the work come to life.”
Mandell writes of the playwright’s work over the past few months. “She is involved in THREE Broadway shows (which will quadruple the number of shows she’s had on Broadway; before this only “Sweat”): “MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical”, for which she’s writing the libretto; an as-yet untitled play slated for the Hayes about the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff at a truck stop sandwich shop; and the first-ever Lincoln Center Theater play commission for its Broadway house, the Vivian Beaumont, which the press release describes as the third largest stage in New York after the Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall.)”
Other projects, such as an opera based on Intimate Apparel, have been put on pause.
The entire interview is available at:
Lynn Nottage on Theatre for One, and theater for many, and keeping busy during COVID