Hi everyone! Welcome to our interview series with the current rockin MFA playwrights, leading up to Seabury Quinn! Natasha Smith is a 1st year MFA playwright and wrote “Remind Me Why We’re Doing this Again.” She is known in the playwriting department for her friendly attitude, her high class vocab and her bold work.! Check out the interview below and then see her play, Friday April 20th!! Also watch out for all 7 of the other interviews with our other writers!
1.Your first year play delves into the provocative and fascinating subject of polyamory and marriage. What made you interested in writing about this?
I’ve spent a lot of my twenties thinking about relationships and marriage. I grew up with the expectation that I would marry and be a stay-at-home mom, and as I’ve grown up my ideas about what my life could be have expanded exponentially. Marriage still appeals to me, though: it’s a secure commitment and people understand it implicitly, even as it’s constantly changing to more fully reflect a wider range of relationships. I’m interested in the ways that conforming to cultural expectations can erase parts of our identities–for instance, when a bisexual and polyamorous woman is read as heterosexual and monogamous because of the expression of her partnership. Erasure may be uncomfortable, but it’s also safer. So which is better?
- What has been your process like developing this play? Was it similar to processes before grad school?
It’s been rough! I’ve never waded this deeply into the process of developing a play. It’s mucky, consuming, and very unsatisfying ninety percent of the time. I’ve stripped the play down to its bones and even further more than once, and it’s changed direction over and over. I think what I’ve gotten better at this year is asking the right questions. I hope I’ll be able to get the audience to do the same.
- What kinda plays piss you off not in a cute way?
Plays that let me be comfortable. I don’t love confrontation in real life, but in art I find it necessary. I get frustrated with plays that pat me on the back and make me feel superior, rather than reminding me that my human-ness is as complicated and uncomfortable as everyone else’s.
4.what’s a fun fact about you?
I took my first writing class when I was five, and wrote a story from the perspective of my grandma’s rug.
Now that you love Natasha, come see her reading!!
REMIND ME WHY WE’RE DOING THIS
Written by Natasha Smith
2:00 pm, Friday April 22nd, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Commitment means marriage…right? When Zahira and Asher decide to tie the knot, they aren’t sure how following such a traditional route will change their polyamorous relationship. Will marriage bring them closer together or force them to compromise their ideals? It doesn’t help that they’ve fallen for their wedding planner, Zahira’s sister is in town, and they don’t know what will happen if certain people find out they’re actually non-monogamous. Navigating the personal and the public, this play interrogates what it means to be a vulnerable individual in a society that demands strength and certainty.
More about Natasha
Natasha Smith’s play Catapult was a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and received a staged reading with Arizona Theatre Company in 2014, where she served as the Artistic Intern for two years. She has also worked with Horizon Theatre and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Natasha’s play In Her Place was produced at Amherst College, where she studied Theater/Dance and English, and won the Denis Johnston Playwriting Award from Smith College. She has taught creative writing in the US and in Kenya, and is a three-time recipient of the Roland Wood Fellowship from Amherst College. www.natashawrites.com