Curious about who the incoming MFA playwrights are?? Well in this interview series we will get to learn a little bit about these awesome writers and their interests. Next up we have Katherine Varga , a journalist as well as playwright! Read on to learn more about her and look out for one other interviews !! Check out Katherine’s writing in Midnight Madness, coming to you in late August!
1. What got you excited about OU? What specifically are you looking forward to about our playwriting program?
I’m super excited about Madness! Limitations help me be creative, so the idea of having a new prompt and deadline every week sounds incredibly fun. I’m also a nerd for structure, and love that the program balances its hands-on performance opportunities with a focus on theory.
2. What are some of your artistic influences?
I had to change the ending of my first full length play because it was too reminiscent of Arcadia, so I guess Tom Stoppard is an influence. I’m also pretty obsessed with Lauren Gunderson and Sarah Ruhl.
3. If you could get locked in the closet with one celeb, who would it be and why?
Lin-Manuel Miranda for many reasons, but mostly because he’s Lin-Manuel Miranda.
4. At this point in your playwriting work, what kind of stories and questions are you drawn to?
I tend to be drawn to larger-than-life situations that examine how people are influenced by everyday forces such as identity, community, and belief systems. Much of my writing so far has looked at the interplay between science and the humanities. I also have a lot of feelings about puppets.
5. Tell us a fun fact about you!
One summer I interned at the Scherer Library of Musical Theater, where I got to scrape mold off the original Broadway scripts of Man of La Mancha.
Here’s a short monologue from her recent play World Without N:
To make a painting you have to buy paint.
You have to buy paintbrushes.
You have to buy a canvas.
You have to buy a black tea and a butter croissant every time you’re there to paint, or else the barista will passive aggressively accuse you of loitering.
In then end you have a painting you didn’t have before.
Something only you could have created.
The baristas like you, so they put your artwork on display. And I have learned— you buy all these commodities, and the ultimate thing you get out of it isn’t a thing you can own or consume.
It’s a moment, the look on someone’s face when they see your art on the wall and are clearly thinking, ‘Who the fuck took time out of their precious life to burden the rest of us with this piece of shit?’”
Read more about Katherine!
Katherine Varga is a freelance writer and playwright originally from New Britain, CT. She recently received her B.A. English from the University of Rochester, where she was awarded a Take Five scholarship to study urbanization and the arts. Her plays have been developed at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York and Curious Theatre in Denver, Colorado, and read at the 2015 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival.