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 Inna Tsyrlin , who is from Australia! Read on to learn more about her and look out for one other interviews !! Check out Inna’s writing in Midnight Madness, coming to you in late August!
Read on below to learn more about her!:
- What got you excited about OU? What specifically are you looking forward to about our playwriting program?
What was exciting to me about OU was the structure of the playwriting program. It is so heavily focused on production and working with other departments of the theatre faculty. I love collaborating with other writers, directors, actors. I think that is where the magic happens; when we are all working towards creating great pieces of theatre. I’m really looking forward to exploring and playing with unconventional ideas, concepts, and themes. I think the program will allow me to try writing plays that I may have not even known I had in me to write but given the space and influence, anything can happen.
- What are some of your artistic influences?
I’m interested in absurdist theatre; really dispelling belief but reflecting a certain truth of our world, our existence. Thus, I’m interested in the works of Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Edward Albee, and Anton Chekhov, who isn’t technically an absurdist playwright but his work certainly calls for it. But I’m also influenced by all art, music, film, literature, and despite sounding like a cliche, I’m influenced by life. There is so much wonderful creation out there, it would be naive to limit oneself to one style or medium. I believe in looking at art and ideas very broadly and selecting from a variety of influences to help shape my work. I try to search for specific elements for my writing, but I cast the net out as widely as I can.
- If you could get locked in the closet with one celeb, who would it be and why?
I’m a huge Quentin Tarantino fan, so I wouldn’t mind getting locked in a closet with him. I’ve got a lot of questions to ask the man; he creates great characters in his films and gives them authentic and entertaining dialogue. I hear his work being quoted and referred to a lot around me because his style is distinct and his influences are broad. I’d pick his brain about that and brainstorm some ideas I have.
- At this point in your playwriting work, what kind of stories and questions are you drawn to?
I’m drawn to stories where characters’ discover their truth and their individuality. I feel that we get distracted from the things we want and from what we are capable of. The world is a noisy place and we can find it difficult to find our place in it, so I’d like to explore those journeys that lead characters to a path of awareness and contentment. Additionally, I want to explore social and political questions that we are facing at the moment. Like many, I am concerned about the current racial, ideological and environmental tensions that have created pretty extreme divisions that I feel my work should respond to.
- Tell us a fun fact about you!
I’m Aussie and when I first arrived to America and I kept telling people I have a pet kangaroo. No one batted an eyelid. I found it fun to play that up; it is fun to fall into your nation’s stereotypes, sometimes.
Read a Writing Sample of Inna’s Work!!
Two weeks notice
(Woman, late 20s/early 30s, sitting at a desk, typing on her computer, in a small apartment in East Village, New York City.)
Dear New York City. It is with sad regret that I formally provide my two weeks notice.
Sad regret…that’s bullshit, I don’t regret at all. In fact, I’m happy. I’m joyous. I’m sensationally ecstatic.
(clears throat) I’m grateful to the people who have provided valuable lessons that I’m going recall for some time to come. Thank you for letting me be a part of this…
Thank you? Thank you? No, fuck you! Fuck you New York City for running me into the gutter time and time again. Fuck you for the broken heart, broken knee, three broken iphones that smashed on the ground, slipping through my fingers only because you force me to run for the G train because it never comes. It just never comes.
And you know what New York City, New York City… overall, generally, for all intents and purposes, FUCK YOU!
But. But. (Pause) I did say, with sad regret. And regret it is. I regret that there’s an end. Even if it’s temporary and I’ll be back in ten years, or maybe in two… okay even if I’m back in six months. It is, after all, six months without you, New York.
More about Inna
Inna Tsyrlin has been writing and producing shorts and one acts in New York City including: “My Wife” for the HB Playwrights Foundation shorts series; “Happy Anniversary” and “I (heart Subway)” for Emerging Artists Theatre; and “Principal’s Office” for the Manhattan Repertory Theater. She has co-written/co-produced “Eggs”, short film, and reviews theater for StageBuddy.com