I consider myself at an early stage in my career, even though I’m in my late 50s. I began as an actress, studied with Geraldine Page and Michael Schulman, and appeared in many Off-Off Broadway productions in the late ’70s and ’80s.
In 1990, I gave up my theatrical aspirations to raise my daughter with special needs, and teach drama to children on the autistic spectrum. In 2014, I returned to college after a 36-year absence, earning my BA in Theatre Arts and Education. Most importantly, I found my creative voice again, this time as a playwright.
I write for live theatre because I like the immediacy and the fact that it is a shared experience that can only happen one time, even though there may be many performances. Through my participation in writers groups, workshops and various productions, I’ve been fortunate to build up a network of wonderful actors who inspire me to write for and about them.
I want to widen my iris as an artist. I want to be inspired to write something out of my comfort zone. I write everywhere. On index cards, notebooks, my iPhone on the train, and so forth. I write in a very stream-of- consciousness manner, not necessarily sequentially. Sometimes I have no idea where it’s going to go. Sometimes they seem to write themselves.
“Sincerely Held Beliefs” began shortly after seeing Lindsey Ferrentino’s “This Flat Earth” at Playwrights Horizons. Though the topic was completely different, I learned that when the subject matter is very intense, even horrific, the audience needs the release of a laugh every few minutes. The laughs came from the truth of the characters, and their behavior, not necessarily from the written word. It was a very important lesson.
I work best with a deadline and responsibility to other people. I don’t need to be stroked. I’ve triumphed over a lot of adversity in life; I want to channel it into art.