Interview about AFTERLIGHT

Quick Q&A: FringeNYC #4

Aug 2nd, 2009
by Patrick Lee

In this fourth in the series, I spoke with three playwrights who wrote dramas that will be seen in this year’s Fringe Festival


When did you start writing the play?

I started writing about three years ago after I saw, and was very moved by, an exhibit of Gregory Crewdson. He’s an American photographer who does a lot of small town scenes but he stages them like a film set, so the images are very rich and saturated. It was very easy to imagine lives for the characters in those photographs. That is what kickstarted me and got me into playwrighting.

What is your play about?

Afterlight is about a small town where a lot of strange things are happening. It follows three storylines. As it starts, a school bus crashes in the middle of August at twilight, a wife finds her husband digging up the floorboards looking for something, and a wolf is present where these two teenage lovebirds meet every night. It’s a lot about how they deal with these unforeseen circumstances. And it deals with a lot of other in-betweens: between life and death, sane and crazy, fear and courage. The relationships are realistic and recognizable – I hope the audience finds some humor between the characters – but the setting is definitely more surreal. It flirts with magic realism but it’s not fantasy. I’ve always loved magic realism in fiction.

Are you involved with most creative decisions about the production?

I am although I just moved to Philadelphia and I’m also eight months pregnant! Misti (Wills, the director) keeps me in the loop about rehearsals and I am getting to New York about once a week. It’s highly dramatic because I could go into labor at any time. The funny thing is that one of the characters in the play is as pregnant as I am!