Ok, look, I’m not sold on the name either everybody. Maybe I’m forcing the porcine theme too much, I don’t know, we can revisit it later.
For now, we wanted to give you chance to learn a little more about Ilana Lydia, Artistic Director of B3 Productions and playwright of our upcoming staged reading A Sense of Wonder.
I asked Ilana a few questions about her views on theatre, and you can ask her some yourself next Friday, August 10 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Tickets are $5 or pay-what-you-can. There will be a facilitated feedback session afterwards, so be ready to share your thoughts and help the creative process thrive!
•What is your theatrical background?
Ilana: I started as a director, being left alone with actors and my first notepad at the tender age of 11. Luckily, I’ve been able to grow beyond almost all of my first experiences. I’ve always valued people, relationships, and process over the end product, and so as a playwright, it’s experiences like this that keep me writing.
•What inspired you to write A Sense of Wonder?
Ilana: I had the image of a woman escaping from universe to universe in my mind, then I found her friend, and the rest pretty much wrote itself. I enjoy science fiction, feminism, and comedy–this script seemed to fall together right across these lines for me.
•What appeals to you about using science fiction elements on stage?
Ilana: It’s not done as often as I think it should be. Science fiction/fantasy is such a rich field, but many producing agents shy away from it. I like to watch new ideas, and different worlds or universes are the perfect place to explore these.
•What are some themes you find yourself focusing on in your work?
Ilana: Metatheater is my big one–the play becoming aware of itself as a play, the characters understanding they are characters, or the audience suddenly seeing itself as an audience. I think it’s safe to say that I explore feminist topics, as well.
•What do you think is unique about theatre in the Valley?
Ilana: What a vibrant community we have! There’s so much going on every weekend all across the Valley–you could never spend an evening home, if you wanted. We’re so lucky to have virtually every type of taste represented in our theaters, from Disney musicals to existential reflections on life. There are so many opportunities here. We just need to be sure to help each other along the way.
•What advice would you give someone interested in playwriting?
Ilana: Find a writer’s group. Having to check in with new writing every so often will keep you producing. Exchange with friends. Exchange with acquaintances. Keep going. And above all, be grateful for whatever practice you have. It’s an honor to be able to put down your words and come out with a script.
Huge thanks to Ilana for submitting her work to be read. If you’d like us to consider your work for a future reading, you can share it through the New Work Submissions link. See you at the reading, and until then, keep creating!