Note: The music used in this episode was written by Jenny Giering for the play Silent Sky.
Sometimes all the stars align and all of the elements that go into making these interviews and conversations so great, including the technology side of it, work in my favor, and sometimes they don’t. I admit that there are times that I’ve forgotten to press the record button, or forgotten to turn a mic on, or didn’t put on my headphones and test the sound before I started recording. So, when things all come together and work, I am relieved. And when they don’t, well, that’s on me too, and I have to come up with a different way of sharing the information with you, rather than the traditional Q and A. That’s what happened when I interviewed Lauren Gunderson. I was so excited to land this interview because I loved Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of The Revolutionists and had read some articles Lauren had written for the ‘Huffington Post.’ I toiled away preparing for this interview and was delighted to find that we actually have a lot in common. We’re both moms, we’re both married to scientists, well she’s married to a scientist, I’m married to an engineer, but same difference and we both love this thing called the theater. And when we got on the phone, she was so funny, approachable, and really smart. It was like chatting with your best girlfriend. After we hung up, I downloaded the recording to my computer, as I always do, and sadly, the audio was compromised and not fit for broadcast. Fortunately, however, my very patient transcriptionist Issa was able to work her way through the choppy audio and transcribe the entire interview.
I was also able to sit down with Egla Hassan, who is here from Texas to direct the Sonorous Road production of Lauren’s play Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight which runs March 29th through April 14th.
Other Upcoming Productions:
About the Guests
Lauren Gunderson is a playwright, screenwriter and short story author from Atlanta, GA. She received her BA in English/Creative Writing at Emory University and her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch. She was named the most produced playwright in America by ‘American Theatre Magazine’ in 2017, was awarded the 2016 Lanford Wilson Award from the Dramatist Guild, the 2016 Otis Gurnsey Award for Emerging Writer, and was awarded the prestigious 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for her play, I and You. By my count, she has written or co-authored 20 plays, including The Revolutionists, Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight (Sonorous Road, March 29th – April 14th), and Silent Sky (Burning Coal, April 2020). She has been commissioned by South Coast Rep (3 times), San Francisco Playhouse (2 times), The Denver Center Theatre Company, Crowded Fire, CentralWorks, The Kennedy Center, The Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Express Theatre, Dad’s Garage Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, City University of New York and Synchronicity Performance Group. Gunderson lives in California with her husband (a scientist) and two children.
Egla Hassan is an accomplished director and professor of theatre whose 34-year career at Western Illinois University included heading the Master of Fine Arts in Directing program and helping young theatre artists to find their own voice. She has spent most of her adult life engaged in some form of theatrical pursuit. Whether that was exploring the relationship between religion and drama during her time at Christian Theological Seminary, performing with a small theatrical group in Pennsylvania, or writing plays for special audiences, Hassan says that she has always looked for the ways in which theatre speaks about the human condition. Hassan is now retired from teaching but still works as a freelance director. In 2017, Hassan directed Sonorous Road’s production of Straight, White, Men. This month, she returns to Sonorous Road to direct Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight.
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