At the start of February, I was fortunate enough to have my play “Prima Donna” included in CATCO’s New Works Festival. I’ve previously written plays for CATCO’s season for families and young audiences, so audiences primarily knew me as a writer for younger audiences. During the talkback that followed the staged reading of “Prima Donna,” someone asked if this was my first play for general audiences. Instead of answering quickly with “No, I’ve written many others,” I thought about the progression of my plays and suddenly charted a connection from the plays I was writing in graduate school to “Cowgirls Don’t Ride Zebras” (my first play for families and young audiences) to “Prima Donna.”
Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about my theatrical “voice.” I remember years ago, I was at a Dramatists Guild event, talking with a group of people between a session. There was a young writer who asked about “voice.” Specifically, she asked if writers had the goal of writing dialogue through the individual, specific voice of each character, how does “our voice” as author come through? I had never really articulated my thoughts on this, but I came up with an answer.
One of my favorite shows in the whole musical canon is Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's Little Shop of Horrors. I love it so much that it was the first thing I directed in high school. It also was something I quoted for every college application I wrote. Also, I just purchased this last night: