2011-2012 Season, Boom Artists, First Flight, Indie Theatre Community

Three Questions for Susan Ferrara

Susan Ferrara is the playwright of THE MACHINE, which gets a featured reading in the FIRST FLIGHT New Play Festival on November 19th.

1. What was your inspiration for writing The Machine.

I remember sitting in the audience for Caryl Churchill’s “Far Away” and walking out of the theatre feeling completely overwhelmed by the images and language of the piece. That play, and the experience of watching it, has been rattling around in my head ever since and served to inspire, in part, the writing of “The Machine”. What ultimately drove me to sit down with my laptop – well after I saw “Far Away” – was the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. When I couldn’t/wouldn’t even ride the “W” train from our apartment in Astoria into the city because I didn’t want to support that man by riding a freakin’ train that had some portion of his name attached to it. Ridiculous. The frustration, anger and hopelessness I felt then was poured into the script.

2. The play is extremely expressionistic and visual. Why chose that style for this specific play?

The play is a nightmare. Literally. The family and their neighbors have been asleep for decades and can’t wake up. Their nightmare is visual; full of metaphor; expressionistic. I like the style because it makes emotional sense for these people; like a child’s view of a power that they can’t control, can’t understand, can’t stop.

3. When do you like to write? Early morning or late at night? And what do you always have to have with you when you are working?

My husband gives me the business because I have no set pattern for writing. You know when you get that thing in your brain; that idea or whatever that you just have to deal with? That’s writing for me. So I’ll sit down and just keep fidgeting around until I get (what ever it is) out of my system. I don’t necessarily have to have anything with me. Being ticked off is usually enough to put me in front of my computer. That and a good cup of coffee.

The reading of THE MACHINE takes place on Saturday November 19th at 2pm at ART/NY, 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd floor. For reservations, please email literary@boomerangtheatre.org

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