F30 Countdown – Carey Crim

Our 42nd OOB Festival is twenty-nine days away. For today’s countdown we’re going to meet Carey Crim. 

Carey Crim is an award-winning playwright and resident artist at The Purple Rose Theater Company. Her play, Conviction, premiered to critical acclaim at Bay Street Theatre starring Sarah Paulson, Garret Dillahunt and Elizabeth Reaser. It then opened at The Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California where it was nominated for an Ovation award for best new play. Her earlier works, Growing Pretty, Wake and Some Couples May… all received world premieres at The Purple Rose Theatre Company. Wake received a West Coast Premiere at the SeaGlass Theatre in Los Angeles where it was a critic’s pick. Carey has recently adapted it for the screen and it will begin filming this June. Her latest play, Morning After Grace ran to sold out houses at The Purple Rose Theater Company starring Randolph (Randy) Mantooth. It is slated to run at Asolo Repertory Theater and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in 2018. Carey is a graduate of Northwestern University.

OOB Fun fact: Carey was one of our finalists in last year’s festival


When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?

I was never a Barbie girl, but I had oodles of stuffed animals and I wrote dialogue for them daily. Once that phase passed ( I believe it was last year sometime) I moved on to other characters. But I’ve always written. Journals, survival jobs, etc. I began writing my own audition monologues (I was an actress first). I started getting better feedback on the monologues themselves than the auditions! One director encouraged me to write a whole play around one of my audition pieces. I did. The result was Growing Pretty which was produced by the Purple Rose Theater.

How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

I had numerous friends who were dealing with the issues that are in the play.  And once I started writing, more people came forward.  I wanted to address it with humor and truth.  

What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Humor, healing, empathy, yes, why.

What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

Besides all of the incredible writers I’ve studied, admired and learned from over the years… My family ( I come from a family of journalists and writers). If you go far enough back, you’ll find the Brothers Grimm. And my brother, Al, is one of the best writers I know. And the Purple Rose Theater has been a really significant part of my writing journey, especially Guy Sanville and Michelle Mountain.  Some important teachers in my life: Mrs. Buterakas (Second Grade) Mrs. Angel, (Sixth grade), Sally Reynolds (My first theater teacher) David Downs (acting teacher, Northwestern)

What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

I can be extremely messy.  

What are some of your favorite plays?

There are so many but I’ll just name a few that I have a personal connection to. Arcadia, All My Sons, Rabbit Hole, Uncle Vanya, King Lear, Book of Days, Circle Mirror Transformation, Wit, Three Sisters, Angels in America, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Ghosts, How I learned to Drive, The Crucible, The Little Princess (The first play I was ever in that started this wonderful journey.)

Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

23.5 Hours is having a reading in Chicago next week at Route 66 Theater Company.  Morning After Grace opens at Asolo Repertory Theater in January and then at Royal Manitoba Theater Centre in the spring.  


Her play Green Dot Day will be performed on August 11th at 6:30pm. It’s about the couple Emily and David who desperately want a baby but, so far, it hasn’t happened for them. Tonight…they must try to procreate before the window of opportunity is slammed shut for yet another month. Emily plans a romantic evening, but the stress of “have to”  has squashed “want to” and the whole thing might prove to be too much for them both.