F30 Countdown – Eliana Pipes

We only have five playwrights left on our countdown, which means the OOB Festival is just around the corner! Have you bought your tickets yet? If you can’t bring yourself to choose only one performance to see, then check out our Festival Pass

Now, let’s meet finalist Eliana Pipes and her play Stiletto Envy

Eliana Pipes is a playwright, filmmaker, actor and student at Columbia University in the class of 2018.  Recent playwriting work includes:  Stiletto Envy (The Fire this Time Festival); To Serve Butter (Ensemble Studio Theater LA’s One Act Festival); A Brief History of the United States (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage); Snow Gray (Young Playwrights Inc. Competition); From Another House (California Playwrights Project); and Mom, Put Your Flask Away (The Blank Young Playwrights’ Festival).  As a filmmaker, she’s the writer director and lead actor of Meet Me @ The Clinic (www.theclinicshow.com), and produces a video series for Encompass at the Western Justice Center.  As an actress, she’s performed in the Fire This Time Festival and on Broadway as a national finalist for the 2013 August Wilson Monologue Competition.  


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

I wrote my first play in the third grade when a nonprofit called YoungStorytellers brought their program to my elementary school, and from there, I ended up at an arts high school in Los Angeles called LACHSA as an actress. I realized I wanted to write because I was dissatisfied with the roles available to me as a woman and a person of color – I knew I could do more than what I was given. 

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

I wrote Stiletto Envy for the Fire This Time Festival, where it was showcased in their 10 minute play portion.  It was inspired by the unique ways that gender roles played out at my arts high school.

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

Tender, tenacious, vibrant, observant, engaged.  

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

Junot Diaz, Suzan Lori-Parks, August Wilson, David Sedaris, Charlie Kauffman, Kara Walker, Shakespeare, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Shonda Rhimes. And everything I have done or will do is influenced by my wonderful mother. 

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

I’m a self-taught juggler. 

What are some of your favorite plays?

Tribes (Nina Raine), An Octoroon (Branden Jacobs-Jenkins), Other Desert Cities (Jon Robin Baitz), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare),  Marcus and the Secret of Sweet (Tarell Alvin McCraney), Father Comes Home From the Wars (Suzan Lori-Parks). 

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

My short term projects include a lot of Grad School applications!  But, after that, I’m revisiting a my full length They Also Serve, and cooking up a new web series.  You can always stay updated with my work at elianapipes.com!  


Her play Stiletto Envy will be performed on August 10th at 6:30pm. Melanie and Shaun are old friends, but when a secret meeting takes an unexpected turn, she’s forced to reconcile the fact that her upbringing might be at odds with her heart.