18 Jul F30 Countdown – Elin Hampton
With nineteen days until the festival begins let’s welcome Elin Hampton!
Elin Hampton is a playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter. Her plays and musicals have been produced and developed coast to coast. In 2016, she was a finalist for City Theatre’s National award for Short Playwriting. She has been published in Smith & Kraus’s: Best Ten Minute Plays 2015, The Collective Ten Plays: Volume 2, and in Applause Theatre Book: Contemporary Monologues for Kids 7-15. Club Mom, a musical written with composer Gerald Sternbach, is licensed with Steele Spring Stage Rights. Before being pulled back to her theatre roots, she wrote for television. Her credits include Mad About You, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dream On, Pinky and the Brain, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberries, John Leguizamo’s House of Buggin, Life’s Work, The Gregory Hines Show, and The Jackie Thomas Show. Elin is an active member of Ensemble Studio Theatre L.A, The Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild of America West, ASCAP, the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, and LAFPI. Originally from New York, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their three human children and two dogs.
When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I’d write comedy sketches or lyric parodies for camp shows. In my twenties, hoping to work as an actor, I knew I needed to create opportunities for myself, so I wrote comedy cabaret shows. It turned out people really liked my writing and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the writing process. I eventually learned to write for television and was really fortunate to make a living at it for a long time, but I’m thrilled to return to my first love… live theatre.
How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
Jumpstarted by a prompt for the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2015, I found a photograph of a man in a rocking chair, sitting amongst post-tornado debris. The photo haunted me, inspiring me to create the victim’s story. After the Hollywood Fringe Festival production, it received a wonderful production at the 2016 Summer Shorts Festival produced by City Wrights in Miami.
What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Passionate, easily-amused, collaborative, supportive, and still-emerging.
What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Neil Simon, Beth Henley, Stephen Sondheim.
What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I used to be tall.
What are some of your favorite plays?
Recently, I’ve loved Circle Mirror Transformation, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Proof, and Doubt…. I love one word titles and I’m a sucker for most musicals.
Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’d like to plug a musical I wrote with Gerald Sternbach called Club Mom, and Tear Down, a long one-act, that’s still awaiting its first full production. Currently, I’m developing an independent film with The Collective NY, based upon a short play they produced: Casey229.
Her play F4 will be produces on August 9th at 6:30pm. Following a devastating tornado, Wallis, an eager first time EMT, spots a survivor, a man she knew in her youth. He sits amidst debris, in his neon painted rocking chair, unmotivated to find safety. In her attempt to rescue him, she learns more than she’d like to know.