27 Jul F30 Countdown – Erin Mallon
The OOB Festival only ten days away?! It seems like time is flying by, but don’t worry. It’s not too late to grab some tickets or a festival pass. And, we still have plenty of playwrights to meet. Say hello to Erin Mallon and her theatrical creation, The Spotted Gentleman.
Erin Mallon is a writer and voice artist in NYC. Her plays have been presented with Urban Stages, New Georges, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Dreamcatcher Rep, American Theater Group, Project Y and more. Erin’s play Branched (dir. Robert Ross Parker) premiered with InViolet Theater at HERE Arts Center in NYC and is in print with Original Works Publishing. Her new play, The Net Will Appear is an Honorable Mention on the 2016 Kilroys List and will have its World Premiere this fall at Mile Square Theatre. Other full-length plays include: Good Riddance, Hand Me Down, Stunning Displays of Prowess, and The Other White Meat. Erin is the narrator of over 175 audiobooks, a member of InViolet Theater and The Collective. She is one half of the newly launched Theater Husband/Theater Wife Project and is founder and co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator, a playwriting engine that creates “plays in less-than-30-days.”
When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
That moment came when I looked in my closet, and the flimsy top shelf was bowing with composition notebooks full of writing. I realized I was a closeted writer in the literal sense. I had already been a theater actor for years, so I just started diving differently into that world which I already knew and loved. That was about five years ago. Never in a million years did I think sitting in the audience watching a play I wrote could be as thrilling as being onstage in someone else’s, but the tides have changed and I am pretty psyched about the direction they’re flowing!
How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I initially wrote The Spotted Gentleman in response to a prompt with Amios Theater Company’s monthly Shotz project. That particular month, each playwright was assigned a time of day when her play needed to take place. I got 7am. That led me to brainstorming things folks do super early in the morning. I landed on exercise. I was also working with some brilliant actors who wanted to try their hands at gender-bending while I wanted to try my hand at writing a horror comedy. When I stumbled upon an article about some of the big carnivorous birds that have made Central Park their home, things started to fall into weird, wonderful place.
What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
I try to always come from a place of “Joy” and “Play” in my writing. If those two things aren’t fueling me, I can get into trouble pretty quickly. A director called me “Subversive” recently, which I quite liked! I love when writing forces me to learn about things I thought I knew, but was in fact actually pretty clueless about, so… “Curiosity?” And I always enjoy some “Weird” in the mix to make folks say, “what a second…what?”
What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Actors are my biggest inspiration and motivation. I am always thinking about them as I write. I love to write for specific performers and play to their strengths. When an actor feels well utilized and energized by the role she’s given, that’s a real kick in the pants for me.
What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I come across as a pretty wholesome “good girl,” but I’ve carved out a naughty career for myself as an erotic audiobook narrator. My saucy pseudonym even has swag! You can get T-shirts, mugs and beer glasses saying you were “aurally screwed” by me.
What are some of your favorite plays?
I love anything that can make me laugh while drawing my attention to what is real and true and potentially sad underneath. I’m a sucker for sad comedies. And I’m always hungry for the theatrical. I want it to be clear why a piece is meant to be experienced by a live audience and not on a handheld device or screen. I like plays that create a unique world and invite the audience to discover it and live inside it.
Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
This is an exciting Summer/Fall! The week after Samuel French wraps, my new theatrical love child with Bixby Elliot, Theater Husband/Theater Wife Project launches. A few weeks after that, my full-length play The Net Will Appear is premiering at Mile Square Theatre starring the wonderful Richard Masur. And in the midst of all that, my husband and I are expecting an actual love child. Birthing human babies and theater babies at the same time makes for a wild ride!
Her play The Spotted Gentleman will be performed on August 10th at 8:30pm. Charlene lives for her inappropriate 7am Central Park workouts with her god-of-a-personal-trainer, Bruce. But when her 8-year-old, Noah accompanies her and connects with a carnivorous falcon hovering above, her plans for “me time” are literally torn to shreds.