When Jacob, a newly assigned census taker, makes a home visit to Gloria and attempts to get answers to the standard questions issued on the government forms, he discovers that the objective facts he’s seeking are not always so, as Gloria peels away the layers and confronts him with a different reality. That she is Black and he is white complicates their encounter in unexpected and mysterious ways.
Susan Miller is a two-time OBIE winner, Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her play 20TH CENTURY BLUES ran Off Broadway in the 2017/18 season, is licensed by Dramatists Play Service and published in “Plays By Women” (Methuen/ Drama). Miller’s solo play MY LEFT BREAST which premiered in ATL’s Humana Festival has been performed across the U.S and internationally. Her work has been done by The Public Theatre, Second Stage, Naked Angels, New York Stage & Film, The Mark Taper Forum, Theatre J, Trinity Rep, City Theatre of Miami, The O’Neill, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Invisible Theatre, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Miller co-ran the prestigious Dramatists Guild Fellows program and was a Consulting Producer/Writer for Showtime’s THE L WORD and ABC’s THIRTYSOMETHING. She won the Writers Guild of America Award for her Indie Web Series, ANYONE BUT ME.
A BIT ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
My first play was called “NO ONE IS EXACTLY 23.” I was twenty three. A typewriter given to me when I was eleven might also have something to do with it.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I had the idea for this play when I learned more about the workings of the U.S Census and its ramifications. But, I wasn’t as interested in exploring its literal aspects as much as I was in using it as a jumping off point. To look hard at the trouble we’re in. Which I hoped I could achieve in the way two people with different and combustible histories might have a revelatory moment.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Mining chaos to extract connection.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Well, everything. But, the existence of my son above all. He’s a conduit to the life of others, linking me to relationships beyond the self to larger, more urgent considerations. I’m a mother and a citizen and because of him I know what that means.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
That my father and I won the First Prize trophy in a “Father Daughter” bowling tournament.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
OUR TOWN, THE BALD SOPRANO, WAITING FOR GODOT, ANGELS IN AMERICA, A DELICATE BALANCE, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, INDECENT, SWEAT, and everything Chekhov wrote.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
Things are in motion. I’ll just say that.