A couple is faced with a bizarre dilemma when their dream of starting a family turns into a science fiction nightmare.
HALEY RICE is a writer, actor, musician and model originally hailing from Nashville, TN. She graduated from the NYFA’s Musical Theatre Conservatory and has a BA in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina, but considers her greatest education the seven months she took to solo travel. She’s studied Meisner at the Matthew Corozine Studio for the last five years and is a better artist for it. Her first play LOU, based on the life of Lou Salome, premiered in 2017 at the Paradise Factory in the East Village.
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?
When I was 8, my parents bought me a plastic typewriter for Christmas. I remember sitting down and feeling the magic of it— all the things I could conjure up at will. I wrote many pieces, but it wasn’t until much later in my life, after I fell in love with acting and singing, that I ventured into writing for the stage.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I’m part of a writer’s group at my acting studio called The Writer’s Block at MCS, and they did a 48-hour playwrighting challenge — the seed of Chimera came out of that draft. I set out to write a romantic comedy… if you’ve read the play, then you know that I may have missed the mark. It does pay homage to one of my favorite books, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Once I gave up trying to make it a rom-com, it kind of just flowed out of me, only requiring a few minor adjustments and edits.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Brave, truthful, provocative, quick, and nostalgic.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
The entire musical theatre catalogue from Rogers and Hammerstein to Jason Robert Brown. Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women that my mother used to read to me. My father used to take me to the National Storytelling Festival every year since I was 4, so that art form is in my bones. And I’m a sucker for any sad story of an underdog lead character with a big dream.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
During the covid-19 pandemic, I grew a garden from seed to harvest of 35 vegetable varieties and over 150 individual plants.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill, Skylight by David Hare, She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m working on the second draft of a dark comedy about a mother and daughter tangled in MLM company, a screenplay that tells the story of a 19th century family keeping a secret about their son to save their name, and I’m part of a group of writers that just wrote and produced a film called “Filling the Void” that is in post-production as we speak. In other words, I can’t sit still.