A kind gesture of friendship to an elderly neighbor becomes a turning point in Sam’s life. His tragedy is transformed through the wisdom of Edith, a firebrand who is much more than what meets the eye.
Ignacio Lopez is a playwright and actor living in Maine. His work has been supported by New York Theatre Workshop, the Bushwick Starr, and INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center, among others. His play, Severed, was published by 53rd State Press. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Texas at Austin and has contributed his writing, dramaturgical, and performance talents to the Public Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others.
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 junior year at North Carolina School of the Arts, where I was working towards my BFA in acting. I had a semester where I was not slated to play any large parts and began writing to occupy my time. Since then, writing has become a part of my creative life, which extends into many areas.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
There is a moment in Louise Erdrich’s novel LaRose, when a man who is suffering from a significant loss does a small favor for a member of the community. The intensity of this man’s loss and how it weighs upon him, even as he is doing something completely unrelated and mundane, resonated with me. I wanted to explore more fully a moment like this and, as I did, themes of faith and hopelessness, which I wrestle with in my work, came into play.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Reflective, thorough, tough, thoughtful, compassionate
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Richard Nelson, Craig Lucas, Elena Ferante, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Andre Aciman…and major events that impacted the lives of my parents and grandparents (and, thus, me), such as the Cuban Revolution and the Spanish Civil War.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I have an incredibly childlike, playful side.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
The Inheritance, I Was Most Alive With You, Hamlet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, The Crucible
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I am working on a play titled After All, a drama about a family impacted by inter-generational trauma and the quest to reclaim hope and meaning in one’s life after all has seemingly been lost or broken.