Three Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons get a little existential on the eve of their big day.
Katelin Wilcox is a playwright and actor based in New York City. Her work as a playwright has been produced at FringeNYC and the Fringe Encore Series, The CRY HAVOC Company (NYC), United Solo Festival (NYC), Southeast Missouri State University (MO), Lionhart Theatre Company (GA), Indiana Players (PA), Sandgate Theatre (Australia), Effulgent Productions (VA), and Ithaca College (NY). Favorite acting credits include Out of Tune (Lincoln Center Originals), Pride and Prejudice and Cymbeline (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jerset), Doubt (Public Theatre of Maine), Comedy of Errors (Vermont Shakespeare Company), Island and King John (New York Shakespeare Exchange), realer than that (The CRY HAVOC Company), and The Pawnbroker (FringeNYC/Fringe Encore Series). Katelin is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, member of Actors Equity, and Associate Artistic Director at The CRY HAVOC Company. www.katelinwilcox.com
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?
I wrote my first play in college as my senior honors thesis. It was pretty terrible. But it stayed in the back of my mind as something I’d always like to go back to. After a few years acting in New York, I got involved with a new play development company called The CRY HAVOC Company. They really encourage artists to be multi-disciplinary, and for playwriting especially to give it a try if you’re interested, even if you don’t think of yourself as a playwright. We would do these wonderful short play assignments that really helped me develop my skills as a writer, and pretty soon I realized it was something I loved to do.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
The CRY HAVOC Company used to have an annual fundraiser where we created Very Short Holiday Play Collections to give as gifts to our donors. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of my favorite holiday traditions, and since living in New York I’ve gone to see the balloon inflation the night before the parade a couple of times, which is kind of a magical experience. I had only ever written pretty realistic, “kitchen sink” type of plays before, but one year for my holiday play I couldn’t stop thinking of the parade and what it might be like to write a play from the perspective of the balloons. It was developed over the course of several months in our writers’ workshop, and the result was Hot Air. It’s maybe my favorite thing I’ve ever written.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
everybody’s complicated (even parade balloons)
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Everything from Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht, and Williams to 90’s rom coms, My So-Called Life, motherhood, and my delightfully crazy family
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
People seem to think I generally have myself together. I so do not have myself together.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
I’m a sucker for pretty much anything by the Bard.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m really proud to be part of the team of the UnLonely Film Festival, a project of the Foundation for Art and Healing. The foundation approaches loneliness as a public health issue, and promotes creative expression as a powerful tool to combat it. Each year they host a festival of short films that deal with loneliness, isolation, and the search for connection. I’ve been involved with the festival for three years, acting as a virtual host/moderator. On each film webpage, you can find a clip of me introducing the films and posing thought-provoking questions you might ask yourself after watching them. But beyond the shameless self-promotion, it’s a truly worthwhile organization doing great work, that has become even more important during the pandemic, and I encourage everyone to check it out!