Prefers Bright Indirect Light
Four houseplants on a window sill contemplate their lives indoors, friendship, mortality, and if they’ll ever be watered again.
Veronica Tjioe is a non-binary actor, playwright, and proud member and literary manager of The Attic Collective, a Los Angeles based company focusing on new and devised theatre. Veronica’s first work, Dead Dog’s Bone: A Birthday Play, won the Dharma Grace Playwriting Award in 2012, and the Hollywood Fringe Encore Producer’s Award in 2015. The Attic Collective’s 2019 Hollywood Fringe production of their play, The Last Croissant, was nominated for five awards and won Best of the Broadwater, Best Ensemble, and Top of Fringe. Veronica has an MA in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz and their plays have had readings and productions in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Veronica is wild about theatre that involves magical realism, existentialism, clowning, inclusivity, feminism, surprises, accessibility, community, and snacks.
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 began writing plays in college. As a half-asian non-binary actor, I had trouble finding plays where I felt seen or that truly felt like they would be fun worlds to produce and live in for weeks at a time. During an Intro to Playwriting course a play just spilled out of me unbidden and though writing has never happened that effortlessly since, I realized that I would have to write the plays I wanted to see, produce, and perform in and I’ve been at it ever since.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
During the summer of 2020, thirty-four Los Angeles theatre companies united to produce “Together LA” a virtual play festival of new shorts to benefit Color of Change, an organization fighting for racial justice. Inkwell Theatre, with whom I’ve had the honor of working several times asked me to write their submission. The world felt so heavy and fraught at that time and while I felt a pull to write about everything happening (the BLM marches, the election, the pandemic, attacks on Asians in the streets, etc etc etc) I also desperately wanted an escape from it all. I ended up asking myself what kind of play I would want to see and the honest answer was I would love nothing more than to see some grown-ass adults wearing ridiculous costumes, taking themselves too seriously, with some prop comedy thrown in for good measure. I basically came up with Samuel Beckett meets Sesame Street, which I personally think is a pretty good balm for the soul.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
existential clown tragedy, plus snacks
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Sarah Ruhl was my first love and the first playwright to inspire me to write. Theatrically I owe lots to Samuel Beckett and stylistically I am indebted to Maira Kalman, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the Muppets, and Patty Gallagher who taught me clowning.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
My first language was German.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
“Melancholy Play” by Ruhl, “Indecent” by Vogel, “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo” by Park, “Tribes” by Raine
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
Very excited to be doing a playwright residency with Project Nongenue, an LA theatre company that specializes in feminist retellings of myths and classics.