Following their sex therapist’s advice, Jamie and Charlie try to set the mood for a romantic evening to practice staying present during physical intimacy. A tenderly clumsy attempt to reclaim sexual connection within a partnership in the wake of trauma.
Caity-Shea Violette is a national award-winning and internationally produced playwright. Her plays include TARGET BEHAVIOR (Kennedy Center’s National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Excellence Award Winner, The Lark’s Shakespeare’s Sister Playwriting Fellowship Semifinalist), REAP THE GROVE (O’Neill Theatre Conference Semifinalist), CREDIBLE (Blue Ink Playwriting Award Semifinalist), SLOW JAM (Kennedy Center’s Gary Garrison National Ten-Minute Play Award Winner), THE STAND (Susan Glaspell Playwriting Festival National Award Winner), and others. She is a member of Dramatists Guild of America and was named part of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership’s 2017 Fellows Class, a program for emerging leaders with disabilities who are committed to creating change. Caity-Shea is a Midwestern native who earned her BFA in Acting at University of Minnesota, Duluth and is a graduate of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. She currently resides in Boston where she is completing her MFA in Playwriting at Boston University. More at www.caitysheaviolette.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 started writing plays when I was a junior at my performing arts high school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A core writer from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis came to guest teach a playwriting class for a semester and I was one of six students selected to participate in the project. I ended up producing the play I wrote in that class in the Minnesota Fringe festival the following year and after seeing my words onstage, I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to make playwriting my career.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I wrote this play as part of an exercise for a short play workshop with Halley Feiffer in the spring of 2019. The prompt was to write a dramatic piece written in a comedic style or vice versa, and the piece would then be read by actors on the final day of the workshop. I had initially been planning to bring in another piece, but I got the idea for Slow Jam while walking back to my hotel the night before the reading. By the time I reached my room, the characters and story felt so clear to me that I sat down to write and had a full draft within a couple of hours.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Tender, Quirky, Intersectional, Genre-bending, Hopepunk.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Before going to graduate school, I spent several years working with a variety of nonprofits in Chicago that served trauma survivors and people experiencing mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This work solidified my interest in creating trauma-informed theatre about trauma that is comedic and raw and challenging and hopeful without being exploitive or alienating the people who have lived experience with the stories I’m telling.
I also recently finished classes for my MFA playwriting program at Boston University, so I’ve spent the last two years with a small cohort and a group of professors who have definitely helped shape my writing and strengthen my voice.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I’m a certified yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
I always forget some plays that I absolutely love when I try to write a list, but some recent favorites include: The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee, Mala by Melinda Lopez, How to Defend Yourself by Lily Padilla, Wicked Bitter Beast(s) by Kira Rockwell, Cowboy and The Moon by Eliana Pipes, and of course, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I have two new full-lengths currently in development. My play Rx Machina, a literal manifestation of doctors being in bed with drug reps to explore how big pharma shaped the opioid epidemic, will have a production at Boston Playwrights Theatre this fall or whenever live theatre is a thing again. I’m also currently working with a few companies to workshop my play Women: in Space! GASLIGHT SUPERNOVA, a story that weaves between an elevated sci-fi universe and the dark grounded reality beneath it to give “strong female characters” trapped inside the male gaze the chance to fully realize themselves. You can also always find info about any upcoming projects at www.caitysheaviolette.com