Friday, April 12, 2013

Spotlight On...Jill Campbell

Name: Jill Campbell   

New York, NY

Education: BFA, Theatre, Ithaca College and Bernard Kops Advance Playwriting Workshop, London, UK.

Favorite Credits:
Couple in the Kitchen, Lost Box of Utopia and Forgive Me Father

Why theater?:
Theatre is active and collaborative while producing it as well as watching it. I’ve seen productions that can chill or humor me to my core. I can rarely say that about other mediums. Also, theatre and the people who make it have been a sanctuary for me from a very young age. I might wander away once in a while, but I am always drawn back and amazed at what I discover there.

Tell us about Chemistry of Love:
It’s about a conceptual artist, Lara, who is nominated for a huge grant. In order to collect, she must present a new work to an anonymous committee. This elicits panic within her and jealousy amongst her friends and colleagues. They begin to show up at her studio in attempts to co-opt her work, until she turns the table on each of them by incorporating them into her work.  We are creating the actual art on stage with cool video art and sound effects. We have some amazing collaborators on board who are helping us achieve this.

What inspired you to write Chemistry of Love?:
I was mainly influenced by where I was at in my own career. I’ve been writing plays for 15 years. I’ve given up a lot personally to pursue this career. Productions are so rare, so my jumping off point was, is it really worth it to follow your passion and live your life as an artist when success is so fleeting? What is success? Does it have to be public or as an artist can we get by on personal success?  The romance of pursuing the life of a playwright or any type of artist naturally breeds competition in one’s peers and in one’s friends, and I wanted to explore that as well. I was also inspired by Camus’ The Artist at Work and Ayn Rand’s The Romantic Manifesto, which explores why one needs art in their lives. How does art help us contextualize who we are and where we are at as a society?

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I respond to risk taking, humorous, not neat or particularly commercial work.  I am drawn towards theater that hits you on more than one level; productions that linger long after I have left the theatre. I am inspired by artists who break boundaries and are truthful to their own voice even when it may contradict the norms of society.  I admire artists that are tapped into the core of their art and whom are confident enough to stay true to that core when the commercial world invades. Two people I have studied with that encompass this are playwrights Bernard Kops and Stephen Adly-Guirgis. Artists whom don’t mind working against societal norms, because those are the ones who will eventually help shape it.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
I’ve yet to work with a lot of people, but in a dream world I would love to work with Sarah Benson, Adam Rapp, Quentin Tarantino, anyone from Labyrinth Theater Company and New Georges.

What shows have you recommended to your friends?: Soho Rep’s production of Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show, Richard Nelson’s Sorry, The Foundry’s Good Person of Szechwan, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Mother Fucker with the Hat, Adam Rapp’s Hallway Trilogy, Tracey Lett’s Bug and Bathsheba Doran’s Kin.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I get told I look like Carly Simon a lot, but I would love it if Mary Louise Parker played me. I think the title of my movie would be, “It’s not a Rehearsal.”

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Anything on HGTV but this season’s The Voice is quickly usurping all, oh yeah, and Klonopin.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be ___:
Wishing I were, but I also work in documentary film and I would love to continue to do so.

What’s up next?:
I am working on a play about alcoholism and Christians. I am finishing a short film script. I am editing a documentary I filmed about my playwriting mentor Bernard Kops and collaborating with a scientist on a play about Crystallography.