Monday, August 10, 2015
Spotlight On...Caroline Kelly Franklin
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Education: BA in Theater form Troy University, Summer Theater Program at The North Carolina School for The Arts
Favorite Credits: Writer: Last Night at The Carmine, The Girl in the Grave Yard, "Seeking Tragedy: Must be Tidy", "The Bronte Girls" / Acting: Lead in feature film “Four Magpies”, Desdemona in Othello, Emily in Our Town
Why theater?: Theater is alive. We don’t work to create something in theater that will say something one time in one way. We work to create a living breathing organism that takes on a new and unique life every time it is performed. I love that when you write for theater the moment you finish a piece you give it to the world to make what they will of it. I love the things actors and directors (when someone else is directing my work) find that I never considered. I love that when a production closes the piece just waits for someone else to find it and give it a new life all over again. It never stops evolving.
Tell us about Last Night at The Carmine: Last Night at the Carmine tells the story of a beloved NYC building’s last night before condemnation and the seven life changing moments that occur on its rooftop, the hour before the condemnation is announced.
What inspired you to write Last Night at The Carmine?: My best friend in College Doug Watkins wrote a short story from the perspective of a building that was “dying”. Ever since then I’ve been a little obsessed with the life and death of buildings. So when I was given an assignment for a writers group to pick an “Untranslatable Word” from a list of 20 and use a five page scene to define the word, I set the scene on the roof of a dying building. The group moved on to a different assignment… I did not.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Shows that seek to answer big questions and analyze big moments in simple ways. I think I’m most inspired by questions. Who are we? What are we doing here? Why did that moment that seemed like nothing in the scheme of things change my life? Why can’t I forget a love affair that never began? I love the writers of the romantic era, especially Walt Whitman. I think David Foster Wallace will always make me feel more connected to what it is to be a person than anything else I’ve ever read. So many people, Sofia Coppola, John Patrick Shanely, Jenny Connell Davis, Mary Louise Parker... My assistant Director Catharine Maness.
If you could work with anyone you've yet to work with, who would it be?: My Dad. He’s a writer and Football Coach at Cal Berkeley, but he’s always done non fiction, so we exchange chapters and scenes for feedback but have never collaborated. I have pilot for an original series about a controversial SEC football coach that I’d love for us to be able to collaborate on if it gets picked up.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Dragon Play I had the pleasure of seeing this powerful new play by Jenny Connell Davis when I was in the Bay Area this past fall. It was the most original way I’d seen a play talk about young love and how we carry it to adulthood. I saw it three times. Also Hedwig and the Angry Inch because, I mean, come on! You have to!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Probably an unknown actress, I love watching unknown actors. If I was just picking someone I adore and relate to it would be fellow Kentuckian Jennifer Lawrence. The movie would be called “Last Night I Got Angry and Wrote a Play”
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: David Cromer’s Our Town, it’s my favorite play, and I think that using a fully realized sett and props in the third act is genius.
What's your biggest guilty pleasure?: Taking way too long to find, and getting way too excited about having perfect change.
If you weren't working in theater, you would be _____?: Either in the Peace Corps or counseling of some kind.
What's up next?: I’m staring in a short film I also wrote called “Reset Button”, as well as developing several other scripts for film and T.V., including a feature film “Seeking Tragedy: Must be Tidy”, and a pilot about the Bronte sisters called “The Bronte Girls”. I also am pursuing productions for other full-length plays I’ve written including “Girl in the Graveyard”
For more on Carolin, visit carolinekellyfranklin.com