Monday, September 21, 2015

Spotlight On...Laura Zlatos

Name: Laura Zlatos

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Education: M.A. candidate in Performance Studies, New York University; M.F.A. in Playwriting, Columbia University; B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing, New York University

Favorite Credits: Happily After Ever (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 59E59 Theaters, Signature Theater), Things I Never Learned in Physics (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Three Hours (HERE Arts), Odd.A.See (Arts@Renaissance)

Why theater?: Unlike any other art form, theater’s unique immediacy and ephemerality create a sense of awareness that affect both performers and audience members alike. Theater defies formula and with it, expectation. It can be anything you want it to be.

Tell us about Exposure: Exposure is a collaboratively devised play that deconstructs the mythos of the artist through the lens of photographer Francesca Woodman. The play examines her life and work through a series of snapshots that blur the distinction between woman, artist, and myth.

What inspired you to write Exposure?: Francesca’s work is unlike anyone else’s. Try as you might, you can’t look away. And when you do, it’s still there. It’s simultaneously mysterious and morbid, playful and grotesque, as if she knew something no one else did. When I learned about her suicide, I knew I could never look at her photography the same. I felt connected and disconnected to her at the same time. I started to wonder about the relationship between an artist’s work and life: when does one become the other and both the same thing? I thought, why do we try so hard to understand these things? Why do we feel the need to ask...why?

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I am interested in theater that challenges and surprises, inspires and provokes. I am drawn to the complicated, messy, and nontraditional. But really, I am interested in something truthful. The playwrights who most inspire me are Sarah Kane, Eugene Ionesco, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Jean Genet.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: David Wain

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Theater Hayal Perdesi’s The Empire Builders by Boris Vian

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Rooney Mara would play me in a movie called "Laura". Yes, it’s been done, but it’s a classic.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Blasted by Sarah Kane, directed by Sarah Benson at Soho Rep in 2008.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Macarons

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: An academic/activist working for women’s rights.

What’s up next?: I am collaborating on a show with the Exquisite Corpse Company called Secession 2015. I am writing a companion piece to Happily After Ever and planning to remount the original show.

For more on Laura, visit