Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Spotlight On...Lizzie Vieh
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Education: B.A. Brown University, M.F.A. Brown/Trinity Graduate Program
Why theater?: I like story-telling, I like live performance, and I like to gather together with other people to experience art collectively.
Tell us about Barrier Islands: Barrier Islands is about a murder investigation that casts suspicion over a small island community. Two actors—one male, one female—portray three characters each. Over the course of nine scenes, each male character interacts with each female character, in a sort of twisted “La Ronde.” The play is about gender, power, violence, and fear – specifically, how these topics manifest in modern American sexual relationships between men and women.
What inspired you to write Barrier Islands?: I felt compelled to write this play because I am a high-strung, imaginative woman who lives with a lot of fear. Barrier Islands is a horror story for modern American women. Think of your deepest fears as you’re walking home alone late at night on an empty city street. That’s where the play begins – fear. Specifically, women’s fear of men. The play explores this in all of its manifestations – from the most directly physical and violent, to more subtle, psychological variations.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like dark, weird stuff that uses powerful, concise language. Bonus if it’s funny too. Playwrights that inspire me include Caryl Churchill, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, Paula Vogel, Erin Courtney, Maria Irene Fornes, Lanford Wilson, and Wallace Shawn.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Caryl Churchill and/or Les Waters
What show have you recommended to your friends?: 10 out of 12 by Anne Washburn, Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl, and Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Judith Light. It would be a Lifetime film entitled “I was Born 50: The Lizzie Vieh Story.”
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: John by Annie Baker
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Watching terrible TV and drinking craft beer in sweatpants with my dogs.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Wealthier
What’s up next?: I have a short play in Amios’s Shotz: Unity at the Kraine Theater on Monday, December 7th. My full-length play The Loneliest Number is being developed by Amios as part of their First Draughts series in March 2016.
For more on Lizzie, visit www.LizzieVieh.com