Monday, September 29, 2014

Spotlight On...Natalie Bates

Name: Natalie Bates

Hometown: New York, New York

Education: BA in theater from Hofstra University; Playwriting Master Class, Donna de Mateo--HB Studio

Favorite Credits: My novel "Friend Of The Family" published by Atheneum (Macmillan) to excellent reviews; Always -one act play festival, Circus Theatricals (Odyssey Theater) in Los Angeles; "What Comes Next"--An evening of  my one act plays produced by HB Playwrights Theater; Manhattan Theater Source's EstroGenius Festival.

Why theater?: I love the immediacy of theater, watching the story unfold in front of you.

Tell us about Overnight: This play, Overnight was written for and about my best friend. I always thought she would see it performed and get a big kick out of it.  She was a great fan of my writing.  She was a wonderful actress, so her opinion meant a lot to me. .. Sadly she passed away last October.  I'm so happy that EstroGenius is performing it now--it feels like a loving nod to her.

What inspired you to write Overnight?: I've always loved theater.  I was an actress for many years.  But once I started writing I felt like I'd found my niche. After writing several novels I began to try my hand at plays--and found that I LOVED it! It was so much fun.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love plays that explore the complex dynamic between families and between friends. I love plays that have some humor, that can make me laugh as well as think and even cry.  And being a person who can't sing or dance, I'm completely enchanted by musical theater.  There are many writers who inspire me--when I encounter  truthful, vibrant situations and wonderfully drawn characters I'm inspired by that writer.  

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Helen Mirren--what fun it would be to write a play for her and see her perform it!

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The most recent--Jim Dale's one man show. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: would have been Anna Magnani and it would have been called.."Joy and Sorrow"

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Reading Mysteries--not the bloody, violent ones but the "cozies"--especially English ones, but they have to be very well written and have a very intriguing puzzle.  I love Sherlock and Agatha Christie....

What’s the most played song on your iPod?: Anything by Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney or Billie Holiday.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would _____?: Own a lovely little book store in the country with a cafe attached where people could come and drink coffee and read books and play chess..maybe listen to some nice music or hear some poetry read.

What’s up next?: A production of Overnight in the Emerging Artists Theater's New Works Series.  And then a reading of a full length version of Overnight at the Workshop Theater Company.