Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spotlight On...Celeste Koehler

Name: Celeste Koehler

Hometown: Bridgton, Maine

Education: B. S. in Professional Arts

Favorite Credits: Playwright, written by Celeste Koehler

Why theatre?: As a writer, I love the idea of collaboration. I’m excited by a producer taking interest in my work. I’m intrigued by a director who sees something in my play that I hadn’t seen before. It thrills me to see actors bring my characters to life. Theatre allows my dreams to come alive and grow before my eyes.

Tell us about Goodbye Avis?: Goodbye Avis began as a short story that never actually worked. I kept seeing the story played out in my mind but couldn’t actually translate it to the page. When I was asked by a local theatre to come up with a short play, Miriam and Emma took over and wrote the play for me.

What inspired you to write Goodbye Avis?: Loneliness. I was living in Luxembourg and spoke none of the languages. After a successful administrative career in the US, I had lost my voice. I had no means to engage with other people, to share my insights, my intelligence, or my humor.  I decided to turn my energy inward, use the language I did have and express myself through writing. Writing saved me, and opened my mind to the many different ways we can express ourselves and choose our audience.

What kind of theatre speaks to you? Who or what inspires you as an artist?: I like theatre that reflects the human condition both dramatic and comic. I love pieces that explore human relationships. I am fascinated by the interplay of people when faced with a certain situation or even just the condition of disparate personalities in a room together. Women. Women, to me, are like the world’s oceans. They are used and abused, taken for granted, underestimated, vast, unexplored, unknowable and harbor secrets in their depths that we can only imagine. They are the most powerful force on earth with the energy to change the landscape.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Well, since we’re imagining…Meryl Streep. I would love to see her embrace one of my characters.

What show have you recommended to you friends?: Veils by Tom Coash. It was the 2012 Clauder Competition winner at the Portland Stage Company and premiered last year. It was a great play to lose to.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Bernadette Peters. Except for the singing part, we have similar voices. The title: “All I Know About Life My Dead Mother Taught Me”

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: The charmed life I lead. I don’t think I earned it but my Mother says it’s mine and I should enjoy it.

What’s the most played song on your IPod?: The Celtic Women version of “Goodnight, My Angel”. It puts my granddaughters to sleep.

If you weren’t working in theatre, you would be___?: A far less satisfied writer.

What’s up next?: I’m writing a full length play and trying for that Clauder Competion.