Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Rulers: A Sneak Peek into Rule of 7x7: Summer Edition

It's that time again! To prepare you for the latest edition of Rule of 7x7: Summer Edition, the 7 playwrights tell you a little bit about themselves and their rules! Check them out at The Tank on Friday, August 21st at 7:00pm and 9:30pm!

Meet the Writers 

Name: Brett Epstein

Hometown: Hamden, CT

Education: Providence College (BA; Theater & Writing)

What is your rule?: A prayer on page 2.

Why did you pick your rule?: I like rules that are specific (page 2) but that leave room for individual playwright flair (a prayer).

Tell us about Brett on Mars: Dan McCabe plays me. And I visit Mars.

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: Seven 10-minute plays (mostly comedies) that had 5-7 hours of rehearsal, and tech'ed for 35 minutes the day of the show. The 7pm show is like the SNL dress rehearsal, the 9:30pm show is the rowdy party. Plus you can expect a free beer. And to be surrounded by fun people.

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7?: I mean. Why NOT. #Deep

For more on Brett, visit www.itsbrett.net

Name: Jack Horton Gilbert

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Education: BFA in Theatre Performance from Ohio University, 2010

What is your rule?: "You know what your problem is? _____"

Why did you pick your rule?: It's a device I see in a lot of film and stage but something I've never heard someone say in real life. I thought the writers could have a lot of fun with it and was curious what directions they could take an open ended prompt.

Tell us about Jack Midnight in: Les Liaisons Agacant: It's zany. And a bit absurd. But with the nature of finding a reasonable apartment in NYC and the lengths some people will go to for a deal not entirely outside the realm of possibility.

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: Some incredibly unique and original voices and a lot of very talented people having a really good time.

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7?: It's an absolute party and you get a free drink. Plus you support emerging playwrights and artists; what's not to love?

Name: Lia Romeo

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Education: Princeton (undergrad), Rutgers (MFA)

What is your rule?: 3 a.m.

Why did you pick your rule?: I feel like things that happen in the middle of the night are inherently more dramatic, even if they're things that could also happen during the day

Tell us about Criminal Intent: It's about a relationship that gets rekindled in a very unexpected way

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: I don't know!  It's my first time being involved.  But I can't wait to see how the other writers handle the rules... I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7?: Writing to the rules is a fun challenge... but I think it's also actually a way to end up with a better set of plays.  More specific writing is stronger writing, and we've all got seven specific elements that we have to include, so I think the plays are going to be great.

For more on Lia, visit https://newplayexchange.org/users/177/lia-romeo

Name: Jeff Ronan

Hometown: Holmdel, NJ

Education: Kean University and the Moscow Art Theatre School

What is your rule?: The play must end with the title of a Beatles song.

Why did you pick your rule?: I'd been working on a Fringe show where my character was a big Beatles nut and was right in the middle of my Beatles research for the role.

Tell us about Granny Sprinkles Solves a Crime: Granny Sprinkles Solves a Crime follows a young police officer forced to pair up with a 90-year-old amateur sleuth who happens to be part cat. In the grand tradition of "Murder She Wrot"e and Agatha Christie's "Miss Marple", Granny Sprinkles may be elderly but her sleuthing days are far from over.

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: Lots of cat puns. And perhaps...MURDER??

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7?: I've written for Rule of 7x7 twice before and both times have been amazing experiences. The shows are fast, funny, and seeing the many ways people can implement the rules is always a treat!

For more on Jeff, visit www.jeffronan.com

Name: Charly Evon Simpson

Hometown: Born in Queens, Raised in Northern NJ

Education: BA - Brown University, MSt - University of Oxford, New College, MFA - Hunter College (currently enrolled)

What is your rule?: Broken iPhone

Why did you pick your rule?: An hour after purchasing my iPhone 6, I dropped it on a city street while trying to open the box.

Tell us about Try Again: Try Again is about an ex-boyfriend showing up on my doorstep at 3am.

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: Actors, directors, and writers having a lot of fun.

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7?: It has been such a great experience to write a play with these rules and to work with some of my favorite artists. That excitement will be evident on the stage!

For more on Charly, visit www.charlyevonsimpson.com

Name: Colin Waitt

Hometown: St. Cloud, MN

Education: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Masters), University of MN--Twin Cities (BA)

What is your rule?: Each playwright must be a character in their own play, though they do not have to act in it.

Why did you pick your rule?: I liked the meta-ness of it.  I'm very curious to see how each person portrays themselves in their writing.  I found it much stranger than anticipated.  I'm also curious who people will cast to play themselves.  My first choice--Glenn Close--was unavailable, but Sam Garber cleared his schedule and has made Colin Waitt his own.

Tell us about Lite Bites: It's a fake docu drama in the style of The Laramie Project or an Anna Deavere Smith play.  It's about the employees of a restaurant in Chelsea and an incident that went down in early August.  It is a valentine to people who make their living in the service industry.  It is also the weirdest thing I've written.  When I finished it, I thought, 'Where did that come from?'

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: Like Forest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7: There'll be things you love and some things you hate, but by the end of the night you'll feel like you've been at a great party.  Also, you get a free beer.

For more on Colin, visit www.colinwaitt.com

Name: Natalie Zutter

Hometown: San Rafael, CA

Education: BA, Individualized Study, NYU's Gallatin School

What is your rule?: Spit-take or triple-take.

Why did you pick your rule?: My roommate (who's a writer and comedian) was helping me brainstorm, and I kept coming up with more existential rules. He got me thinking about the very simple but very satisfying physical comedy/slapstick kinds of constraints.

Tell us about Stealthy Starbucks: Over a year ago, I read a Washington Post article about the Starbucks located at CIA headquarters. While the article was filled with all sorts of rich details about the rhythms and rituals of this particular Starbucks, I kept getting stuck on the idea that the baristas were forbidden from knowing the names of their customers--from even coming up with aliases. It seemed so odd, to interact with these people once or several times a day and have it be very one-sided, where you don't know the most simple thing about them. A major theme in my work is female friendships, especially ones where there is some sort of power dynamic at play, which makes you question how sincere said friendship actually is.

What can we expect to see at Rule of 7x7?: Secrets, super-sweet drink orders, and a play that still turned out more existential than slapstick but also reflects that feeling of being super-punchy at 3 a.m.

Why should we check out Rule of 7x7?: Because the brilliant writers are simultaneously constrained by the rules yet also freed up to write unique pieces that have very little in common with each other. And because everyone involved works their asses off to make this happen every other month!

For more on Natalie, visit http://zutsuitriot.tumblr.com/playwriting