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Pit

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Melisa Annis
January 11, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
A community is pushed to the brink by the Miners Strike of 1984 in Wales.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Cardiff and raised on the A470, basically traveling between South and North Wales, though predominantly in Cardiff the capital city. I speak Welsh as a first language, and went to a high school named Glantaf which has produced many amazing theater types for some reason. Must be the water.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
My whole family are pretty much in the entertainment biz, my mother and aunt are both actresses, my father always worked in TV and my step-father is a film director, so I always knew I would do something within entertainment (probably because I really didn't know how to do much else). Why theater specifically? Hmmm... I suppose because in Wales we are exposed to theater at a very young age, we are taken to Welsh language "Panto" or history plays from the age of five I think, and I specifically remember the fun of them, the fear of the bad guy and the awe of the hero. I wanted to be a part of that, a part of the fun. What I truly love most about theater though is the chemistry and connection you experience as a writer to the characters, the connection you see actors have with the characters you've written, and the luxury of watching an audience watching those connections and relationships come to life. Does that make sense? I tend to babble. Now, as an avid reader of plays (I probably read two or three a week - thanks Tessa!) what thrills me is the range of possibility the page presents, and how it can evolve and grow over the rehearsal and performance period. It's all very exciting!

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
The producer, director (and many of the actors) and I all met through ESPA a study and development arm of Primary Stages. It's funny, one of their "strap lines" shall we say is 'Build a Community' and I thought yeah yeah whatever, but that's exactly what it did. We all just sort of clicked. There have been so many people who have been instrumental in getting this play produced, Jeff the Director, our Producer, Theater for the New City, everyone at ESPA including Winter Miller who has been so very supportive of "Pit" and me as a writer from the moment I stepped into her class. The faith they have in my play about a small mining community in Wales during the 80's has propelled me to work harder to tell this story. Thanks guys!

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Bruce Springsteen for sure.

Who are your heroes?
My heroes change daily. As a writer I think I sort of fall in love a little bit every day with different people and admire them! I love their voices, whether they are big society people or postwomen, (though I've discovered I'm far more preoccupied with the postman than the King). But if I could be like anyone, I'd be just like my Mam - she's great.