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The Year I Was Gifted

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Monica Bauer
July 4, 2013

What is your job on this show?
playwright/performer.

What is your show about?
A true story of a scholarship girl at a prestigious boarding school for the arts who is faced with a choice: should she betray her beliefs to stay there?

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I can only write work that deals with big emotions and big needs, where everything, even the humor, flows from characters that seem truthful and real.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
One of the plays I am most proud of writing is "Made for Each Other," which got a lot of five-star reviews at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is returning. It will also be in the United Solo Festival coming up on October 16th at Theater Row!

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
People are curious as to why a straight woman like me writes so many plays with gay protagonists. This is the true story of my first gay friend, and a decision I had to make at age 16, whether or not I would risk my scholarship to stand up for the rights of my gay friends.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
If it's not surprising, it's not theater.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I started out in experimental theater in the 1960's, and we were sure we could end the Vietnam war if only more people went to the theater! It's obviously not that simple, and plays that are just political statements don't work. But anything that increases empathy does work, and that's how I think theater influences social change.