What’s your play about, in a couple of sentences?
It’s about failure, depression, and suicide. The actual plot involves an enchanted beast and a talking lamp. It’s a fairy tale that got downgraded to a really crappy apartment.
What was the impetus that made you want to write it?
The spark for the plot was a joke between me and one of my roommates. Then I just got obsessed with the story — “Beauty and the Beast” has been one of my favorite fairy tales ever since I was small, and I liked the idea of using it to address this very un-fairy-tale topic.
Has it been produced anywhere else?
Nope! It’s new-born, and ungainly.
What do you hope to get out of its inclusion in PlayFest?
First, a much improved draft. Getting to hear the whole thing out loud with an audience is fantastically helpful to a writer. Also, I can’t help but hope for a full production. That’s what happened the last time I was at Orlando Shakes (2008 for Erratica). Playfest led directly to my very first Equity show!
Reina Hardy is a playwright with credits in Chicago, New York, and Muncie, Indiana. Her play Erratica made its professional world premiere in July 2009 with Sacramento’s Capital Stage. Reina, a 2007 and 2009 finalist for the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission, has also had readings and productions with Orlando Shakespeare, Algonquin Theatre, the Side Project, Co-op Theatre East, Write Act Rep, the House Theatre, Flush Ink, Infamous Commonwealth and many others. Her play Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, which received an honorable mention from KCACTF Region III, is currently participating in the Babes with Blades New Play Development program. Reina has also been an artist in residence at Ball State University and New Albany High School. Look for her poems in various magazines, look for excerpts from her plays in Audition Arsenal, The Ultimate Audition Book and Best Scenes for Two Actors, and look for her theatre reviews on the Sun Times website. Once, Reina resolved to see a show in every Chicago fringe venue during the course of a year. Her failure is chronicled at wayoffloop.blogspot.com. Reina is a 2003 graduate of Columbia University, where she won the Brick Memorial Prize for playwriting. She is also founder and artistic director of the Viola Project, Chicago’s best Shakespeare performance workshop for girls.