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November 4, 2009 / lotcchicago

Brad talks about Bekah Brunstetter


Playwright Bekah Brunstetter. Photo courtesy of: stolen from her website.

1. Now that we’re embarking on our 2nd monthly PPS, what excites you about these new plays and this new cast?

Having an ongoing PPS event is a godsend, really.  I get to read a metric ton of exciting stuff, and if I could only pick one I’d off myself to avoid the pressure of choosing.  What excites me about this upcoming event, is how different the two works are from the last reading, or from anything LOTC has done thus far.  I always like to try something new, which  also makes the casting of these events a ton of fun.  Staged readings are a great way for actors to play with their range and really stretch the

ir limits.  In a similar vein, I have two “non-actors” performing in these pieces.  Having two people come from “behind the scenes” is an exciting way for members of our company to try their hand at something they don’t ordinarily get to do.  And, in my personal experience, it always turns out awesome.  In addition, readings give us more opportunities to work with new performers and make new friends.  We had a great experience with a new performer (Matt Farabee) during our first PPS,

and we are very privileged to have an incredible talent like Dana Black joining us for our upcoming event.

2. How did you come across Bekah’s work and what about her writing is different and interesting?

Bekah Brunstetter was a playwright that one of our artistic directors suggested I contact.  So I googled her and landed on her blog site– which is enough to make you pee yourself with laughter.  After that initial clean-up, I got her contact info and sent her an e-mail, telling her about LOTC and what we do, as well as expressing an interest in what she does.  I cannot sing this woman’s praises enough.  Not only is she way humble, but she’s also way generous, and sent me what must be her entire lexicon… and it’s all REALLY good.  What I love about Bekah’s work, is that its incredibly clever, while also being amazingly accessible.  She creates these great characters that are almost archetypes, but also very human.  From a creative standpoint, you couldn’t ask for a better writer to work with.

3. How do these plays fit in with the spirit of PPS and how do you think audiences will respond?

“Drunk” and “Daddy Took My Debt Away” were very easy picks for me.  They are incredibly similar, both in setting as well as thematically.  The characters are stuck in the ruts of expectation, and are struggling to balance what they WANT to do with what they are SUPPOSED to do (whether it be how you speak to a client over the phone, or how drunk is too drunk for the work place).  As theatre artists paving our own way, we’ve all HAD these experiences, and these kinds of jobs;  places we HATE to be, but are totally necessary.  And, more importantly, we’ve all found those little ways to make it bearable- like harmlessly ribbing a customer on the phone or sneaking a flask in your inside jacket pocket.  I know LOTC has all been there, and I think I can comfortably say that our audience will relate.

4. If you could ask Bekah Brustetter one question, what would it be?

If I could only ask Bekah one question…  I’d definitely ask her to write a piece for LOTC and come workshop it with us.  I’d also ask what her favorite beer was… so I could use it to lure her into LOTC’s clutches.


Literary Manager Bradley Burgess-Donaleski

Literary Manager Bradley-Burgess Donaleski

PPS is an exciting and innovative way for writers to get their works heard by an audience and to put their names out into the community. LOTC relishes in all the fresh talent out there, and as their Literary Manager, I am very fortunate to read it.  I welcome EVERY submission, no matter the stage in development- even if you just need other artists to bounce ideas off of.  We want to be as accessible to the writers out there as they have been to us.  So feel free to contact us- we’re not shy.

See y’all at PPS!  I’ll be the drunk guy in the back laughing my face off.

Bradley Burgess-Donaleski
Literary Manager, Lights Out Theatre Co.


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