Voices of BTM XX: Laura Neill
In We the Sisters, Becky approaches her old sorority sister Lara—who is now a Congresswoman—to convince her to vote “no” on the latest healthcare repeal bill. Long story short, things get ugly quickly.
I’m pretty sure everyone can guess why I wrote this play—our country is in turmoil and has been for a while, and the multiple attempts at Obamacare repeal shook everyone with a pre-existing condition to their core. I imagined what might happen if someone got fed up with making calls to their senators’ voicemails and came up with a more personal strategy…and maybe some less above-board tactics.
What interests you about the ten-minute format?
There’s room for one story, and one story only, and if it’s a drama, it has to grab folks, bring them to the edge of a cliff, and tip them over it in ten minutes. There’s no room for anything else. I’m particularly interested in the two-character ten-minute format, because it boils everything down to the conflict and relationship between those two characters. It’s playwriting at its leanest and meanest.
What’s next for you as a playwright (or actor, producer, etc.)?
This June 21-30, my new play DIVAS will premiere at the Boston Center of the Arts, produced by OperaHub. DIVAS is a world premiere play with opera music that finds nine great opera divas from across three centuries locked together in the afterlife, pitted against each other to fight for the soul of opera. If you’re interested in what it means to be an artist and/or how to survive when society turns against you…come on by.
And this November at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, my MFA thesis play Winter People will have its workshop premiere. It’s my first venture into writing about Long Island—the complicated place where I grew up. When a rich summer person’s empty beach mansion burns down in the middle of the winter, year-round locals battle to avoid blame and survive.
What are you most looking forward to on Boston Theater Marathon day?
I’m excited to see my fellow playwrights’ work! There’s no better primer on the ten-minute form than seeing dozens of different plays in a row. Plus, it’s a great showcase for the fabulous amount of talent of Boston actors and directors—always awesome to see some familiar (and new) faces show off their best.
Don’t miss We the Sisters—and 49 other amazing ten-minute plays—in Boston Theater Marathon XX on May 6! Tickets