Voices of BTM XXIII: Nina Mansfield

Nina MansfieldTell us a little about your play.

Out Damn Spot is a short relationship comedy inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s similar to many of my other 10-minute plays which usually involve a husband and wife dealing with relationship issues in a comic way. Without giving away too much, this relationship issue deals with laundry.

What made you want to tell this story?

I love Shakespeare, and I love 10-minute plays. I originally wrote the play for an opportunity that was looking for short plays inspired by Macbeth. I knew that I wanted to set the story in a modern context. I thought about who Lady M. and Macbeth might be in 2021, and I had a great deal of fun reimagining the details of the play in a modern context.

What interests you in the ten-minute format?

I love the way that so much can be said in 10-minutes. It’s a way to explore character and conflict in a really compact way. Often there’s a twist or some kind of reversal at the end, which I also really enjoy. There’s not a lot of room for exposition. Things have to escalate quickly, since you only have 10-minutes to play with!

What are the particular challenges to writing for (or adapting to) Zoom? Are there benefits to working in this medium? Were there any surprises along the way?

I didn’t write this play specifically for Zoom, but I love the way my director has suggested adapting it for Zoom. Most of my 10-minute plays take place in one room or location. Cassie, my director, suggested setting the situation over a video call. I had to adjust a few lines, but it worked!

What’s next for you as a playwright (or producer, actor, student, teacher, etc.)?

I’ve recently written my first feature length screenplay, an Austin Powers meets Stand and Deliver female-centric comedy, so I am in the process of revising that. I’ve also written a Twilight meets The Shape of Water meets Jaws YA Paranormal Romance/Thriller novel that I’m currently pitching to agents. And my latest short story, “Windy Willows” will be published in Murder New York Style: Justice for All, the NY/Tri-State Sisters in Crime Anthology, later this year.

Don’t miss Out Damn Spot on April 20. Boston Theater Marathon XXIII: Special Zoom Edition continues Monday-Saturday at 12 noon ET through May 28!  More