Voices of BTM XXV: Kate Snodgrass

Playwright Kate Snodgrass

Tell us a little about your play.

The play is about three brothers in New Hampshire on July 4th while they’re waiting for their father to return from a hunting trip (an illegal one, by the way—although that’s not germane to the story). Their mother is downstairs weeping into the jello salad, and the play tells us why. It’s a comedy (I hope) about how our boys are shaped by a masculine culture that may not be the most helpful way of looking at the world.

What made you want to tell this story?

I wanted to write a comedy, and I remembered a story about one of my nephews that has always made me laugh. I started with that. Then, of course, there’s the sadness (and comedy) in how we raise our children. That’s always a good start.

What interests you about the ten-minute format?

It’s a wonderful exercise in dramatic action that demands high stakes for the characters. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is filled with ten-minute plays that move the story forward, so ten-minute plays are great practice for playwrights in writing fuller pieces of drama.

What other art forms inspire you?

I can get inspired by going to the grocery store, so pretty much everything is at risk for inspiration. The usual suspects—music, painting, sculpture, architecture, journalism, poetry, and then the list continues with furniture, insects, flowers, airplanes, cats, waterfalls, oil spills, congressional hearings, mirrors…the list goes on and on and on. There’s a story in everything.

Do you have a favorite BTM memory? (Or five?)

—At the first BTM in 1999, we didn’t know if anyone would show up, but it was standing-room-only with lines down the hall and out the door. Thrilling.
—The Chandler Travis Philharmonic played in our celebration after-party for the first several years—they were spectacular!
—In the beginning, we performed each play twice (once in each theatre at BPT) in the first five years until we moved to the Calderwood Pavilion. That was a mind-boggling juggling act for everyone, and unforgettable!

This is the 25th BTM, and the first on the newly-named Kate Snodgrass Stage. What does that feel like?

It’s surreal.

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

I have no idea. I wish I could plug something shameless, but…Alas. I might write something, or…I might not. I’m looking forward to taking some classes in Italian or French and maybe a watercolor or acrylics or sculpture class. Yeah, keep learning. And keep going to the Theatre!


Join us for Boston Theater Marathon XXV—Sunday, May 7, from 12-10 p.m.! Learn more and purchase tickets