Kate's play Everyone's Fine With Virginia Woolf will be read by the Elevator Repair Service Theater Company in the shop on April 26th!
1. What inspired you to riff on Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I have been obsessed with Albee's play since I was in high school. I was in Paris on my seventeenth birthday and I spent the night seeing a production of it in French. That play is not short. And my French was not great. But I loved it. My interest in writing a loving parody comes from this mix of adoration and amazement at how modern it still feels, and also frustration at the places where it falls short. Martha is this iconic, over the top, very strong female character, but in the end she is ultimately undone by her inability to be a mother, and George is left with the upper hand. There was something there that I needed to take a look at.
2. How did you change each of the 4 characters? Did you give them something you think they need — or develop something that seemed hidden? Or adapt them to tell a different story? Or?
I let Martha stay pretty much the same because I think she's perfect, and then George and Nick needed to become something else to kind of fit her needs. Nick especially becomes someone who exists in service of Martha's fantasy world. Specifically, he writes a lot of Twilight gay fan fiction, which my Martha loves. Any queer subtext that might have even slightly existed in the original needed to come out full force here. George is now a Tennessee Williams scholar who enjoys reciting Williams' female characters' more iconic monologues. And Honey needed to be given some agency and dignity. Albee really puts Honey through the wringer in his play.
3. Who are you most sympathetic towards, of the four? Least?
My play is definitely Martha's revenge on George. Things do not end well for George in Everyone's Fine.
4. Please name 3 favorite books from childhood/teen/adult years. (1 each.)
Childhood fave - O'Diddy by Jocelyn Stevenson
Teen fave - Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block
Adult fave - Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh
5. What comes to mind when you hear the word Hoboken?
I grew up in Essex County, and my Dad and I used to hang out in Hoboken sometimes when I was a kid. I bought a really bizarre necklace there that was a crazy jointed square head that I wore nearly every day in middle school. That kind of sums it up. I always felt that Hoboken and I were the same kind of weird.
(personal question: Jeremy in Fans of the Impossible Life is after Jeremy Irons in BBC version of Brideshead, yes?) yes!