Andrea Stolowitz and New Dramatists: Interview
November 15, 2017
Artists Rep’s resident playwright, Andrea Stolowitz, was recently selected to join New Dramatists in New York. What does this mean for Artists Rep, and how are these two residencies connected? We sat down with her to find out.
Tell me a little bit about New Dramatists.
Each year they accept between five and eight writers. They have a total of 50 writers in the company and each residency is seven years. It’s an amazing organization because they are ready to support you in whatever you need to have your work and career and life as a playwright move forward. And those needs are very different for each writer. Their goal is to serve what each playwright needs as an individual on their own artistic journey.
What are some of those needs?
For example, for people that live in New York, space is a premium. But for me, I have an office here at Artists Rep. This means I have a home, I have space to utilize. If I have a new play and I want to hear it, I can do that with the help of the staff and Resident Artists. That’s the kind of thing I can have in Portland. For people in New York, they need space. They can use the New Dramatists building if that’s what they need. I have those valuable resources here at Artists Rep.
So if you don’t need the space, what does New Dramatists provide for you?
What I do not have in Portland and what my colleagues in New York have, is commercial application. I don’t have literary managers from other theatres seeing it here as I would in New York. I can’t sell it from here as easily, there isn’t as much exposure. Sometimes you want to workshop a play because it’s important for the development but sometimes you want to workshop it because you want people to see it. New Dramatists gives me a home in a theatre city, and helps give my plays exposure.
Do they have other ways of helping you with the business side of things?
Oh yes, playwrights need business help sometimes too, and institutions like New Dramatists provide resources for that. I always forget to look at things as a business model, and they have resources to help me do that, or at least to nudge me in that direction. Even though I don’t live in New York, I can Skype into conferences, ask fellow playwrights for advice, and things like that.
So New Dramatists and Artists Rep seem to be the perfect combo!
Exactly! The support by both organizations really feed into each other. I have an artistic home here, I live here. I want to be able to work here and create here, but I also want the opportunity to showcase my work elsewhere in terms of commercial applications. What I have here is the day to day. To be grounded in a space to give me the things that I need to be a playwright also allows me to take advantage of what other organizations have to offer.