Lori M. Myers is a graduate of the Wilkes Creative Writing program and her play “Mirror Mirror” will be performed in Brooklyn, NY on March 28th and 29th. In the following interview she shared some of her thoughts about the play and what it’s like to have a play produced. (The website for the theater company producing her play can be found by clicking on the poster to the right.)
HT: Your play “Mirror Mirror” is about to be performed in Brooklyn, NY on March 28th and 29th. Can you tell me what it’s about?
LM: It’s about the sometimes wonderful, sometimes complicated connection between mothers and daughters. “Mirror, Mirror” explores this relationship, but instead of the young daughter being the rebellious one, it is the mother dealing with issues of drug and alcohol abuse. As much as the daughter yearns to separate herself from the mother’s situation, she finds that she cannot.
HT: Do you have any inspiration behind the writing-any particular reason you chose to write this piece?
LM: The phrase “I have my mother’s hands” is one that many women seem to acknowledge once they reach their 30’s, 40’s, and beyond. I’ve heard and read this a lot. Sometimes it’s said with pride, and other times with dread. That was the springboard for the play.
HT: How did this piece get picked up by a theater company? How did you go about that process?
LM:“Mirror, Mirror” is a short play that was produced last June by Gaslight Theatre Company in Wilkes-Barre. After it completed its run there, I sent it out to a theater or two based on announcements appearing on websites and Facebook pages for theaters requesting plays. Honestly, sometimes it’s a crapshoot as to whether a play gets accepted or rejected because it may depend on a theater’s mission or theme. I was thrilled when I received word that “Mirror, Mirror” made the cut at Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company. I’m looking forward to seeing their interpretation.
HT: What is it like seeing your piece performed by others? Do you feel pride, elation, etc.?
LM: I certainly feel pride that my words and story are on stage and elation that an audience is experiencing a piece I’ve written. I also write musicals for young audiences which are produced at a professional theater about an hour from me, and I’m always delighted by children’s reactions. But what I mostly feel is fear because I have absolutely no control over the final product. I’ve worked as a professional actor and director and in each of those areas there is some degree of control; as an actor you control how you are portraying a character and, as a director, you are controlling the look and feel of the production. A playwright hands over their pages and hopes for the best. But that’s as it should be.
HT: Do you take any part in the process? Does anyone consult you on how the piece is performed?
LM: I truly believe that playwrights need to trust the director and actors; they want the best for your piece because they want to look good, too. When I write a play, I purposely don’t include a lot of action as I want the director to place his/her own stamp on the piece. The New York director from Modern-Day Griot Theatre wrote me and said that she and the actors were having fun exploring these characters. As a writer, THAT made me feel wonderful.
HT: After the show, how quickly will you move on to another project? Do you take breaks between writing or wait for inspiration?
LM: I always have some sort of writing project going on as I am also a freelance writer who writes for magazines. Deadlines are amazing motivators! If I don’t have ideas on paper or on the computer screen then it’s swimming around in my head.
HT: What advice do you have to give to other aspiring playwrights?
LM: I always give the same advice to all writers: persist. Don’t give up. Rejection is part of the process. Keep sending your work out, keep reading, and keep writing.
Lori M. Myers is an award-winning writer and Pushcart Prize nominee of creative nonfiction, fiction, essays, and plays. Her work has been seen in more than 50 national and regional magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. Her plays have been produced on seven regional stages, two have been published, and one was a Broadway World Award nominee. Lori has a masters in creative writing from Wilkes University, is interviews editor for Hippocampus Magazine, and teaches writing at York College of Pennsylvania.
Lori M. Myers, writer/author/playwright
3608 Green St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110