SPF 9: An Interview with Playwright Stephanie Alison Walker
Stephanie Alison Walker’s plays have been produced and/or developed with the Skylight Theatre, Moving Arts, Antaeus Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, Moxie Theatre Company, National New Play Network, 16th Street Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville and more. Awards include: Ashland New Plays Festival, Blue Ink Award, Generations Prize, Finalist for the Saroyan/Paul Human Rights Playwriting Prize, Finalist for the 2016 Primus Prize, finalist for the CTG/Humanitas Prize, two-time finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and four-time Finalist for the Heideman Award. She is a proud member of the Playwrights Union and the Antaeus Playwrights Lab.
An Interview with Playwright Stephanie Alison Walker
1: What is the name of your play?
THE SISTER HOUSE
2: What was your first job in the theatre?
I was the executive assistant to the Executive Producer of a commercial theatre production company in Chicago -Fox Theatricals- when they were renovating and opening the Cadillac Palace Theatre with Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA and in pre-production for the premiere of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. It was a very fancy and extremely educational introduction to the world of theatre. I started writing plays while working there.
3: Do you ever model characters after real life people?
My characters are often inspired by real people.
4: As an artist, what subjects tend to draw your interest?
The resilience of humanity is something I explore in many of my plays and usually via the experience of being a woman in the world. I write a lot about motherhood and mother/daughter relationships. Complex women populate my plays. My plays always begin with a question and never an answer. I’m interested in the how and the why of humanity and the choices we make. I tend to find the humor in even the darkest moments and even the tiniest hope in the grimest circumstances. I’m committed to making a difference in the world via art, so I’m always hoping the stories I tell will make a real difference.
5: Do you have other passions aside from playwriting?
My family, friends, experiencing life to the fullest and making a difference.
6: Are you currently working on any new projects?
I’m working on a rewrite of my play The Abuelas (sequel to The Madres) that will be produced in Chicago by Teatro Vista in February 2019, I’m working on a tv pilot and I have two different new plays marinating in my head. Also, I’m gearing up for the joint world premiere of my new play Friends With Guns in 2019 by Chapel Theatre Collective in Portland and The Road in L.A.! Lots of exciting stuff.
7: Here’s a fun question! What is your favorite dessert?
I could write a five-page monologue about my favorite desserts. And of course my favorite changes with my mood or the season or the news of that particular day. Do I need McConnell’s Double Peanut Butter Chip ice cream? Some days, yes. In general, I love a good bread pudding. Ice cream holds a special place because my first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins (though I’m now an ice cream snob.) Is it hotter than a sauna? Bring on the Affogato. Shave ice. Key lime pie. Berries and cream. Chocolate is always a good choice, no matter the season. And flan. Flourless chocolate cake. A good port. A cappuccino and a cookie. A gooey brownie. Whiskey.
8: Any acknowledgements or words of encouragement?
Vote like your life depends on it!
9: Describe your play in 3 words!
Sisterhood. Attachment. Acceptance.