Behind the Pineapple Featuring: Sarah Shaefer

Well if today isn’t a great day, then I just don’t know what is!

Why you ask? Well FRESH PRODUCE’d NYC has our August show going up tonight at The Drama Bookshop (250 W. 40th St.) at 8pm.

Yeah, pretty great, right?

Oh but the greatness doesn’t end there. Behind the Pineapple has it’s final interview of the month ready for your reading pleasure.

Today we got to know a FRESH PRODUCE’d favorite playwright Sarah Shaefer.

Name ringing a bell? Well, if you’ll remember Miss Shaefer has given us Freshies a multitude of hilarious, clever, and vastly creative scripts such as The Blow Job Injury, The Gin Baby,The Queen and the Pawn’s Ball Sac. I’m sure you are beginning to get the impression that this girl has an epic sense of humor and a bold style of writing.

And for that, we adore her and fear not, tonight her piece Five Tiny, Little Minutes is just as hilarious and bold.

We sat down with Miss Shaefer to discuss this modern twist on Mr. Shakespeare’s Scottish play!

FPNYC: So Sarah, every artist has a specific moment when they knew that this was it for them. What was the moment that you knew you had to be a theatre artist?

SS: The moment I knew I wanted to be a theater artist was in fourth grade when I played the rapping umpire in a play called “The Inside Pitch.” I enjoyed making people laugh.

FPNYC: The majority of theatre patrons have seen or at least read The Scottish Play. Tell us how Five Tiny, Little Minutes came to life…

I was originally commissioned to write this piece for the Detention series for ESPA at Primary Stages. The goal was to write a ten minute play where you turned one of Shakespeare’s tragedies into a comedy or a comedy into a tragedy.

FPNYC: What is your writing process like?

SS: My writing process is different for every play I write. Sometimes I write plays where I already know the characters really, really well and already have the story completely mapped out in my head. Other times, I will be given a set of circumstances and create a story around that, like I did with this piece.

FPNYC: You’re not just a playwright though! You’re an actress too! Tell us how acting and writing have influenced your work!

SS: My acting career, or rather the failure of my acting career, fueled me to start writing. It’s funny because now that I write all the time, I work more as an actor too. I think it’s because I’m a lot more empowered as an artist and I feel like I’m making more of a contribution to the community. I feel like I’m able to give back what has been given to me through my writing.

FPNYC: Why is theatre and new works important to you?

SS: Theater is important to me because you can literally do anything with this medium. You can create something in one instant and make it disappear the next. I just finished doing The Beach Plays out in San Francisco with Rising Phoenix Rep and Kid Brooklyn Productions. We created theater on Ocean Beach and I realized that theater is exactly like the ocean – the wave is on the shore one minute and gone the next. That’s what theater is to me. I also enjoy working on new work because there’s a forward momentum when something is being birthed right then and there. The playwright is in the room, furiously rewriting and listening. The actors are there feeling out what works and what doesn’t. The director is guiding everyone. You can get a high from feeling like you’re on the precipice of something exciting when you’re in that environment.

FPNYC: What a wonderful way to describe theatre and creating. You’re such an exciting artist to work with…so tell us…what’s next for you?

SS: Yeah! I’ll be doing a private workshop this September of my play All’s Well That Ends Happy with Kid Brooklyn Productions. Evan Caccippoli is directing and my play The Gin Baby directed by Daniel Talbott, that was workshopped with Fresh Produce’d will be opening January 11th of 2014.

Let it be known! If you hear the phrase “Sarah Shaefer has a show going up.” Run! Don’t walk to the theatre because this is one exciting new playwright!

See Five Tiny, Little Minutes TONIGHT!

Special thanks to our August playwrights Andrew Davies, John Greiner-Ferris and Sarah Shaefer for being the first playwrights to participate in Behind the Pineapple!

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