As tickets for the TS Eliot US/UK Exchange showcase at The Old Vic go on sale, we caught up with the five American writers who are heading to England to watch their shows brought to life on the London stage…
Laura Jacqmin, Dead Pile
Dead pile follows Jeremy, a first-time undercover investigator on his very first exposé at a southern Indiana dairy farm. Being unfamiliar with the incredible demands actually placed on an investigator, he finds that certain aspects of the job are much more difficult than he’d anticipated – all while dealing with what (and who) he's left behind in order to do the job.
I was so thrilled to find out that I’d won. I was privileged to spend a month last summer at the Royal Court for the international residency. I can't wait to hear what people think, and the discussions (even arguments) the play might generate.
Stacy Davidowitz, The Rubber Room
The Rubber Room follows the tumultuous journey of six teachers of disparate backgrounds, beliefs, and varying levels of social skills, bound together in a single place and forced to endure. Stripped of their freedom, pride and careers, they try to maintain their dignity in the face of tremendous malfeasance from the institution to which they've devoted their lives. And yet, maybe they deserve to be there.
When I found out I’d won, I started crying. And shaking. It was all very glorious and dramatic.
I am overjoyed to be returning to London after a seven-and-a-half-year hiatus. London was where I wrote my first full-length play, inspired by Sarah Kane, and where I had experienced my first “writer's high”.
Darcy Fowler, The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight
When her mother’s long lost journal mysteriously shows up at the door, Chelsea meets a young woman she never knew. While they confront tragedies both big and small, Chelsea looks to her mother for a way to move forward. But is there more to her journal than meets the eye?
I was thrilled! When I submitted the play to Old Vic/New Voices, I thought it might be a good match, especially since a good portion of the piece deals with a young American's experiences in London, and how the city shapes her.
I have been getting to know the director of my piece (Oliver Hawes) and the producer (Caitlin Albery Beavan) and they are just superb. I feel very lucky. I just hope I don't get stuck in an Olympic stampede.
Daniel Pearle, A Kid Like Jake
A Kid Like Jake is about a Manhattan couple trying to get their four-year-old son into a selective private school. Their son Jake happens to love Cinderella and playing dress up, which their preschool director advises them to mention in his applications – anything to make him stand out. But as the process continues, Jake's behavior starts to become erratic and perplexing and other adults in his life start to wonder if there's a problem his parents aren't addressing.
I'm very excited to have won. I've been to London briefly, but only for about three days, so I'm really looking forward to exploring the city.
Amelia Roper, She Rode Horses like the Stock Exchange
She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange is about four people, all late thirties, in a park, a nice park with a tree and a pond. Also it is a play about housing foreclosures in America, the recent financial crisis and in particular, how jobs in the financial industry are now so abstracted, and the law so complicated, that it is difficult to live in that world, in an abstracted world as most of us do, and also in a world with parks and trees and ponds.
It was a huge ego trip to be recognised in a place like England for the first time. I want to work here! And perhaps I can now. We'll see.
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To book tickets for the US/ UK Exchange showcase, please visit the Old Vic page.