Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 Questions With James Christy

The 20th reading in our FORUM series is EGYPTIAN SONG by James Christy. This reading will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dreyfuss Theatre, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ. Click here for directions. Click here for a printable map of the campus (the Dreyfuss Theatre is located in Building 9).

James’ full length plays include Never Tell (published by Playscripts in 2007), Love and Communication (Playpenn Conference, produced by Passage Theatre in 2010), A Great War (reading at Luna Stage in 2010). His short play Creep won the Actors Theater of Louisville's Heideman Award for best short play in 2001. A reading of Egyptian Song was part of the Premiere Stages festival in June 2011.

1. What inspired you to write Egyptian Song?
I can’t point my finger at one thing that inspired Egyptian Song. My best friend growing up was from Lebanon, so I grew up around this house that had a middle eastern influence. Eventually I read about the singer Omm Kulthum, and I was fascinated with the idea of a female figure that loomed so large in a culture in which men hold most of the external power. I read more about her childhood and this story emerged, not about her life at all, but about a young girl with a similar gift whose life goes in another direction.

2. What do you enjoy most about playwriting?
Well, you’re sort of playing God when you write plays. You can create these little alternative worlds based on whatever you have kicking around in your head. But the fun part is when you get into a story and it takes on a life of its own, the characters start to surprise you and take you in different directions then where you expected.

3. What is your favorite play and why?
I’m a big fan of Stoppard and recently re-read Arcadia. I just really appreciate how deeply he gets into a subject, he’s unafraid of big ideas, but always theatrical. The way he uses spaces is pretty brilliant too.

4. What movie could you watch over and over?
Raising Arizona. Know that movie way too well.

5. What is the best new gadget you recently tried?
Playwrights can’t afford new gadgets. We buy other peoples 2nd hand gadgets on craigslist.

Click here to purchase a ticket to see EGYPTIAN SONG at FDU.

You can also find additional information on our website about the entire FORUM reading series.

$10 per reading
$25 for a FORUM pass (if you are going to attend at least 3 readings in the series---this is the best deal)

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