Playwriting

5 questions with Judith White

Written by Lindsay Price

We have a great community of amazing playwrights here at Theatrefolk that contribute to our collection of middle and high school plays. We hope you’ll enjoy this peek behind the curtain as they share how they approach the creative process, how they overcome challenges, and what advice they have for young playwrights. Don’t forget to check out their work!

Meet Theatrefolk Playwright Judith White – the author of many popular plays including Ariadne’s Thread.

What was your first theatrical experience? How did it impact you?
When I was little, in my Virginia mountain town, we didn’t have plays, but I used to put on shows and invite the neighbors. Once I played a clown and decided it would make a great effect if I fell flat on my back. So I did! The crowd loved it. My friends and I spent the entire summer writing, and finding parts for our whole neighborhood.

Why do you write plays?
I hear voices and they want to be heard. I find delight in creating characters and listening to their stories. I think of the actors I am writing for and want to challenge them to find different surprising parts of themselves.

What’s the most challenging part of writing a play?
Rewrites. Seeing the trees and the woods.

 

 

How do you address/overcome those challenges?
I listen to the suggestions of the cast in my workshop productions. I write on a yellow legal pad in pencil as well as on the computer. I consult my fellow theatre friends and trust in their talent and love.

 

What advice do you have for young writers struggling to finish a draft?
Listen to the conversations around you. Write down, on a napkin or a scrap of paper what people really say to each other. Don’t even look. Just listen. Tune in to words you hear – in the subway, as a stranger goes out the door, in a stairwell — use these scraps to begin a dialogue.

 

Read sample pages from Judith White's plays here!

About the author

Lindsay Price