5 questions with Shirley Barrie

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 Shirley Barrie – the author of Hansel & Gretel.

What was your first theatrical experience? How did it impact you?
A school trip to the Stratford Festival. I can’t remember what play, but I have never forgotten that feeling of being totally transported by what can happen on a stage.


Why do you write plays?
I write because in spite of the challenges, the difficulties and yes, sometimes the pain, I do love it. I love it because it allows me to discover, poke, challenge and explore things about the world we live in and the relationship of the individual to the that world.

What’s the most challenging part of writing a play?
Getting it right. I used to write much more quickly than I do now, largely because I expect more of myself now.


How do you address/overcome those challenges?
Try to dive deeper, and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.



What advice do you have for young writers struggling to finish a draft?
Go for it. Don’t second guess. You can do that later. I’ve had a quote on my bulletin board for years that I’ve found helpful for first drafts. “Great Goddess of Creativity, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.”


Read sample pages from Shirley Barrie's plays here!

About the author

Lindsay Price