Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Questions with Emma Hathaway

We're less than a week away from the 29th annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, so we thought we'd start celebrating now with a few questions with each of the high school playwrights about their work.

We start with....
Emma Hathaway
Bergen County Academies, Hackensack
Emma's play - The Mystery Madame of 110 and Broadway - is about Emily, a 20-something New Yorker who is at the Chipotle on 110 & Broadway very early in the morning wearing a wedding dress. She is preparing for her wedding, which will take place later that day. She has spent years making the arrangements for this moment save for one thing - the groom!

1. What inspired you to write The Mystery Madame of 110 and Broadway?

When I was thinking of ideas for a play, I remembered someone telling me that they had once heard of a person who planned their entire wedding day even before they had found a husband. I began to play with this idea, and combined with my love for Chipotle and eccentric personalities and the fact that I find Zumba to be hilarious, The Mystery Madame began to take shape.

2. In addition to writing, you also play violin, act, sing and dance. Are you planning a career in the arts?

While I'm not certain yet whether or not I want to pursue the arts professionally, I'm confident that they'll always be a part of my life in some way. I'm also very interested in history and literature and humanities research along those lines, but no matter what I choose in the end (choosing careers is scary!), I know I will always be singing, playing violin, and writing because that's when I'm happiest and where my heart lies.

3. Have you written other pieces other than this play? If so, what?

I wrote a play in 7th and 8th grade - both quirky comedies that I'm not sure made any real sense to anyone but myself. But after I came to high school, I didn't make as much time to write, and this play was the first full piece that I finished since freshmen year, which was really fun for me.

4. What did you enjoy most about writing this play?

My favorite part about writing this play was developing John and Emily's characters and the relationship between the two of them through their conversations. Once I had a solid grasp of each of their characters and how they interacted with each other, it was so much fun to see where their dialogue took me.

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

My favorite ice cream flavor is Coconut Dream. They sell it at an ice cream shop in my town - chocolate, coconut, and almonds in vanilla ice cream. So. Good.

The Mystery Madame of 110 and Broadway will be presented with the three other winners of the High School Division of the NJ Young Playwrights Festival on Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. Junior HS and Elementary plays will be presented on Monday, May 21. Both performances will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Little Theatre, Kean University. Tickets are free, but reservations are highly suggested (njypf@ptnj.org)