On Stage

Playwright Spotlight

Two actors, one foot

Attend

What: One Foot

Where: Sylvia Center, 205 Prospect St.

More:

WHEN: 7:30pm March 14-16 and 21-23

Cost: $12-$15

Info: http://www.idiomtheater.com

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

By the time Lojo Simon’s One Foot opens March 14 at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, iDiOM Theater’s Dyo Festival—a five-week celebration of plays and stories for two performers—will be in full swing. We caught up with the playwright to find out what makes her tick. She’ll be in Bellingham for opening weekend, so you can ask her, too.

Cascadia Weekly: When did you first know you wanted to be a storyteller?

Lojo Simon: Being a storyteller and writer was never a decision for me—it’s just who I am and how I’ve always expressed myself. The genre changes—poetry, journalism, theater—but the desire to explore and process the world in words is simply what I do.

CW: You’ve said you write for theater because you love the creative and collaborative process of working with other artists. Does this mean you’re open to input when someone is producing one of your plays?

LS: I find real joy in the teamwork that goes into the production process. Without the creativity and craft of directors, designers and actors, my plays are simply words on a page. It’s in the rehearsal and production process where the story comes to life. I find great joy in that (and sometimes fear).

CW: You’re also a new play “midwife.” What the scariest part of helping someone else birth a new play? What’s the most rewarding?

LS: Serving as a new play dramaturg in the birth of someone else’s story is very rewarding. It’s a pleasure to encourage other writers to tell their stories and provide feedback that may facilitate that “aha” moment when they’re able to effectively communicate what matters to them. It’s a lot scarier for me to put my own work into the world because it’s my story (read: my ego) that’s on the line.

CW: I’ve heard One Foot—a play set on a frozen lake about a guy who wakes up one morning to discover an important appendage has disappeared—is your personal favorite. Why?

LS: I wrote One Foot as an homage to my life partner, so it’s a very special play for me. It’s a play that comes from deep within me and expresses how I feel about love, loss, commitment and the delicate nature of the human condition.

CW: How did it come about?

LS: I’m struck how life can change in an instant—a car wreck, a cancer diagnosis, the birth of a baby, or in this case, waking up to find your foot is missing. I wanted to explore how we cope with these great life changes and how we rely on one another in times of crisis.

CW: What are you hoping people relate to when it comes to the two-person play?

LS: I hope iDiOM’s production of One Foot will cause audiences to reflect on the humanity all around them and that it will make them want to be kinder, gentler and more loving in the way they interact with the world.

CW: What else should people know?

LS: Bellingham has a great and rare treasure in the Sylvia Center, where Shu and Glenn [Hergenhahn-Zhao] are creating an artistic home for talent of all kinds. I hope the community appreciates and supports their endeavor.

BoS
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