Playwriting Is My Livelihood
What are you going to do with all those voices in your head?
If you’re lucky enough there’s just one: yours…but then in pops your mother reminding you to eat your vegetables. “Remember the Golden Rule,”quips your favorite elementary teacher. Then there’s that Lemonheads song you can’t stop humming…oh, and that movie quote that reminds you of something your college roommate used to say…and she always said the craziest things.
Everyone (crazy or not) has voices in their head and that is where my livelihood begins.
I’ve been writing plays since I was a child; always choreographing a conversation or getting people to say what I wanted. (Some people would call this being bossy.) As a teenager I joined a group of fellow playwrights and performers and was able to see works that I created performed on stage and for an audience. The thrill of seats filled, tickets sold, audible responses…the hook was in deep. I was home.
Since, my work has been produced on both coasts and in many different facets (full lengths, one-acts, etc.) and the fulfillment and excitement I felt when I first started has never waned. There is something magical each and every time, whether in New York City or right here in Omaha.
Playwriting is connection. I love to move people, engage reaction, or (and especially) elicit emotion. Whether it’s laughter or tears, I live to make people feel…something. Anything. Ambivalence would mean failure at my job. Emotions are the universal way of finding a common ground from diverse experiences. Theater is an exciting and visceral way to experience art. It is alive, live, right in front of you with a living, breathing human medium. It is unlike any other craft and it invites anyone willing into its universe for a time. A playcation, if you will.
As a playwright I use these voices, whether from my imagination or people around me, to construct a world. I’d like to say I create plays but so much of the process is letting the play create itself. I cannot always dictate where the creative is going to guide me, but I am always delighted to go along for the ride.
Beaufield Berry’s last full length play Psycho Ex Girlfriend recently closed a successful run at Omaha’s Shelterbelt Theatre. Her work has been produced in New York City (Waiting Line, 2009) Philadelphia (Ugly Birds, 2008) Las Vegas (Things I Can’t Tell My Mother, 2007), and featured at the Philadelphia Spark Fest and Great Plains Theatre Conference. Beaufield is a full-time creative at REBEL INTERACTIVE, an Omaha-based digital branding agency. When she’s not rebelling or writing, she enjoys dabbling in local comedy, singing with her band Spork and Spinster or disappearing somewhere in the world, checking off the old bucket list.