Erica Smith, Playwright in Residence

Erica Smith

What’s your day job?
I’m a Library Associate in the Cataloging Department of the Prince George’s County Library. To answer the inevitable question: I’m one of the people who, among other things, decides where books go on the shelf. It is harder than it sounds.

Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?
I recently ended a run as Sara in Stop Kiss at the Charis Center for the Arts. I was Ophelia in the Capital City Players production of Fortinbras. I’ve also been Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Rude Mechanicals; Jesus of Nazareth in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Silver Spring Stage, Nancy Shirley in Frozen with Rockville Little Theater, and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing with the Reisterstown Theater Project, among other things.

What’s your role in the Coil Project?
Oh, man, they made up something really good for this… I think I “won” the Incubator Initiative or something. In real life, though, I wrote Come Out and Say It, and I will eventually be something along the lines of the literary manager. This is my first time acting in a play that I wrote (that I did not write specifically for myself), and it’s super weird.

Where would you like to see The Coil Project go?
Wherever it wants to. I’d love to see us do readings in weird places, giving voice to plays that for one reason or another don’t get heard. That’s how this whole thing started; on the ride home from a rock opera, I was bitching to Erik about how I know that playwrights have a 99% rejection rate and this one play I wrote is just never going to get produced and blah blah blah, and he said “Okay, I’m starting a theater company right now” or something to that effect.

Listen, I know as well as anyone that there is a LOT of crap out there, and separating the wheat from the chaff isn’t always easy. But there’s also so much good material out there that’s just not getting ears and voices, and it’s frustrating and ridiculous. I want to make it happen.

Are you working on anything else, at the moment?
Why yes! Next up I’ll be in LiveArtDC’s production of R+J: Star Cross’d Death-Match at DC Reynolds (a bar) in Petworth as part of the Fringe Festival. I’m also writing various plays and stories, trying to keep those muscles honed, and submitting plays left and right.

Do you like internet followers? How do I do that?
I have a blog! I… don’t update it very often! But I should. It’s www.stagerightonly.wordpress.com and I’ll try to do more with it I promise. Read it!

Coil?
That’s right! Coil!

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