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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Voices of BTM XV: Cassie Seinuk

Cassie Seinuk
This is my first Boston Theater Marathon as both a playwright and a stage manager, and I couldn’t be more honored and proud to be part of this great piece of Boston theatre history. In light of the past few weeks, I have felt an even stronger bond to the people of Boston and especially to the theatre community here, as we all strive to find meaning, hope, and connection through art.

You see, I was born in New York City, I was a firm New Yorker up until 2006 when I moved to Boston and fell in love with this city, its people, and most of all the art this city produces. It’s in “the Greater Boston Area” that I truly became a playwright. I was always a fiction writer, from the moment I could tell a story, to the moment I learned to use a pencil, I was a writer. And sure, I dabbled in dialogue, but it wasn’t until a crazy random slew of events, plus the advice from my stage management mentor, and a playwriting class in undergrad, that I sat down to write my first full-length play. Suddenly, I found the end game I needed from my writing that I was missing from my fiction. For the first time, I saw my words come alive through actors, designers, and a top notch director, and there it was – a live piece of art that will be different every time it’s performed, it will never stay the same, and by that means it will grow as I grow, as the actors grow, and as the audiences grows – It will be alive. There I was, a playwright born in Boston. And now, seven years later, I am graduating from my MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen at Lesley University here in this great community.

To me, Just Like Tetraphobia, the play of mine that Fresh Ink will be producing at the BTM XV, is another testament of how I’ve grown as a playwright even in the past year. This past summer under the tutelage of Kate Snodgrass, Queen Bee of the BTM, I sat down to write a ten-minute play unlike all the ones I had written before. In workshop while discussing another ten-minute of mine, it was brought to my attention that most of my ten-minute plays were complicated dramas, with lots of back-story to flesh out in 10 pages. So it got me thinking that it was time to write a comedy, first of all, and also a simple play that still rang true to the emotional ache I love to get at in people. At the same time I was also asked by a theatre to write a play for Halloween on the theme of Fear. So, I embarked on a sweet, somewhat endearing, ten-minute comedy about Fear. I learned, it was just as hard to write “simple and sweet” as it was to write “complicated drama.”

So…to wrap this up…I feel like in challenging myself to write this play I once again grew as a playwright, and for it to be my first piece in the Boston Theater Marathon it feels like some sort of graduation, and yet just another proud tick-mark on the wall of my measurements. I’m like the little girl who looks at all the lines drawn up the wall that read: Cassie at 2006, Cassie at 2009, Cassie at 2013, and says, “I’m growing, Ma! I really am!”

--Cassie Seinuk

We hope you’ll join us on Sunday, May 12 for Boston Theater Marathon XV (and for The Warm-Up Laps on May 11!). Click here for tickets and event details. See you there!

1 comment:

  1. Cassie, break a leg! Our loss is Boston's gain.
    Joyce & Phil