Five Playwrights, Five Voices

By Sharon J. Anderson

 

Christina Anderson  pen/man/ship

CATF: This is a big play with a small cast. It deals with black/white, rich/poor, male/female, young/old, free/slave, and gay/straight issues…do you need a bigger boat?
CHRISTINA Anderson: One of the first things Lucie Tiberghien, who is directing the play, asked me was, “How big is this boat?” When this play was produced at the Magic Theater in San Francisco, interns built a dramaturgy wall and filled it — in the shape of a boat — with all the images and themes that the play addresses. It took up the whole wall, reaching into the ceiling. The first time I saw that wall, I thought: “This is a huge play.”

CATF: Explain the title of your play, “pen/man/ship.”
CHRISTINA: When I was doing research on the time period of this play, I came across a lot of journals and letters because that is how people communicated and made notes of their existence. I knew someone was going to be keeping a log on the ship. Then I came across the word, “penmanship.” I wouldn’t have figured out that title if I hadn’t seen that word. I want the titles of my plays to reflect the engines of my plays.