Something hopeful and true

ap-headshotThe Pipeline PlayLab final reading presentation of A.P. Andrews’ Optimism, Or is just over a week away, so we took some time with A.P. (who is working remotely from Nebraska!) to learn more about this play and his many other exciting projects currently in the works.

Pipeline Theatre Company: What do you want us to know about your play?

A.P. Andrews: For me, Optimism, Or is a play about finding your way through grief and figuring out what’s on the other side of that experience. It’s about figuring out for the first time how your heart works (and how thrilling that is!), and then about what it means to give your heart to someone else (and how hard that can be when it doesn’t work out), and then about trying to remember how your heart could ever work again after it’s been broken. All of these things are happening at the same time in the play- it’s a big ‘ol giant cardiac workout.

Also, there’s a sea monster.

PTC: When and where did you decide to start writing this play? Why?

APA: I didn’t know I was going to write this play when I did- it just kind of happened. I sat down to write a scene, and the first scene of this play came out. I loved the characters but didn’t know where they were going, so when an opportunity presented itself to delve deeper into the play, I went for it and just trusted they’d find their way. I’d also been wanting to write something light and magical and whimsical for quite some time- something hopeful and true. These stories just kind of clicked, and I went with them.

PTC: What excites you most about this project?

APA: Oh, everything. I love working on it, and always have. That’s probably not what you were going for, but it’s actually true with this one. Love it through and through.

PTC: In one sentence, tell us something strange that happens in your play.

APA: Someone falls head over heels in love with someone they’ve never met. Other things too, but I don’t want to spoil it!

PTC: Are you working on anything else? What?

APA: I’m in Nebraska right now, and I’m mainly just working on trying to beat my younger brothers (11 and 13) at foursquare. They’re absolutely ruthless, and I have the marks to prove it.

Play-wise, I’m finishing up first drafts of the 4th 5th and 6th plays of my Nebraska Cycle, a group of ten plays about life in the rural Midwest. I’m also starting preliminary work on two more plays that take place in the same town Optimism, Or does.

PTC: Two truths and a lie, go:

APA: I don’t believe in air conditioning. I was born an hour away from the World’s Largest Porch Swing. I once had a pet Snowflake Moray Eel named Christopher.

PTC: What’s next for you?

I’m working as a Dramaturg and Producing Associate for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference in McCall, Idaho this June- it’s an incredible organization, and I’m looking forward to supporting this year’s six playwrights throughout their development processes there.

My play Abby in the Summer (Part 1 of the Nebraska Cycle) is being produced at the Shelterbelt Theater in Omaha, Nebraska, July 9-August 3. I love these folks something fierce, and they’re doing a really outstanding job with the play- I can already tell you it’s going to be a great production.

After that, I’ll be directing a play in Superior, Nebraska this August- then returning to New York in the fall! Updates on all of that coming soon!

Join us on Sunday, June 29, at 3PM at the Judson Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St.) for the final reading presentation of Optimism, Or. Space is limited so reserve your seat by emailing [email protected]. Optimism, Or is a project of the Pipeline PlayLab.