Creative Writing Graduate Premieres Play
Published on September 10, 2013
Playwright Erin Breznitsky, a 2006 Susquehanna University creative writing graduate, recently premiered her work “The Kitchen Table Plays” at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.
The play, which features five vignettes taking place around a kitchen table, follows the stories of a new divorcé, manipulative business partners and the parents of a volatile teen. It explores the frail, violent, sexy and joyful moments that unfold at the kitchen table.
“There's a powerful intimacy to kitchens,” said Breznitsky. “It's a place that can seem so private, but yet we invite people into them: to cook, to eat, to gossip, to bond. I wanted to see what that play looked like—the one that explored all of those wonderfully tragic and human moments that we've all experienced at our own kitchen tables.”
Directed by Tamara Winters, a classmate of Breznitsky’s from the MFA theatre program at Sarah Lawrence College, “The Kitchen Table Plays” was performed over five dates in August at the Teatro Circulo in New York City.
“The experience was phenomenal. I was so pleased with where the production ended up,” said Breznitsky. “We rounded up a ridiculously talented cast—four great actors who were not only able to effortlessly transition between several different characters, but were also fearless and willing to tackle a challenging, somewhat nontraditional script.”
Though she wasn’t very involved in the theatre program while at Susquehanna, Breznitsky says the Writers Institute informs everything about her work as a playwright.
“My writing workshops taught me to be diligent, persistent and observant as a writer, but they also provided valuable lessons in evaluating other people's work—how to read something closely, pay attention to the techniques other writers are using, and formulate feedback that's constructive,” she said. “The workshop format turned out to be a perfect training ground for the collaborative nature of theatre.”
“On top of the classes, I was fortunate enough to participate in so many other activities on campus—Chorale, Sigma Alpha Iota, The Susquehanna Review, traveling to present at AWP Conferences—that I got to take advantage of so many opportunities that are really only available in a liberal arts setting,” she added. “And it certainly taught me how to juggle and manage my time, which I have definitely put to good use.”
The New York City-based playwright also works as a sound designer and theatre artist, and is the community arts coordinator for the non-profit group Sing for Hope.