Emily Schwend

Author of Bloom [Quickies Volume 12, June 2011]

Emily Schwend is a Juilliard alum and former NYU Tisch kid. Her plays include Carthage, South of Settling, Splinters, and Route One Off. In New York, her work has been developed or produced by Page 73, the Juilliard School, Partial Comfort Productions, Ars Nova, the Stella Adler Studio Acting School, and Christine Jones’ Theatre for One booth. Regionally, her plays have been developed at the O’Neill Playwriting Conference, the Marin Theatre Company in California, the Source Festival in DC, the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, and ACT Theatre in Seattle. Emily is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, the 2011 ACT New Play Award winner, the 2009 David Calicchio Emerging AmericanPlaywrights Prize winner, a 2009 Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist, and a 2009-2010 Interstate 73 member. Born in Texas,raised all over the world, and a little obsessed with Missouri, Emily is now based in Brooklyn. She is represented by Joseph Rosswog at the Gersh Agency.


Where did the idea for Bloom come from?
Bloom was a commission for a summer acting class at Stella Adler in New York, where I had the fortune to meet the actors ahead of time and then tailor-make a short play for two of them. Since Bloom is very much a character piece, the inspiration for the two girls in the play was very much born from the temperaments and personalities of the original actors playing these roles. Also, I love LOVE writing teenagers and siblings, so this play fed into both of my obsessions.

Who is your current playwright talent crush?
I don’t really have playwright talent crushes. I have play crushes. Like when you see a play and you love it so hard, kind of obsessively, and you tell everyone to go see it but secretly you kind of hope that even if everyone else sees it, it’s very clear that you saw it first and you really love it the most? That sounds weird. But okay, I just saw Jerusalem in New York, and I might have a crush on that play.

What advice would you give to aspiring playwrights?
Write a lot; send your work out; be a nice person.

What kind of theater do you love?
Anything done well or with a lot of heart.

What are you currently working on?
More plays. Maybe a pilot or two. Also, I’m working on getting a lampshade that’s the right size for my bedside table lamp. I’ve bought two already and they are both frustratingly too large or small.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
I’m a Dallas Mavericks fan, so I’m pretty happy about how they just swept the Lakers.

Is there a question you would like to see posed to playwrights featured in future spotlights?
Yeah, you should ask about favorite plays (all-time or recent) or favorite theater experiences.

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