Gabrielle Sinclair Compton

Author of Good Work [Quickies 12, June 2011]

Gabrielle Sinclair Compton is a writer, improviser and southerner currently living in New York City, where she’s pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at the Actors Studio Drama School. She has written and performed with the Annoyance Theater in Chicago and iOWest in Los Angeles, as well as performed long-form improv in festivals around the country.

Where did the idea for “Good Work” come from?
It started as a very simple short story, and grew from there. I’m fascinated by how much importance is placed on one’s first kiss. I know for me the stakes felt incredibly high, like a real pressure that for the first time I must get something right on an epic scale.

What is your favorite moment in the play?
Moments when Warren and Alice’s actions directly contradict the text.

Who is your current playwright talent crush?
I’ve been a bit obsessed with Sarah Kane. It’s amazing to me how simple, upsetting and visceral her plays are. I love that they should come with a warning label, not necessarily because of their content, but because they can really change you in ways you might not be prepared for.

What advice would you give to aspiring playwrights?
I appreciate Edward Albee’s advice: “Write as if it’s the first play that’s ever been written. Every time you write a play, don’t just limit yourself to safe things. It’s exciting to do things that you don’t know how to do.”

What kind of theater do you love?
Epic realism, theater that stays with me long after, that feels like a group experience and not like I might as well have just seen it on TV. Theater that is upsetting and surprising. Theater that’s personal and honest. Theater I can afford to see.

What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a play featuring time travel, a post-apocalyptic musical, a sweet little one act set in a church, and developing a new long-form with my improv team Hoodwink.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
Exploring Brooklyn, taking advantage of the city and, as a recently married lady, embracing the rapid adultification of hearth and home.

Do you have a favorite and least favorite word?
Cake (yay!)
Moist (ugh!)

Is there a question you would like to see posed to playwrights featured in future spotlights?
How would you describe your voice as a playwright?

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