Playwright Spotlight: Alyson Davis

Author of Encourage Rebellion, Cupcake Reading Series [March 2013]
I’m currently a senior at Mountlake Terrace High School. I’ve written one other play, and both that one and Encourage Rebellion are all thanks to my YPP instructors, Kristina Sutherland and Christine Longé. After I graduate this spring, I plan to move east for college and major in English. Aside from writing, I love hanging out with my friends and I’ve recently discovered a love for cooking.

Where did the idea for Encourage Rebellion come from?
I wrote Encourage Rebellion mainly because it’s about something that hit home with me–and I assume a lot of other women as well. Misogyny and rape culture seem to fly under the radar when it comes to social issues, and I wanted to bring it to the forefront. The idea for it came from a summer of enlightenment. Over the summer break, I began to get really interested in feminism and, when YPP came around, I was provided with the perfect outlet for my passion on this subject.

What was your favorite moment in working on this piece?
My favorite moment was, without a doubt, writing the closing monologue. When I first sat down to write it, my mind was blank. But when I stopped focusing on making it sound eloquent and clean, everything just started to flow. And when I was done, I was relieved I gone with stream-of-consciousness. If I’d done the opposite, I don’t think the ending would have sounded as believable or come across as powerful as I’m told it is.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m not working on much, really. I’ve got a few ideas floating around in my head for a short story, maybe, but I don’t think I’ll be seriously putting pen to paper until I’m done with school.

Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…”
I love theater that encourages people to examine themselves, their behaviors, and/or their beliefs.

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)?
Oh man… I think it might be a tie between Billie Piper and Marcus Mumford.

What was the best advice you were even given as a theater artist?
I’m not too involved in theater, to be honest, but the best advice I’ve been given as a writer is to, of course, write what you know. Write something meaningful, something that you’re invested in. Write something that you can honestly say you’ve poured your heart and soul into. It’s an exhausting process, but the outcome is unquestionably worth it.

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
It doesn’t matter how much you think something you wrote sucks; there will always be at least one person who thinks it’s great.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
Right now, I’m in the process of building a time machine so graduation will come faster.

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
Favorite: pariah
Least favorite: caramel