Playwright Spotlight: Joanna Horowitz

Author Miss End of the World, Etc, Cupcake Reading Series [March 2013]
Seattle-based playwright, actor, and country singer Joanna Horowitz is proud to have worked with Northwest companies Seattle Repertory Theatre, On the Boards, Annex Theatre, Balagan Theatre, 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival, Macha Monkey, Capitol Hill Arts Center, and Live Girls! Theater. In 2011, her country musical 100 Heartbreaks was workshopped with Seattle Rep’s New Play Program and Northwest Playwrights Alliance and was presented at Bumbershoot Arts Festival. Her latest work, Miss End of the World, etc., received its first reading at Balagan Theatre this November.
Where did the idea for Miss End of the World, Etc.  come from?
The piece began as a one-act that I wrote for Live Girls’ Peggy Lee Project. The idea was to write a play based on a Peggy Lee song. I picked “It’s a Good Day,” which, for some bizarre reason, conjured up images of potentially the worst day ever: the one after the world has ended. I love the high stakes of an apocalypse play, so I continued to write a series of short plays in the same dark comedy/surrealist vein as the first. This play is the result of putting them all together.

What was your favorite moment in working on this piece?
I did the bulk of the writing during my time working as a communications manager at Nike this past year. It was my first time in the corporate world, and it was really like being in a new country and learning a new language. I was laughing when I started there because they kept talking to me about “onboarding,” which is the corporate jargon word for getting oriented when you start. I loved the moment when a line about onboarding showed up in the script.

What projects are you currently working on?
Besides this, I’m starting some work on an immersive theater piece, and I’m always writing and singing country songs.

Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…”
makes me say, “Holy shit!”

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)?
I think my biggest artist crush is always going to be Marya Sea Kaminski. Ever since I saw her one-woman show at WET when I first moved to Seattle, I have been blown away by her openness as both a performer and writer, her ability to be profoundly poetic and also dead straight to the point. She’s curious, brave, and a total badass.

What was the best advice you were even given as a theater artist?
Just make the art you want to see.

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Everyone is afraid that they’re not really an artist or that they’re an impostor some how or that they’re going to fail. Our brains are our tools and our enemies. It’s ok: you’re going to make stupid stuff. But you have to make stupid stuff to make awesome stuff. Don’t stop before you even get to the stupid stuff.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
Making smoothies. It’s become a little bit of an obsession.

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
Favorite: ebullient Least: chalk