Playwright Spotlight: Kelsey Wilk

its a gift shop after all, [Quickies 16, June 2015]
Taco Spell, 
[Quickies 15, April – May 2014, and Cupcake Reading Series, Sept. 2013]
Simon Fairchild [Cupcake Reading Series, March 2013]

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Where did the idea for its a gift shop after all come from?
My friend Rachel and I were texting and she said something about her mom being at the Disneyland hotel. and I was like, “Is she there alone??” and Rachel was like “No, she’s with my brother lol”, and then we postulated how sad it would be for a mom to be alone at the Disneyland Hotel. And I was like “im gonna write a play about that”.

What was your favorite moment in working on this piece??
When I showed an early draft to my dad and he liked it. Also when I got to see some of the auditions while visiting Seattle recently. I’d never seen actors auditioning for something i’d written before…it was so cool!

What projects are you currently working on?
Very much inspired by Live Girls!, I have started a theatre company called Figure 8 Productions, and its our mission to bring bold new work by women to the suburbs of Los Angeles. For our first show, I’m directing my all time favorite play- Fefu and her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes, at the Woodland Hills Community Church on August 8th and 9th, 2015. I’ve been wanting to direct this masterpiece since college, and we’re making it happen this summer thanks to an all star ensemble of real life friends. If you find yourself in LA this summer, please come join us! #figure8troupe

?Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…”
Makes the audience feel included in the story/experience

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)??
Michael Arden. His production of Spring Awakening with Deaf West Theatre is all I’ve been able to talk about all year.
Fiona Apple and Lana Del Rey for feeling terrible and looking beautiful so I don’t have to. Clare Stuber, my forever crush whose poems fuel my dreams. And Josh Conkel because all of his plays are my spirit animal.

What was the best advice you were given as a theater artist??
Richard ET White at a theatre department meeting at Cornish, saying that “fear and excitement come from the same part of your brain”. Also, Mary Poppins when she explains that “millions of stars fall out of the sky each night, but they fall in different places. you have to look, but you’ll find one.”

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self??
Nobody is expecting you to mess up. Its not cute to dislike yourself.
Do not squander your energy, do not give all your free time away.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
Being assertive, learning to drive, taylor swift, childs pose, mixing wine with soda, glitter, the sun, my poodle, being empowered, saving water, carbs

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
favorite word: playwrighting
least favorite word: fundraising

Any other thoughts you’d like to share? (About Live Girls! Theater, Love, Life, Puppies, …really – anything at all?)
Romance is a construct
Family is a construct
Friendship is a construct
Gender is a construct
Theatre is a construct
It is up to us to reconstruct our wants and needs if we’re going to make life on this planet the party its supposed to be.

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BIO:
Kelsey Wilk is a 25 year old playwright from California who has been telling crazy stories all her life.
After graduating from Cornish in 2012, she went onto write and perform with Live Girls!, The Living Room Project, On The Boards, and recently worked on the world premiere of Josh Conkel’s Okay, Bye at The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Through and through she’s been surrounded by insanely talented and energizing comrades, and she wouldn’t have been able to write this play without the beautiful family she’s been gifted with. Thanks Mom, Dad and McColley for making every day magical.

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