Playwright Spotlight: Zoey Cane Belyea

Lightning [Cupcake Reading SeriesSeptember 2013]


Where did the idea for Lightning come from?
I was teaching theatre at Madrona K-8 and my friend Lauren was teaching visual art to kindergartners.  They did a very interesting project where the students drew pictures and described how they thought cell phones worked.  The idea of technology’s pervasiveness has always been interesting to me, and hearing how young minds view the tech world lit a little lightbulb for me. The insides of anything we normally see the outside of is covered, undiscoverable, and therefore magic. Technology is magic.  Electricity is magic.  Our bodies are magic.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m just beginning rehearsals for a devised piece here in Austin.  It’s a dance/theatre piece inspired by the story of Florence Lawrence, the mythic “first movie star” of the silent movie era.

Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…”
Makes me ask questions, uses all the senses, is quiet as much as it is loud and is still as much as it is moving.

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)?
I’m pretty consistently in love with Jenny Lewis and Alison Mosshart from The Kills.  Being in a band is about finding the perfect blend between your own personality and the character you want to be on stage — I love the idea of living in the tension between those two sides of yourself: it’s a great place from which to create.  I try to live my life somewhere in between their two energies.

What was the best advice you were even given as a theater artist?
Always keep learning.

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
I’ve recently begun learning to be confident in my ides: if I’m interested in an idea there’s a good chance other people will be also.  It’s so tempting, especially as a young artist, to play the game and strategize and filter yourself into the version you think other people expect you to be.  Theatre gets twisty like that, but the best art comes when you can relax, stay grounded, and then set yourself free of those expectations.  It’s a process.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
I’ve recently moved to Austin, TX and so I’ve been getting into some local awesomeness lately.  I’m really into breakfast tacos and being on the quest to find the perfect coffee shop (it’s rough down here).  I’m really into riding my bike and outdoor yoga classes. I’m really into baking crumbles and cakes as the fruit transitions from summer to fall.  I’m really into watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
I like most words for their sounds.  I like the word almond and palm.  I like the word important, but only if you say it with both t’s.  I love the word for potato in all languages.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share? (About Live Girls! Theater, Love, Life, Puppies, Ponies…really – anything at all?)
Live Girls! has been such a big part of my recent evolution as an artist.  They make me feel like I’m in my own band and that I can let go of my filter and just create create create!  Thank goodness there is a company that still encourages women to be themselves as artists and to grow from that place.  Thanks LG!

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Zoey Cane Belyea has written lots of secret plays, but it took a 14/48: Kamakaze to get some of those words onto the stage in front of real people.  She is so grateful for Live Girls! providing the opportunity to keep exploring this side of herself as a theatre artists.  She is an actress and proud LG! company member, performing in the most recent Quickies and in Fever: the Peggy Lee plays.  She has also been seen on Seattle stages performing with Annex, upstart crow, Theater Schmeater, The Young American’s Theatre Co, Seattle Shakespeare Co, and Book-It Rep.  She recently moved to Austin, TX but always keep Seattle in her morning cup of coffee.