Playwright Spotlight: Danielle Wolff

The Box, [Quickies 16, June 2015]

Where did the idea for The Box come from?
I wanted to explore the idea of curiosity – why is something we can’t know suddenly something we have to know? It can be a great trait – human curiosity has led to life-saving discoveries, but in the most extreme cases it can also be destructive – none of us are guaranteed privacy if everyone feels they have the right to know everything.

What was your favorite moment in working on this piece??
As it is with any piece, it’s the moment where all the random, free-range ideas start to coalesce into a story. Sometimes that never happens, so when it does it feels great.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’ve been doing a lot of TV work lately, which has kept me very busy, but when I manage to scrape up some spare time, I’m working on a stage adaptation of my radio play, HUNTSVILLE, and a second collection of short stories I hope to publish soon.

Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…”
Engages me as an audience member. Any art form can send a message or tell us something, but because with theater, unlike film or books, the audience is present with the artists, I think any work that doesn’t take advantage of that and take them along with the characters for the ride is missing out!

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)??
I’m a big classical music fan, and have recently been listening to recordings of the French pianist Hélène Grimaud. She’s fantastic in concert, and as a hobby she raises wolves. Come on…

What was the best advice you were given as a theater artist??
To take risks.  There’s a lot of flexibility in the theater, and the more we take advantage of it the more vibrant the work can be.

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self??
There is no point where it suddenly gets easy and you are suddenly confident in everything you write. So the key is to play the numbers game – write as much as possible and send as much of the work as possible out into the world. You never know what’s going to resonate with other people.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
I love languages and I’m working to learn as many of them as well as I can.  My latest one is Arabic, and it’s a challenge!

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
Favorite:  Thank you. (It’s two words, really, but no matter how many times it’s said, it could always be said more. And no one’s ever unhappy to hear it.)

Least favorite:  Literally. (It’s literally almost never used correctly and even when it is, it’s usually redundant.)

Any other thoughts you’d like to share? (About Live Girls! Theater, Love, Life, Puppies, …really – anything at all?)
I’m excited to be a part of Quickies 16. This is my Seattle theater debut. I’m grateful to the director, staff, and cast, and hope to work with Live Girls! Theater again soon!


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Danielle Wolff is a screenwriter and playwright whose credits include “Kyle XY Continuum,” which received a nomination for an Interactive Media Programming Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Most recently she has written for several Marvel Television series, including Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble and has previously worked on Wicked Wicked Games, which starred Tatum O’Neal, and American Heiress, both prime-time dramas for Fox’s MyNetwork TV.

Danielle received an MFA from the screenwriting program at the UCLA Film School, where her script Gordon was honored at the prestigious UCLA Showcase competition. She received first place in the Screenwriters Community competition with her script Family Resemblance. The same script was a finalist at the Great Plains Film Festival. She is also the winner of the Women in Film Eleanor Perry Writing Award and the Jack K. Sauter Award for television writing and her script Danielle Casanova was a semi-finalist at the Moondance International Festival. She has appeared as a panelist at the Screenwriters Expo and lectured at the Ionian University in Greece.

Her stage credits include “Weightless,” which received its premiere at the Attic Theatre in Los Angeles, where it was also the winner of their national playwriting competition. “Weightless” premiered off-Broadway at the Producers Club in New York.

Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications such as the Chiron Review and Popcorn Fiction, and her story collection, Mass Ave, was published in 2014.