Playwright Spotlight: May Nguyen

The Right Moment, [Quickies 16, June 2015]

Where did the idea for The Right Moment come from?
As a realist and an artist, the struggle around art’s monetary value is always tense and extremely vulnerable. When I look at what it will take to remain true to my art and my values, I also have to look at what it will take to pay rent, buy groceries, and renew my bus pass. The concept of a “work-life balance” is complex and deeply personal as its definitions and proportions are based on principles and personal values. I don’t like being caught between the art or the money, but that’s the world we live in. And the struggle continues.

What was your favorite moment in working on this piece??
A friend suggested that I bring back a superhero I’d created in a previous play. I hadn’t thought about Dark Mask since, so when the opportunity arose to bring back this mysterious character, I giggled so hard.

What projects are you currently working on?
I am a producer with Pork Filled Productions and we are knee-deep in preparations for our next show, the world premiere of “The Tumbleweed Zephyr”, a brand new play by Maggie Lee. It opens on the 12th Ave Arts main stage! I’m so excited about it! I also stage manage with Youth Theatre Northwest out on Mercer Island. These kids, I mean, young actors, really keep me on my toes.

Finish the sentence- “I love theater that…”
… deliberately chooses to make its audience work and delivers on that trust. Subtleties. Nuance. Questions. No easy answers. No simple endings. No flat characters. And humor. For the love of god, don’t forget to find the humor.

Who is your current artist crush (any discipline)??
I’ve been enjoying the TV series Broolyn-Nine-Nine and Andre Braugher is my comedy hero. His commitment to the character and the jokes is so, so fun. A joy to watch. Inspired casting.

What was the best advice you were given as a theater artist?

What is the one thing you know as an artist now that you wish you could tell your younger self??
Look into the business of art… because I still don’t know it.

Outside of theater, what are you really into right now?
Formula One racing. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

What is your favorite and least favorite word?
Favorite: smooches. Least favorite: deplane (what an inelegant word)

Any other thoughts you’d like to share? (About Live Girls! Theater, Love, Life, Puppies, …really – anything at all?)
I love Live Girls! Theater and their commitment to reaching out to female theater artists. They remind us that our art is valuable, that our stories are worth telling, and that if we all chose to do theater, let’s friggin’ do it! Thank you, Live Girls! for the support and the opportunity!

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May Nguyen is a producer with Pork Filled Productions whose upcoming play, “The Tumbleweed Zephyr” opens this August at 12th Ave Arts. May is also an actor who can be found on stage with the likes of sketch comedy group, Pork Filled Players , Live Girls! Theater, 14/48, SIS Productions, and ReAct Theatre . She has even written plays for the SIS Writers’ Group, SIS Productions, Infinity Box Theatre, and Live Girls! Theater. When not on stage, May is a board member with Infinity Box Theatre and can be found behind the scenes as a stage manager and assistant stage manager at Youth Theatre Northwest. Theater is team sport where everyone’s time is precious and everyone’s skills are valuable. Thank you for playing with us.