Core Writer Kate Tarker is at the Playwrights’ Center November 7-9, workshopping Dirty Arcadia with director Dominique Serrand and actors Sally Wingert*, Addie Phelps, Michael Wieser*, and Nathan Keepers* (*Member of Actors' Equity). Kate’s description of the play: “Everyone knows Oedipus killed his father and slept with this mother. But things went from bad to worse with his adoptive family, too. A play about how you really really really can’t escape your destiny.” We asked Kate a few short questions:
Tell us about the commissions you’re working on.
I’m writing something for The Wilma about vibrant, alcoholic, rageful shepherds.
I’m also going to collaborate with SITI Company Conservatory to develop an irreverent something about witches and female power. [Ed. note: This project was awarded the 2016 NET Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant and it sounds amazing.]
What themes do you find yourself returning to in your writing?
My fault line is the Western war between mind and body. My characters fight their bodies, curse their bodies, think they can overcome their basic bodily instincts with intellect. I also frequently write about generational “inheriting the earth” kinds of themes.
Describe an “aha moment” or moment of discovery you’ve had.
You don't have to choose between being an artist and being happy. You can't skip depth or truth, you'd better be comfortable with discomfort, and you need to be forever inquisitive, but you can also enjoy your life and fall in love. Make art out of life and a life out of art.