Core Apprentice Sam Lahne is workshopping Doxxed at the Playwrights' Center this week, part of our annual Core Apprentice Intensive where the three Core Apprentices come to the Center for full play development workshops and to meet with local theater leaders. Sam is collaborating with director Kate Powers; dramaturg Andrew Rosendorf; and actors Meredith Casey, Michael Booth*, Tracey Maloney*, Patrick Coyle*, Olivia Wilusz, and Eric Sharp* (*Member of Actors' Equity). A mini-interview we did with Sam when his apprenticeship started last summer:
Why do you write plays?
I write plays because I am chronically uncertain. I find that in the face of a difficult, complex issue, I often have trouble knowing what I really think because I can too readily understand and sympathize with many of the conflicting perspectives involved. Instead of feeling stifled by this, and disengaging, playwriting allows me to do something productive with my uncertainty; I can embody the conflicting perspectives, give them flesh and voice in characters, let them interact and play out in time and space on stage. I don’t necessarily reach a solid conclusion or conviction at the end of the writing process, but I usually achieved some level of clarity.
What is the weirdest phrase you’ve ever Googled when researching a play?
Straight from my search history: “do porn stars fill out w4 forms?”
What artists inspire you and why?
There are so many, of course, but an artist who’s inspired me recently is photographer Larry Sultan. Sultan creates these incredibly dramatic photographs – each one is like an entire play captured in a single image – from what is, at first glance, very mundane subject matter – scenes of suburban life, family portraits, billboard advertisements, etc. They are at once very simple and familiar, and totally strange and mysterious.