Interview with Karen Fix Curry, playwright of "Celtic Knot"
Q: Theatrically speaking, you are a "triple threat" of a particularly intriguing kind: in addition to being a playwright, you are also a professional costumer, and an accomplished vocalist. Which passion came first, and how did you decide to become a playwright?
A: Writing, music, and fiber arts have always been a part of my life. I sang solos and played in a youth orchestra as a child, taught myself to sew, crochet, quilt, and knit, and wrote songs, stories, poems and plays. I can't answer which was first, since they have all coexisted throughout.
When I first studied theatre in college, I studied both costuming and playwriting, but settled on writing when I transferred to CSUF. My original plan was to write musicals, and I would love to try that one day. I performed in an Irish band for almost a decade, even garnering top 20 on the World Music charts. I taught music and costuming at a local high school for over ten years, but wanted to be involved in professional theatre, and so I switched to professional costuming and playwriting full-time.
Q: Celtic Knot takes us from Ireland to Chicago and back again, and gives us the story of a close-knit Irish family that suddenly has to embrace a daughter-in-law from America. It's a very "Irish" play, yet its story and passion and conflicts feel universal. Do you feel the play is a love story, a story of family love, or both?
A: I think it is about love and what it means to belong in a family. It is, in large part, about acceptance. I think most people can relate to being an outsider, and trying to find your place. And we all have had to deal with change, sometimes good, sometimes very hard, but we've all been there nonetheless.
Q: On one level, Celtic Knot could be described as a story of family lost and family found. Do you find that family relationships, or sibling relationships, form the core of many of your plays?
A: This theme is often my emphasis, although how a single decision can have unintended consequences often is there as well.
Q: This is a one-act play with richly drawn characters. Do you generally start from character when you write, with the story slowly revealing itself, or is there a kind of map in mind?
A: I write character and see where it takes me. I have been inspired by a poem, or a news article, or even a song, and go from there. I tried outlining one time and lost all interest in completing the story. Celtic Knot actually was born from the final scene and evolved backwards from there.
Q: How do you feel things are for playwrights in OC right now? Are there some solid opportunities for new works to be seen, and be produced? Do you sense that we are on the cusp of a great wave of wonderful new work coming from the county?
A: This is a really amazing time to be writing plays. There are more writing groups, more theatres looking to do fresh, interesting material, and emerging voices coming from behind the "Orange Curtain", which are relevant and meaningful. OC-centric has been a wonderful experience. SCR also has a number of opportunities, as well as Laguna Playhouse, and there are several local colleges and writing groups like OCPA and Breath of Fire that are all hosting play festivals, staged readings, and workshops.
Karen Fix Curry's Celtic Knot opens August 19 at OC-Centric.
To reserve your tickets, CLICK HERE or call 714-902-5716