Tori and Mabelle talk with Keiko Green about her two origin stories, as well as her journey from the NYU Experimental Theatre Wing to Seattle to UCSD. She shares how her musical about feral bunnies helped her land a writer’s residency at Seattle Rep and how “Exotic Deadly: Or the MSG Play” opened up doors in Hollywood. Keiko shares her process, why she values process over product, and how she includes emerging playwrights in development workshops of her plays. She also includes a detailed breakdown of why and how she wrote her thriller farce “Sharon.”
Writing prompt (courtesy of Keiko Green)
Settings. If you have any idea of what your play is about and any idea of what your setting is, write a full ten minutes just describing your location (in all detail). Maybe this won’t end up in your stage directions but really go into detail. A great play to look at for this reason is “Appropriate” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Really see how other playwrights spend an enormous amount of time to set up a location that is going to act as a character in your play. Now, after describing the location in great detail and thinking of all of the intricate things that are in there, insert a character that does not belong there. Before any dialogue starts, have that character interact with something in that location. What do they do? What does it sound like? What does it look like? And then bring in a second character. Give yourself three pages to explore what it looks like before anyone speaks–with a vivid idea of what this place is…and a person who doesn’t belong there. [You can also draw a map. What is so unique about this place?]
Connect with Keiko:
KEIKO GREEN is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, performer, and proud Core Company Member at ACT Theatre in Seattle and Theatre Mu’s new play incubator the Mu Tang Clan. Her plays have been developed and/or produced by the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, ACT Theatre, the Kennedy Center, National New Play Network, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, Playwrights Realm, and Actors Express. As an actor, Keiko has performed at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, and the National Asian American Theatre Company, among others. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing and will receive her MFA in Playwriting from UC San Diego this June. Her plays range from coming-of-age comedies to large-concept horror and everything in between, exploring the unexpected connection between people from different backgrounds, as well as the internal tensions held within our bodies. She holds commissions from the Old Globe and ACT Theatre. Keiko is represented by the Gersh Agency and Anonymous Content.
Check out the upcoming productions of Keiko’s plays!
Exotic Deadly: Or the MSG Play (World Premiere)
Directed by Jesca Prudencio
@The Old Globe, April-May 2023 (SD)
Hometown Boy (Production)
Directed by Annie Lareau
@ Seattle Public Theater, May 2023 (SEA)
Sharon (World Premiere)
Directed by Rob Lutfy
@ Cygnet Theatre, June 2023 (SD)
Check out the 40th Anniversary Festival of the William Inge Theatre Festival April 20-22, 2023: https://ingecenter.org/festival/