Meet the Playwright: G. M. Lupo

2017 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award Winner, G.M. Lupo. Photo by Cathy VanSchwartz-Seith

G. M. Lupo is an author and playwright native to Atlanta, GA. His work has been performed at Sketchworks, Atlanta Fringe Fest 2015, Out of Box Theatre, and OnStage Atlanta. He was born in and spent most of his childhood in West End, and learned to read in the library that once resided in what is now the West End Performing Arts Center. He’s a graduate of New York University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program and Georgia State University. His website is lupo.com. He is a member of Working Title Playwrights, where Another Mother had a First Light Reading in February 2016.

Tell us a little about the play we’ll be seeing this summer.

It’s about unintended consequences, and how our actions may affect others we know little or nothing about. When Leah Walker agrees to help out a friend with a fertility problem, she has no idea that eighteen years later, her decision will come back to haunt her.

Where did you get the idea for this play? What made you want to write it?

Several of the characters were based on another play I was developing. In creating the backstory of the character Leah, I came up with the detail that’s the basis for this story.

How did you get into playwriting?

I always wanted to be a novelist, but after getting involved with Sketchworks in Atlanta, I started to see scripted pieces as a fascinating medium for expression. Most of the comedy sketches I wrote for them were cited for being more like short plays, so I started concentrating on ten-minute plays and longer works. I’ve since found it very rewarding, seeing characters I’ve created come to life in the hands of a director and cast.

Are you working on any new projects at the moment? What’s next for you?

I’m working on a couple of books based on characters from Another Mother and the earlier play on which it was based. I’m hoping to have at least one of them finished and available before summer. I also have a number of stories floating around in my head waiting for expression.

Developing these characters in Atlanta has also informed other work that I’d shelved, so developing Another Mother has helped fuel my creativity in other areas.

Where else can we see your work, either recently, currently, or in the coming year(s)?

I have several books available at online retailers in print versions and on Amazon.com in print and Kindle versions. My most recent are collections of essays called Killing Babies, and The Cheese Toast Project, and a collection of short stories called Freedom and Consequence. Links to my published work can be found at http://lupo.net.

What made you decide to submit your play to the Essential Theatre Playwriting Contest?

I’ve attended shows at Essential and have always found it an excellent vehicle for new plays and local playwrights. The fact that Essential is putting on their shows in the neighborhood where I was born and lived as a kid and in the building which was once one of my favorite places to visit, is an added bonus.

Are there any thoughts you’d like to share about having your play produced for the first

photo by Matthew Mammola

time?

It’s an honor to have The Essential Theatre produce my work in my hometown, and especially in my home neighborhood. I’m looking forward to participating in the process to create a truly unique experience for the audience.

How did you find out about Essential and the playwriting contest?

I’m involved with Working Title Playwrights in Atlanta, and know several of the writers there who are previous winners. I’ve also been attending shows and readings here for the past seven or eight years, and have submitted works previously, including the work on which Another Mother was based.

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