Erin Considine is co-winner of the 2021 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, along with Anthony Lamarr White. Read on to learn a little more about Erin and the play we’ll be premiereing this fall!
Erin K. Considine is an emerging Southern Playwright from the Atlanta Area. Her first full-length play, Pete & Wendy, was included in 2016’s Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. This collaboration led to the development of Riding Bicycles in the Rain (2017 Ethel Woolson Lab & 2018 Playwrights Voiced Festival),and Flaming Out (2018 First Light Reading Series). Her scripts Twenty-Two (2020 Dramaworkshop at Palmbeach Dramaworks, 2020 New Works Festival at the Garry Marshall Theatre, and 2020 Ethel Woolson Lab) and Raising the Dead (2021 Unexpected Play Festival) both incubated during the lost year of the pandemic. Erin was named a Finalist for the 2019 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, a Semi-Finalist for the 2020 BAPF and the 2020 PlayPenn Conferences, and she was the Winner of the 2020 Tennessee Williams Festival One Act Play Competition. Fall of 2020 she was a Travis Bogard Artist-in-Residence and the first Carey Perloff Fellow at the Tao House as part of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation. After treading the boards for over twenty years, Erin is overwhelmed and grateful for the opportunity to create stories that other artists bring to life.
The play that won this award, Raising the Dead, takes place one night on neighboring balconies overhanging a humid New Orleans streetscape, as Harlowe and Myra, neighbors for more than a decade, are confronted with the question, “How small has your world become, and could you change it if you had to?”
ET: Hi, Erin. Congratulations! What can you tell us about the play we’ll be seeing this November?
EC: Raising the Dead is a play about women: their friendships and their passions. Harlowe and Myra, neighbors for more than a decade, stomp and dance and laugh their way through the ins and outs of Louisiana Living until one of them makes the choice to leave. Permanently. Raising the Dead explores female strength, friendship, abandonment, and love, all in the context of a New Orleans night. This play contemplates the question, how small has your world become, and could you change it if you had to?
ET: Where did you get the idea for this play? What made you want to write it?
EC: 2020 caged everyone, tossing us into a pressure cooker and leaning on our broken places until we began to splinter. There was a universal need to rip our way out of any kind of constraints. The political canvas was on fire. Our personal lives were mired in stagnation. I began writing Raising the Dead because I needed Rescue. I needed human contact, and I was so grateful for my friends. The women in my world became tiny, buoyant life preservers. This play is a love letter to the women who held my hand and kept me from slipping under the waves.
ET: That is absolutely beautiful. As is the play itself! Can you tell us how you got into playwriting?
EC: I was an actress for almost twenty years, at which point I became very ill. I spent a year and half unable to
walk. While I was lying sideways on the couch contemplating my navel I decided to begin writing. I am a
storyteller by nature: I lost the ability to express myself on stage, but all of that emotion and inner life had to
go somewhere. Writing became that outlet.
ET: …Wow. That’s incredible.
EC: I am told that writing is a lonely, solitary craft. However, Theatre is a brilliant collaboration. It’s a team sport,
and I feel so lucky to have found a way to stay within this tribe of artists. They are my heart and my home.
ET: Well we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you into our family of artists!
EC: I don’t know if you knew this, but the very first full-length script I ever finished was read as part of the 2016 Bare Essentials. So to be coming back five years later with a full production is a dream I can’t entirely wrap my head around! It’s a rare mixture of terror and wonder and humility, watching other people bring your words to life. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do this work here in my home city of Atlanta.
ET: Well congratulations, once again. We look forward to working with you and bringing your play to life in the Festival this November! In the meantime, where else can readers find your work?
EC: Well, The Road Theatre has extended the viewing window on YouTube for the July 25 reading they did of my new script, Family Tree (check it out!), and I have a production of Riding Bicycles in the Rain coming up at Relative Theatrics in Wyoming in September – and then it’s all about Raising the Dead and the Essential Play Festival!
ET: It sounds like you are staying busy! That’s great!
Erin’s play, Raising the Dead, will premiere as part of the 2021 Essential Theatre Play Festival and opens Friday, November 5, 2021. Tickets go on sale on August 28 at EssentialTheatre.Tix.com.