Author Q & A with Kara Davidson
December 30, 2021
This week’s Author Q&A is with Kara Davidson. Kara is an actor, playwright, and teaching artist currently pursuing her MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her script, “The Farewell Burn,” won the 2021 Honey Bee Literature Prize in script writing and was published in our 5th issue of The Good Life Review.
Kara elected to answer a number of our questions however, in order to put priority on this time-sensitive answer, we’re stepping out of the typical flow to highlight the 10-episode serial audio play she wrote that is available for free only through December 31st. It was inspired by Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula and features a beautiful original score by Kevin O’Donnell. To listen please visit https://www.thehousetheatre.com/dracula.
We asked Kara what fuels her desire to write.
Her response: What fuels my desire to write is the possibility that my work will feel familiar to someone else, and how it could help them illuminate something touching or true about their own life, their relationships, or their journey. Providing a vehicle through which someone can process previously intangible or inaccessible emotions is a very meaningful gift to be able to give someone.
We also asked Kara how she knows when a piece of writing is finished.
Her response: “I don’t ever think of my writing as “finished”. It’s more of a snapshot of who I was in a specific time/place/moment of my life. And it’s possible that I might return to a piece, again and again, to morph it into something new or different. I also feel this way because I write for the theatre, which is such a team sport. Knowing that actors will inhabit my words, a director will infuse their own experiences into shaping the piece, and designers will make my fabricated world tangible — it’s incredibly exciting to think of my piece as an unfinished part of the puzzle.”
Circling back to her winning script in the latest issue, we asked Kara to tell us some unique or surprising detail about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of that script.
Her response: This piece was inspired by an essay written by Brian Phillips which is included in his book, Impossible Owls. I was killing time at a bookstore and made a random grab at the shelves and developed an immediate crush on his writing/reportage style. I live for these moments when art inspires art — it makes me feel like artists of all mediums are cosmically and intrinsically connected, nourished by breathing each others’ air back and forth. It’s very intimate.
And finally, as it is will all our artists, we asked what she thinks of when she hears the phrase “The Good Life?”
She summed this up nicely by responding: “Alignment. With self, nature, and community.”
Kara has previously worked with Manual Cinema, The House Theatre of Chicago, Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, ABLE Ensemble, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, and Flatwater Shakespeare, among others. She is a co-founder and director of a monthly virtual workshop called The Lab which aids in developing new works-in-progress by artists from all across the country (www.thelab.blog).
Thanks, Kara, for being a part of our 5th issue and for participating in this Q & A!
~The Good Life Review Team