PLAYWRIGHT SPOTLIGHT: Gayle Pazerski

 Gayle Pazerski,  Andromeda  Playwright

Gayle Pazerski, Andromeda Playwright

Gayle Pazerski is a Pittsburgh, PA-based playwright, actor, and teaching artist whose plays have recently been featured with Bricolage Production Company, No Name Players, and SUNY New Paltz. Gayle holds a BFA in acting from the University of Kentucky and studied in the MFA acting program at Rutgers University under William Esper.


How long have you been working on this script?

I didn't start this script until almost exactly a year ago. I used the submission deadline for a competition to pressure myself into completing it (I love a good deadline to provide some motivating pressure).

Where did the idea come from?

I have a fascination for space and cosmic theory, and I had been trying to write a play about planetarium employees for about five years with no success. I tried a few different styles and approaches, but nothing seemed to work. Then I read an article about a woman who--following an Alzheimer's diagnosis--put a plan in place to end her own life when her condition deteriorated past a certain point. I merged the two ideas and wrote ANDROMEDA as a way to relate our massive, cosmic world to the intimate one we navigate every day.

What iterations of the script have occurred (prior readings/revisions)?

After completing ANDROMEDA last July, it sat on the shelf until October, when I gave it to (director) Steven Wilson to read. We did a few readings of it in the fall and winter in Pittsburgh and Chicago, all leading up to the current version being workshopped here.

How has it changed over time?

The big ideas have stayed the same, but I've definitely trimmed the heavy, heady space stuff and focused more on the nuances of Myra and Alma's relationship.

What is your goal for this particular workshop -- what would you like to see happen with your script during the weeks of working on it here?

I am very excited to tackle the moments in the play that I've never felt land quite right. Sometimes it's a matter of letting time pass between my own revisions, but what is always most immediately helpful is hearing the words out loud, in voices other than my own. And I'm so honored to be working with such an incredible team of actors and artists -- what a gift to get input from all of them!

How do you think the Arkansas New Play Fest compares to other new play development workshops that you have been a part of in the past?

This is actually my first play development workshop! But I am having an amazing experience and learning so much. Everyone and everything has been so conducive to making me feel like I have the freedom to fully focus on and experiment with my script.

Why are development workshops important for new plays?

The workshop experience has been absolutely invaluable for me when it comes to moving my play towards its final form. Opening up the script to new voices and inserting new ideas (or removing old ones) is so essential to finding what works and what doesn't in a new play. Workshopping is by far the best way to uncover a play's most authentic and compelling voice