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Meet Playwright Angelica Howland

Angelica is the author of Lottery House, the next #newworkshop selection in Now & Then's 3rd season. Artistic Director John Perovich had a chance to speak with Angelica about the play and her process for the workshop. Lottery House will be presented to audiences this Friday, November 15 at 7:30PM and Saturday, November 16 at 11:00AM.

John Perovich (JP): Angelica, it's so great to have you back with us at Now & Then! Cody and I are big fans of your work, and I'm thankful that you and I have had opportunities to collaborate over the past few years—and I'm excited for Lottery House! I want to share with everyone that there was an initial reading of the play this past summer...and I immediately fell in love with the story and its style. So much so, that I've descended into exploring some of the material that inspired your writing—namely the works for Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. I've been lost down that rabbit hole for a while...and I love it! A workshop is such a unique process. What excites you about the time that we'll spend together working on your play?

Angelica Howland (AH): I’m always so interested to hear the script out loud. To hear what the actors will bring to what I’ve created so far and how they will further flesh out these characters. To discover what the director’s ideas are when it comes to what’s already on the page, what their insights are in taking it further and where they will take the rewrites. Having a dramaturg is such a gift as well—to have someone who has their complete focus on all the nitty gritty details is invaluable. I’m really looking forward to taking the story to the next level. 

JP: We have a great team in place: performers Natalie Andrews, Kellie Dunlap, Aaron Ford, Megan Holcomb, Jesse James Kamps, and Alan Khoutakoun—and director Louis Farber. I'm also thrilled to be on board as your dramaturg. The play is in a great place—and I like what you said about fleshing out the characters and working with the team to go further. How far will the characters go to get what they want? To survive? The stakes are high. Is there one particular area in the script that you're most curious to tackle?

AH: I’ve discovered a big hole in Act II. I’m hoping to figure out how to fix it. And I’m looking forward to pulling the puzzle apart and putting it back together… make sure all the pieces fit.

JP: That's a great metaphor and exactly how I think about my own writing—it's a puzzle...take it apart, put it together...repeat. Things always change. You've worked with Now & Then on our last workshop as a director—Feminist Horror Stories—and previously as a playwright and performer—You, Me & Adam Levine (which was coauthored with Michelle Gardner). What do you believe we do well and are able to offer playwrights during this process for their work?

AH: Now & Then provides a safe place, a creative team and the tools to do the work that must be done. Writing a story—whether novel, screenplay or play—is a largely solitary process, but there does come a point where input is necessary. A writer needs a trusted team. I have a wonderful support system when the time comes to start polishing my work. You and Cody have graciously joined my little circle and I’m thankful. And having the benefit of two live audiences to give feedback? Incredibly helpful! So, please join us?

JP: A great note to end on. Please join us for the thrills and chills of Lottery House—you won't be disappointed!

Lottery House by Angelica Howland will be presented to audiences this Friday, November 15 at 7:30PM and Saturday, November 16 at 11:00AM. For info and tickets, click here.