Nancy Lucia Hoffman
13-year old Archie sits in the woods with a slingshot, firing small household objects into the night. When big brother Jordan asks him what’s up, conversation builds about polar ice caps, parents, driving, brothers’ duties and more.
I write for stage, screen, comics, and kids.
My first script was a scene for cells and platelets, to get out of doing a science report in the fourth grade. Since then I’ve continued to write and study stories.
I interned at MovieMaker magazine and read scripts for Empty Space Theatre in Seattle. I earned a Screenwriting Certificate and a BA in English and Creative Writing from University of Washington, and an MFA in Dramaturgy from University of Iowa. I learned from student and faculty artists at Connecticut College as a visiting professor for six years.
My play Midnight Mass won a 2007 RISCA. With artist Eric Fulford I published my RI-themed comic book Independent Man: Hero of Provadenz. I study good movies and rewrite bad ones in my mind. I keep a keen ear out when people are telling stories in bars and on the bus.
A BIT ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
In fourth grade I wrote a script to avoid doing a science report. Mr. Red Blood Cell, Ms. White Blood Cell and Joey Platelet went on a talk show to explain their work in the blood stream. They chatted about their jobs, moved down the couch for the next one, and traded quips. “They’re going to love this,” I said to myself, thinking of my teachers. Luckily they did. Thank you, Ms. Moran and Mrs. Miller.
I had no true direction for several years, but around 27 I realized I kept gravitating to writing and stories in script format. So I took the Screenwriting Certificate program at UW and it was on. Thank you Robert Ray, Jack Remick, Geof Miller, and Stewart Stern. They were phenomenal teachers.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
Launching came out of a bake-off exercise with students at Connecticut College where one of the ingredients was a prescription pill bottle. I workshopped it a little in Providence, then it was accepted and produced in the 2014 Boston Theatre Marathon. Unfortunately I was sick and missed the production, so it will be great to see it done here.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Storytelling is a basic need.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Charlie Chaplin for his generosity in tumbling through messes for us. Beckett for spending time at the maw of those messes. Suzan-Lori Parks for her everything – smarts, spirit, curiosity, everything. Annie Baker and Kenneth Lonergan for their accuracy in capturing actual people talking. And Chekhov for the vastness of his observations and how light a hand he wrote with. #Chekhovcrush
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I’m in a band called Baby Oil and we play 80s-style gaytacular original dance tunes.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
The America Play, Three Sisters, The Flick, Fornes’ Tango Palace, Gil-Sheridan’s Cockfight, Jolivet’s Get Rough with Me, Laufer’s End Days, and all the kids’ plays in the Manton Avenue Project in Olneyville, RI
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m working on a stage play about when I learned to ride a bike and then ran over my neighbor. Also, a screenplay about yoga and fry cooks. My writers’ group back home is readying some good stuff with Tyrannosaurus Rep. Little state, loads of good artists.