PLAYWRIGHT CHRISTIE HUDON
TALKS ABOUT HER PLAY THE PIRATE BRIDE
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I was really inspired by the happy endings and witty banter between couples in Shakespearian comedies. I've always enjoyed a good pirate adventure too. The original idea came to me in a flash. I saw this headstrong heroine and discovered her journey. I love to write strong and spunky female main characters in part because of the stories that shaped my love of the written word. While writing the play, I also thought about the kind of characters I'd like to be or see on stage.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I enjoy the pace and back and forth action of Act 1 Scene 1. It was the first thing I wrote even before I outlined the rest of the play. It wasn't until we performed the show that I realized how strong a character Roger had become. It's as much his story as Lizette's. My friend Jason brought him to life so vibrantly that he became a perfect foil for Lizette. I also have a warm, fuzzy spot for the coconut fight. It was a fun scene both to write and watch on stage. I couldn't stop laughing every night as I watched the scene. It never got old, and the faces my friend Matt, who played Bertrand made just killed it. I love the delicious chaos of the finale too. It was my husband's idea to introduce Blackbeard and I thought the character added comedy yet also held a certain gravitas that anchored the scene. He got to play the part so that was icing on the cake. And all of Lizette's sword fights. I did the Shakespeare thing and just said "they fight" so each director could create the scene as they saw fit, but for me, it was always an epic battle, and I loved getting to learn real fight choreography for the show. That fight between Roger and Lizette in Act 1 Scene 3 was a happy moment for me. They say the pen is mightier, but man, it's fun to swing a sword around.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: Only one character was directly based on someone. I based Peppy on this terrific young actor. I always pictured him being there with a quip and a fiery shock of red hair. I think the characters all have bits of other literary counterparts. There is a touch of Beatrice and Benedict (from Shakespeare's “Much Ado”) in the antagonistic relationship of Lizette and Roger. I can't pretend I wasn't influenced by some of my favorite sassy heroines like Elizabeth Swan, Jo March, and Princess Leia. But as I wrote, each character became their own entity.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to create opportunities for more female actors since so much of theater is dominated by male-heavy plays and nine times out of ten there are more women trying out for parts. I wanted to turn the tables on pirates and sword fighting so the damsels get themselves in and out of distress-sometimes with the help of a dashing hero but often of their own accord. I also loved the idea of a female pirate captain who was ruthless but smooth too. I feel very strongly about writing shows that are family-friendly so that everyone can be involved in the theater experience and kids can enjoy theater from a young age. It can be hard to find shows that fit this description.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: My husband was a huge help and inspiration when crafting this story. I can't thank him enough for endless edits, conversations, and car-trip chats about the story of the play. I am also so grateful to the original cast and crew of the show. They breathed life into my story and created real characters from words on a page. Metro, my church, was also instrumental in providing the performance space and covering production costs. I'm grateful for their support of our theater ministry.
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