PLAYWRIGHT KANDIE KELLEY
TALKS ABOUT "PAPER UMBRELLAS"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: My troupe had just finished performing King Lear and were begging me to do a comedy, something "light and fluffy." With that in mind, I drove around trying to come up with an idea (my ideas all come in the car). I was listening to opera and thought up a character who wanted to be an opera singer but couldn't sing a lick. Then, I considered how funny it would be to have a motivational speaker who urged all to follow the most unlikely dreams. It came rather easily after that.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: My favorite parts are the titles of the "chapters" in Donny Stripes' book.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: Well, I tend to be overly optimistic. I'm so optimistic, my father says that even in hell, I'd be making the best of the situation, talking about how warm and cozy everything is. So, really, having characters who believe in absurd, impossible dreams is natural. These people live inside me. And Donny was definitely based on several motivational speakers I'd seen in infomercials.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I tried to suggest that it's the simple dreams that are perhaps the most poignant--everything else will follow if you have (as goofy as it sounds) love. Everything in this play fights cynicism, which in this day and age seems like a good fight.