Meet the Playwright: Heather Houston

Heather HeadshotMeet Heather Houston, Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension playwright! In her day job, Heather works for Harvard Law, saying that her expertise is “translating for the copier when it gets too complicated for the lawyers.” She’s super smart!

If you weren’t in theatre, what would be your dream job?
Oh, I’d still be a writer of some sort.  I’d still feel the need to create whole worlds in my head and have my creations fight back at me.  In fact, if I could get a magic typewriter that would let me have full-on battles with my characters, that would be neato-keen, and I’d set up a camera, just like all of those really terrible mockumentary horror movies and record myself having battles.  Of course, no one would believe it, so I couldn’t go into film, but I would totally write that shit down and get a best-selling novel out of it, because let’s face it, the printed word can’t die…. Can it?  CAN IT?  So, yeah, to hell with playwrighting.  Thanks for convincing me.

What has been your favorite thing about working on the play so far?
My favorite part has been watching the characters develop as the actors get their hands on them.

Ooh, wait, another favorite part is listening to the production team tell me their ideas to make this world come alive and having me look at them like, “Come on, get out of here.  I know I wrote it in the script, but I never expected anyone to actually DO it.  You guys are crazy.  You’re my heroes.”

Ooh, wait, also watching James Sotis work his magic as director (and clandestinely planning how I might take credit for his brilliance).  Muwahahaha!

Have you ever been fascinated by a certain aspect of science?
Yes, horticulture.  I know some people think I’m into physics, but really, it’s plants for me.  Just kidding.  I’ve been awe-struck by what the equations of physics can say about the world that we both can and can’t see and how those worlds collide.  Of course that’s what sparked the idea for this play.

What totally confuses you about physics?
Um, everything.  I’m more of what you would call an armchair physicist, which means I will live in perpetual fear that someone who really knows what they’re talking about will show up to the play and rip it to shreds.  Little do they know my fearless band of ninjas await.

Do you have any special relationships with geographic locations (good or bad) like the characters in the play have or had with the cabin?
My grandmother’s house.  Whenever I would go to visit, I would sleep in the back room, and at the foot of my bed, I swear to God there was a clown just like the one that pulled that kid under the bed in Poltergeist.  I will never forget that clown.  If only I could find him now and make him suffer for all the years of torment he has given me.  I would like to dedicate this play to him.

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