Playwright Carol Saller works at the University of Chicago Press on the team of The Chicago Manual of Style. She is the author of The Subversive Copy Editor, a book of advice for writers and editors, and author of several children’s books, most recently the young adult novel Eddie’s War.
Her winning entry in the 2nd Act Players’ #MeToo Script Competition, Driving Lesson, is her playwriting debut. It follows a woman who is simply trying to pass her driving exam but encounters harassment at every turn.
Learn more about Carol in the Q&A below, then click here to buy your tickets to see her play, and five others, in staged readings at the 2nd Act Players’ #MeToo Play festival, May 19-20 and May 26-27 at Northminster Church in Evanston.
1. When and why did you start writing plays?
In recent years I’ve been involved in several community and semi-professional theater productions, and it inspired me. I knew that in Chicago, it’s not just a wild dream for a new playwright to get a reading or even a production. I started writing Driving Lesson last fall.
2. What was your impetus for writing this play?
Last summer, I saw a friend’s one-act play at the Cut to the Chase Festival at The Artistic Home and I had an epiphany: a short play would be easier to write than a long one! At the time, I was having fun writing driving-lesson scenes for a middle-grade novel, so I stole my own idea. I was really surprised at the darker direction it took.
3. What do you expect the audience to feel after hearing your play at our festival?
I honestly have no expectations; it’s such a short work. I look forward to getting some feedback.
4. What’s the one technique that helps you get past writers’ block?
Taking a walk is good. Will Dunne’s The Dramatic Writer’s Companion is a great resource for playwrights who are stuck. Sometimes I just give up.
5. What’s something most people don’t know about you that you’re now ready to share with the world?
Well, most people don’t even know my name, so let’s go with that.