Cassandra Rose is a bisexual playwright who has had more than 300 plays performed in Chicago and beyond. That total includes the hundreds of micro-plays that make up all five years of her self-produced The Dictionary Project.
Her longer plays include The Amen Trilogy, At His Best, Billy to his Friends, Children of Troy, and The Volunteer. She is also a Tutterow Fellow at Chicago Dramatists and the Artistic Director of the Chicago Theatre Marathon. Girl gets around.
Her entry being featured in the 2nd Act Players’ #MeToo Play Festival is Physical, involves three academically gifted high school graduates who become hopelessly entangled in a sex scandal. Its based on true events.
To learn more about Cassandra, read the Q&A below, then click here to buy tickets to see Physical and five other short plays in staged readings at the 2nd Act Players’ #MeToo Play Festival, May 19-20 and May 25-26 in Northminster Presbyterian Church, Evanston.
1. When and why did you start writing plays?
I started writing plays in grade school for talent shows. I started writing professionally in high school. I enjoy exploring the stories we tell each other, and what’s hiding underneath those stories.
2. What was your impetus for writing this play?
The impetus for writing this play came from a conversation with my former econ teacher a year after my friends and I had graduated. Suddenly he was asking, “how many of you knew about the list that the kids a few years ahead of you made?” Most of us didn’t, but a few of us did. Those of us that didn’t know were quickly educated. I couldn’t get over how people like us, people who had gone through the same curriculum as us, people we shared a building with, could be so callous and inhumane to their fellow classmates.
3. What do you expect the audience to feel after hearing your play at our festival?
I expect the audience to feel on edge. I want the audience to reevaluate what it means to be smart. I hope the audience will look for ways to teach young adults empathy, not just how to get good AP scores.
4. What’s the one technique that helps you get past writers’ block?
To get past writer’s block, I stop writing. I go out and get a good meal. I hang out with friends. I read a book. I see a play. Writer’s block is your brain telling you, “whoa, hey, slow down a minute. I need to process some things first.” So I let my brain have a breather before I launch back into what needs to get done.
5. What’s something most people don’t know about you that you’re now ready to share with the world?
Most people don’t know that I took an extra class every year I was in high school. I showed up an hour early for what they called “zero hour.” This allowed me to continue being a part of my high school’s gifted program and theatre program. A deadly combination