Eileen Byrne-Richards is author of allegiances which is the final installment in a three-part series which includes advances and allegations, involving the same characters and examining MeToo from different perspectives.
Her comedy, The One That’s a Play, was staged in 2015 at Stage 773 and she will be staging a full-length drama, Glory Be, this fall.
To learn more about Eileen, read the Q&A below, then click here to buy tickets to 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 have been writing plays since I was a kid. I remember in grade school I was writing a spoof on Little House on the Prairie called Little Apartment on the Sidewalk. I wrote it during all of my classes which drove my teachers nuts. My sister and I would write Thanksgiving plays and make our parents’ guests watch them. I’d like to apologize to them in this forum for that. RIP Bill and Andy.
2. What was your impetus for writing this play?
allegiances is the third play within a three-part series involving the same characters. I started it after having an argument and I was so frustrated that I just channeled it all into the characters. I couldn’t stop thinking about Rand and Carina so I wrote the second and third plays including their extended families.
3. What do you expect the audience to feel after hearing your play at our festival?
Sometimes there’s hope and sometimes someone else’s bad experience can be a new avenue of hope for someone else or the next generation. I feel like a lot of the horrible occurrences in MeToo have become a catalyst for change and I credit so many millennials for standing together and speaking out on social media to make a difference in the workplace and elsewhere. I am honored to have my voice included.
4. What’s the one technique that helps you get past writers’ block?
Love to ride the el or the subway in NY to jar writer’s block. There’s something about the rhythm of the rails that triggers a new thought.
5. What’s something most people don’t know about you that you’re now ready to share with the world?
I would love to be a singer in a band! I am taking up guitar currently. I’m not a good singer–but I admire people who can get on stage and belt it out!