SPACE: What have you been up here working on?
MOLLY: I am here working on an untitled play that I think I’m writing specifically for a theatre-in-the-round. It’s set in the work place—one of those generic, cubicle-type blah work environments—and I guess I envision it working best in the round so we could look down into the pod of four cubicles like voyeurs. Also, the intimacy of these “pods” really interests me. I’ve worked in pods before and you really do get to know the people you’re in a pod with; you develop a rhythm and closeness. So I’m having a great time exploring this world and unit set. It’s a brand new play I just started thinking about this summer.
SPACE: Did the space inspire the idea?
MOLLY: Enhanced AND inspired it, yes. I think plays can come in different shapes and sizes. For example, my most recent play was a big band play — you know, a full orchestra play, a huge play — and my current wee kernel of a play feels much smaller, like a string quartet. So it was very appropriate that I wrote the first 20 pages here in the Corn Crib—an intimate, zen, pod-like little space. But also, the QUIET of SPACE really informed my writing. It felt OK to not write a bunch of shouting, huge-stakes characters with Big Problems and Lots of Angst. Instead, writing felt lovely and gentle again. I have to find a way to bottle that Corn Crib silence for the off season….
SPACE: Where are you in the process?
MOLLY: Early! I do know the story I’m going to tell—so that’s good. I know these characters, and I think I might even know the tone. But I don’t know how A becomes B becomes C yet. The good news is that I’m really interested in these characters, so I think I will want to spend the next 2 years with them, for sure.
SPACE: How have you spent your time at SPACE?
MOLLY: It’s my third day here, but it’s my second stay this summer, so yes, I’m a SPACE junkie already. I love SPACE and am scheming how to come back at every summer. As for how I’ve spent my time at SPACE, I would love to say that I walked down to the pond and pontificated, but the fact is, I mostly wrote my ass off. It’s so fantastic to have uninterrupted writing time while beautiful food is prepared for you by wonderful people. Writing over freshly baked biscuits drizzled in honey? I mean. C’mon.
SPACE: How do you see this project proceeding?
MOLLY: I’m hoping to finish a first draft of this play before I become a Mom (!), so I’ve given myself an October deadline. After that, it sort of depends. My hunch is that I’m secretly writing this play for a specific theater (as a commission), and if that’s the case, I would ideally develop it towards production with them. But sometimes you finish a play and it’s not what you think it is or it’s not for what you think it’s for. So yeah, I’m just going to stick with these characters and hopefully hear a read-thru of the first draft before Thanksgiving. Then I’ll breastfeed for a couple months, and maybe do a workshop in the Spring.
SPACE: If you came back as a vegetable or farm animal?
MOLLY: I think I’d come back as kale, which is my new most favorite thing. When I was first here at SPACE, we had this beautiful kale salad and I’m pregnant, so what I like and what I don’t like is VERY clear and I LOVED this kale salad, I licked it out of the bowl — and then when I got back to my life in New York, I told my husband that I loved kale. Kale, kale, kale. All I wanted was Kale. So he went on a mission to find me kale, to get all the kale in NY. He went to farm stands, he went to all these different places…and it turns out I hated it! I only like the fresh, beautiful kale here at SPACE on Ryder Farm. So I ate all your kale but also just like what kale stands for. (Oh my God, I’m still talking about kale.) I think — kale is kind of surprising; it’s more complicated than you think it is, it’s good natured, it gets along well with all the other vegetables, it doesn’t dominate, but yet…it’s only fantastic when it’s truly fresh. So, I would strive to be like kale RYDER FARM KALE—if I came back as a vegetable.