What is your name and where are you from?
Ariel Stess, I’m from New Mexico but I’ve lived in Brooklyn, New York for eight years.
What projects have you been working on here at SPACE?
I did a little bit of work on a play called Mountain Play. Which is a thirty minute commision for the theatre company Clubbed Thumb for their early career directors group. I’ve also been working on a play which is untitled… well, it’s just a very long title otherwise.
What’s the full title?
My Head was A Hundred Birds and I was Screaming for your Help. It’s a play that takes place in New Mexico in the 80’s on a homestead. Then ten years after that and ten years after that. It’s this couple in a pretty toxic relationship who were madly in love reuniting twenty years later. They reflect on their old tragic romance and the ways in which they are good and bad for each other.
A few of your plays have to do with New Mexico. Did growing up there influence your writing?
Definitely. Two or three plays have been set there and one is set in Colorado so definitely the southwest. And then one or two are set in upstate New York where I went to college. Lately, I’ve been interested in male roles in our culture and how society expects men to be strong and invulnerable. I think my work lately has been meditating on what it means to grow up and develop an identity as a woman against the context of a town that can sometimes feel full of tough guys.
Where have you been spending most of your time here at Space?
Wow, great question, where HAVE I been dwelling most… I guess over at that sunny table right outside of Kay Hall. And out on the back porch and sometimes that field.
What’s next for your projects?
The one with the long title I’ll be sending to a bunch of theatres and see where that takes me. Mountain Play will go to Clubbed Thumb.
If you could be reincarnated as a farm animal which would it be?
Probably a horse. I’ve discovered I have all these new plays with horses in them. Some kind of horse thing is riding through me and I don’t know why.
Do you have a website or social media?