What is your name? Where are you from?
My name is Charly Evon Simpson. I’m from New York City. I was born in Queens, grew up in northern New Jersey, and went to boarding school in New Hampshire.
What is the project you’re working on at SPACE?
I’ve been working on an untitled piece that was inspired by an article called “Jumpers” in The New Yorker about people who jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Aiming for it to become a one act. I’m a 90-minute theatre kind of gal, as both a writer and a viewer.
What led you to playwriting?
I began writing plays in college. I took some time off from it thinking that I wanted to get my PhD. I was also teaching kids and working in social work in Philadelphia. My focus increased when I moved back home to New York two years ago. Although it took a few years, I was confident in becoming a playwright. I’m now in in my last year of getting my MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College. I’m a bit of a nerd. I’d be in school all the time if I could. If I were to teach, I’d want to teach middle school. I have an affinity for getting younger people interested in the arts, for them to know the possibilities. So many schools have nonexistent arts programs, and usually only privileged kids get the opportunity. I was among the lucky ones to know that the arts were a possibility. There are probably some great playwrights out there who don’t know their potential because they lack opportunity.
Where have you been spending most of your time at SPACE?
I love working outside. I like writing by hand first and it’s easier to just take your notebook and go outdoors. When it’s rainy I work in Kay Hall and in my room. There’s something comforting about it being cold and damp. Though when it was sunny, I went by the sheep. I’ve been roaming around. I appreciate being able to look out windows and see the beautiful landscape too.
What’s coming up next for you and your project(s)?
My project is for grad school. It may or may not be my thesis. I have yet to decide.
What genre do you tend to gravitate towards?
I’m interested in how trauma affects people. I would say my work tends to be more dramatic than comedic. Although, I’ve noticed that I’m interested in how the comedic lies within the drama. Tragi-comedy might be the best way to describe it.
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal, which farm animal would you be and why?
I’d like to be a bird. Not a chicken or duck. I’d want to fly - maybe a blue jay or sparrow. I wouldn’t want to be a bird of prey, like a hawk, either. I’d be a little worm bird. Hummingbirds, robins, etc. are all good options.