What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Martyna Majok. I was born in Bytom, Poland and I grew up in Jersey and Chicago.
What is the project you’re working on at SPACE?
I came up with a completely different intention than what I actually ended up doing. I was hoping to start writing this epic play about female immigrants in America. Without saying too much before it’s actually written, the play follows two undocumented women – enemies – that come to America together and get separated. By the first scene, their place is raided and the women flee; the play will track their different lives over many years across much of America. But I didn’t get to start that. I’d just come off of a workshop of another play called “Ropes in the Well.” I worked on it over the summer but I’ve been stuck on the ending for months. It follows two “couples.” One couple is in their 40s – an unemployed truck driver who becomes a caregiver to this wife, from whom he was in process of separating, after she becomes disabled. And the other couple is in their twenties – a young woman who takes a job as a personal care assistant for a beautiful, rich young male PhD student, the only character in the play who’s not working class. I’ve been looking at class, ability, mortality, sexuality, perception, judgment. At what we need from other humans. So I’d been filling out and extending scenes, seeing if there’s more to their interactions that might help me get to an ending. I think I finally got to a place I’m happy with.
Where have you been spending most of your time at SPACE?
In my room. It’s a beautiful, sunny room. I’ve been putting this tiny chair in front of my window and just sitting there, thinking, feeling the sun on my face. The first day I was here, I stared out that window for a half an hour. Phillip [Howze] and I have taken a few walks around the farm. Met some horses. We went down by the lake, where there’s the picnic table in the dock, and mused about dramatic structure. I think if it were warmer, I would’ve just stayed outside the entire time.
What’s coming up next for you and your project?
I’ve got a reading this month and a workshop in January for this play. Other than that, I’m generating as much writing as I can while I have that PoNY apartment. I’m gonna be working on the ‘epic play’ and the book and lyrics for a musical about Chernobyl. And my play, Ironbound, is going to be produced in New York in March.
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal, what farm animal would you be and why?
That cat [Sammy]. Totally. I love that cat. It’s just a boss. It can kind of do whatever it wants, as sassily as it wants. He doesn’t belong to anyone, or anywhere necessarily, so he can roam and explore and do what he’s gotta do. But he knows he’ll get fed at the farm. I can see the playwright in him, maybe.