What’s Happening with Wendy
Playwright Wendy MacLeod recently moved to Philadelphia for four months to be our first resident writer for The Writers’ Room. During this time, she’ll be creating a brand-new play from the ground up, culminating with a production on our Arcadia Stage in July.
We’ve asked Wendy to let us peek into her process to not only learn a bit about this play as its written, but to also have a small window into what a full-time playwright’s job is like.
This week, Wendy shared a few bits of research she’s conducted for the new play.
Is there, she wondered, an antique dental tool that could serve as a murder weapon?
A bit of googling led her here
“I learned that dental tools grew out of woodworking tools, which was very helpful plot-wise as I also had a tree surgeon in the background.” (Along with the dentist, we can assume)
Wendy was recently in Salt Lake City, where the new play is set. One of her characters claimed to have rescued a duck from a fishing net and she wondered if that could have happened: were there ducks in Utah? It turns out there are–at least in January when they’re migrating. Scrolling through this page, she also learned there were peregrine falcons and burrowing owls. “I liked the name Burrowing Owls,” she said.
So, two weeks into the residency and we know the play has some deadly dental instruments and some migrant ducks. Perhaps in the coming weeks we’ll learn how they fit together!
When Wendy isn’t writing the play, she and her painter husband Read explore Philadelphia. We’ll also share in these blogs new-to-them restaurants, Wendy’s theatre going activities, and anything else fun they discover about our city!
Where Wendy Ate: Vedge
An aspiring vegetarian, Wendy enjoyed eating the salt-roasted gold beets and the grilled seitan with black lentils and grilled leeks. “I know what you’re thinking: what the hell is seitan? Made from gluten, it is the opposite of gluten-free but it was delicious and totally satisfied the lingering meat cravings. The space is beautiful, our waiter was very sweet, and even though the vegan menu was unfamiliar territory, I was convinced that there are no wrong choices.”
What Wendy Saw: The Curse of the Starving Class at the Wilma Theater
This is one of the first plays I ever loved but I’d never seen a professional production. As a teen-ager I was obsessed with Emma, the 14-year old girl character; I knew her ALL-CAP lines by heart. But this time around, I was struck by the mother’s dilemma and admired the way the actress lifted every line from the page and made it real.