Meet Playwright, Jennifer Adams-Carrasquillo!
What inspired you to become a theater maker and playwright?
I have always been excited by stories. I was an avid reader when I was young and loved acting out the stories in my books or reenacting movies I watched. My family also exposed me to theatre from a young age and as soon as I tried it out myself, I was hooked! Writing has also been a hobby of mine for a long time. I love that writing allows me to be creative in a solo space as well as in a group setting. For the past eight years or so I’ve written a lot of poetry. I think the engagement of all five of your senses through words in poetry reflects the same living and breathing qualities of live theatre. Each inspires me in writing for the other.
What kind of education prepared you for this career?
I did tons of performing classes and productions growing up; chorus, dance, theatre and basically anything that involved performing. I then studied Theatre Education at Columbus State University for my undergraduate degree and then completed the MFA program in Theatre for Young Audiences at the University of Central Florida. Both of these experiences required me to learn a lot about all kinds of different theatre making processes and through it all, analysis of script and text is where I start, so it’s not surprising to me that I’m exploring the world of writing for the theatre now!
What school subjects that our students may be studying do you use everyday?
Creative Writing and Literature are the most obvious as a writer. Also knowing a lot about theatre and how to tell a story for the stage versus a book or movie certainly helps. For this kind of piece, I tapped into knowledge about early childhood development, part of physical and behavioral sciences, because the audience’s mental and physical development is important to shaping something they can fully engage in. That is a really fun thing about writing, you really never know what subjects you may need to draw upon. History, current events, geography, human behavior, art, music, physical science, I think I’ve looked into each of these subjects throughout my work as a writer at one point or another!
What is your favorite part of Theatre for the Very Young?
Writing for this age group is exciting because it is so playful! You are trying to create an experience where the audience is a character, the world is immersive and communication doesn’t happen just through words but through sounds, visuals, movement and overall thematic storytelling. The stories are simple, but the experience is full of discovery.
Was there something special about pirates that made you want to write about them?
Not really pirates specifically, but I was inspired by the idea of a treasure hunt. I started writing this piece in 2020 when wishing I could go out and enjoy the world outside. For a while I was so focused on that idea of the “treasure” at the end of “the journey” I had to remind myself of all the life adventures I could be having along the way. They really are just as great as the final destination!
What are three words you would use to describe this production?
Cheerful, Active, Silly
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