Well, as co-creator and poetry curator, I may be a bit close to the process to describe it accurately. It started as a reading and now it’s a full-fledged theater event that incorporates poetry, playwriting, and visual art.
How are you participating in this event? What are you most excited about sharing with audiences?
Generally I participate by recruiting and organizing the poets, which often involves lots of coaching and reassuring. This year we had a poet drop out last minute, so I also wrote for the event, which was good for me; you shouldn’t ask someone to try something you wouldn’t or couldn’t do yourself.
How does participating in an event like this stretch you as an artist?
Well, picking writers for an event like this is different than most others-- you’re looking for people whose words and experiences can translate through actors to an audience. So the criteria for successful writing is different than in a strictly page-based reading, or one where you’re taking into account the writer’s own presentation skills.
As a writer, I can’t rely on my own delivery to carry things, or interpret more obscure sections of prose.
A solid Rainier/PBR-well whiskey combo (as offered at many bars around here) never fails to delight.
This edition of Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets tackles the theme of (D)Constructing Seattle. What is one aspects of living in Seattle that you either love or hate – and why?
How much time do you have? Okay, great. Wait there, I’ll get back to you.
What do you think audiences will take away after seeing Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets?
Every Medicine Ball we’ve done has been followed by a discussion about the blurred lines of expression and different writing forms. A lot of poets have found having their words performed by actors a really intense experience. So that discussion is something people tend to take with them, alongside a crumpled, sketched-upon program.
Can you tell us something about your aesthetic and approach as a writer, actor, or visual artist?
For the piece I wrote here, I tried to hit upon a fairly accessible concept that I could riff on for a bit and give room for different emotional interpretations. At large, my approach tends to differ depending on the piece, if I’m responding to a prompt, etc.
Graham Isaac is a writer and performer born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He has curated, hosted, and co-curated multiple readings around the region including Greenwood Lit Crawl, Lotties Lounge Reading Series, Claustrophobia, Works in Progress and more. He currently serves as the Managing Director for the Zine Archive and Publishing Project. His work has appeared.