Playpen Writer Profile: Christopher T.Harris

Christopher T. Harris‘s works include for the Drama Association of Wales, Great Mundane (Adjudicator’s Award, DAW Festival 2010); For the National Eisteddfod, The Fallen Night (Best Production and Best Actor under 25 Awards) and From Now On ; Pine Heads at the Youth Council of Chepstow (Available through Lulu Publishing) and Foul West (Broadway’s Society). His new play Walk on Mars will be performed at the Aberystwyth Art’s Centre under the Open Platform Project on March 7th. His play Sick follows three University friends who meet for a night of drink and laughter before their student lives draw to a close.

What is your play, Sick, about?
Mainly, I think it’s about the prejudices that we have for one another, and how defensive we can become in such a precarious subject. That, and of course, the influence of alcohol-culture.
How did you get the idea?
I was interested in creating a monumental event that changes the lives and perceptions of every character within it. At the same time, I wanted to write about a class of person that fascinated me; students.

What was your favourite thing about writing the play?
The dialogue rolled off of the tongue so easily. These are people I already know and talk to every single day.

What do you think were the challenges of writing this play?
Allowing the tension to rise and rise within each spoken word…for such a short play, this was a challenge. A tension had to be established from the very first line.

What were the challenges of writing a one-act play?
It takes a whole play to show a character arc…how do you do that in twenty minutes?

How did you create the characters?
By tapping into those types of people portrayed in the play in real life, then creating representations of them on the stage.

What writing tips would you offer to someone interested in writing for theatre?
Write what you know. Places

What difference has the writing group made to you as a writer?
Sometimes you can forget the basics. I found the basics. ‘Sick’ taught me how to find character’s voices much more easily. I’m now satisfied.

Christopher T. Harris’s play Sick will be performed on Thursday 7th February.

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