Keep up with Ella; she’s a dyke to watch out for! rr
Ella Boureau’s play Helps to Hate You a Little: A Lovestory came about in an incredibly delicious way. She wrote a kinky sex scene, then experienced a love triangle and felt those both would make the perfect backdrop for a play. This Brooklyn playwright just mounted her play (no pun intended) in NYC this fall. I got a chance to find out more about her process and future plans. Keep up with Ella; she’s a dyke to watch out for!
What was your inspiration for this current production? What's the origin story?
My inspiration for the story was an affair that I had several years ago with a "straight woman" who was in a relationship, which, as you might imagine, went AMAZINGLY WELL. I'm being facetious. It turned into a nightmare. So that was the basis, but then my inspiration also came from the Persephone myth, the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and plays like No Exit and The Balcony. I also listen to a lot of music when I write, so Patti Smith, Mohamed Mazouni, Lili Boniche, Erik Satie and Bikini Kill all helped me create moods I was going for.
What do you hope that the audience feels when they leave the theater?/What's the take-away?
I'm not in charge of the take-away, there are a lot of things to think about in this play. But one thing is an examination of the internet take-down. The internet having the power that it has, I would like people to re-think this pressure there is to immediately have an opinion about everything, and this pressure to take sides in situations that ultimately we have no stake in. I also hope that the audience left the theater feeling as if they had been totally transported. That is my favorite kind of theater, where you leave it in a kind of daze, not quite sure where you are.
What are your future plans for this play?
Gooooood question. I would like to put it on again at some point (someone give us money!), but it is also the first play in a trilogy, which all follow the same main character, Nasreen. I am now writing the second play, currently titled Province 49, or The Wolf, Once a Stunning Girl-Child. which takes place in Nasreen's home-town of Marseille, among her family. It's really a love-letter to that complicated city. Marseille is violent, vibrant, working-class, multi-ethnic, and extremely, almost mythologically, old. I'm excited to be able to show Americans this place through Nasreen's eyes. So look out for the sequel!
What projects do you have coming up?
Writing the sequel to this play, and in January, I will be directing a play by an extremely talented singer and performance artist, m.b., co-written by her and Sarah Schulman, titled Peace Camp Org. It's about m.b.'s experience as an Egyptian kid being brought to a camp in Maine where Jewish and Arab kids come from around the world to process the Israeli/Palestinian "conflict," in between learning how to sail and sing camp songs, etc. It will be performed as part of the Squirts Festival at LaMama in New York City.
Ella Boureau's Helps to Hate You a Little creative team consists of:
Director: Jaki Bradley
Stage Manager: Kristin Dwyer
Set Designer: Frank Oliva
Choreography: Jess Goldschmidt
Costumes: Sarah Zanolli
Producers: Ella Boureau & Eric Borlaug for Play Machine
Actors: Laura Ramadei, Taylor Shurte, Christina Pitter, Mykal Monroe & Emily Anderson