Interview with Lizzie Vieh, playwright

Upcoming New York playwright Lizzie Vieh’sMonsoon Season is a dark and twisted tale of paranoia and addiction, taking you down to humanity’s darkest depths with biting humour and blinding insight.

Interview with Lizzie Vieh, playwright

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

My name is Lizzie Vieh and I am a playwright from Phoenix, Arizona. I live in New York City, and my play Monsoon Season is premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. 

How would you describe your show?

I would call it a twisted love story set against the background of addiction, obsession, and crime. Also, it’s funny. 

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

To get my play seen by as many people as possible in a setting that is open to new, edgy work. 

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

I was cast as Lysistrata in a play my sophomore year of high-school, and from that point on there was no turning back. I started writing plays in college, and somewhere in my late twenties, officially made the switch from acting to writing. I wanted to be a playwright because it is the least lonely form of writing. It’s collaborative! Some of my inspirations are Caryl Churchill, Maria Irene Fornes, Tennesee Williams, Sarah Kane, Wallace Shawn, and Adrienne Kennedy. 

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

Trial lawyer or dog whisperer. I wanted to be a vet when I was little, until I learned you had to like stick your hand up cows and stuff. 

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

A screenwriter for original films on Lifetime: Television for Women. I’m kidding. (I’m not kidding.)

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Drawing horses on the placemats at restaurants and giving them to my grandma. 

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

I do not! Which is probably why I will never be an influencer. I also don’t really like “ripped from the headlines” art, unless it’s Law and Order SVU. 

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I think Trump’s presidency has lent a new value to angry feminist work. It isn’t belittled or mocked as much anymore. People (I hope) realize it is vitally important. The current political climate has made my work angrier, and I think made a lot of people more receptive to angry work. 

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Struggling against inertia, always behind. 

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Laurie Metcalf. I think she’s a genius actor, and I learned a lot about comedic timing from watching her performance as Jackie on Roseanne

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Don’t know yet! Ask me once I’ve done it. 

Where can people find, follow and like you online?

On Instagram at lizzievieh, or whatlizzieconsumes. 

Facebook Lizzie Vieh

Or my website, www.lizzievieh.com

When and where can people see your show?

Monsoon Season is on 1st - 25th August (not 12th or 19th) at Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Button at 2.25pm. Tickets and more information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/monsoon-season

Header Image Credit: Maria Baranova

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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