Meet the Playwrights: Emily Wiest '19

BY Paola Alexandra Soto, April 29, 2019

Babes in the Wood, written by Emily Wiest '19 (Playwriting) and directed by Kate Bergstrom will be the first play performed as part of the New Plays Festival 2019 featuring nine new plays by the graduating MFA playwriting class. 


The play tells the story of Ashley, Anna, and Paulie who live in a converted loft on the outskirts of an Eastern Seaboard city. Paulie suffers chronic melancholy, Ashley struggles with alcohol, and Anna has had bouts of mania since undergrad. They all dreamed their life would be something different. Matters come to crisis when Anna suffers a manic attack and Ashley discovers her true feelings for Paulie are unrequited.


Performances of Babes in the Woods will take place on May 1 at 2:30, May 3 at 8 pm, and May 4 at 2:30 pm at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center. For more information and to make reservations please click here.


Wiest spoke to us about her upcoming production. 


Who was your mentor for this piece and how has it been getting to work with her/him?


Lily Thorne is my mentor and working with her guidance has been nothing short of dreamy.



How did you become a playwright? What was your first play about?


I fell in love with playwriting under the professorship of Len Berkman at Smith college. My first play, Peaches is the story of a young lady facing unanticipated envy directed at her lover's son.



What is your process for starting a new play?


If I have an idea, I start taking notes on my phone, computer, notebook, napkins anywhere I can really until I am ready to write a scene.



Will your presentation be a full production, workshop production, or staged reading?


This process has been one dedicated to workshopping this new play. The production will be staged in full thanks to the tremendous work of my director, actors, dramaturg, producer, stage manager, and all our designers.


What do you hope the audience gets out of your play?


I hope whether they like it or not, it will spark questions.



How has the playwriting program prepared you for this piece?


David Henry Hwang has been incredible. He has guided me during the writing process and in putting a team together. He is a great professor.



What have you learned from working with a full creative team?


My collaboration experience has been incredible.  Everyone on my team is dedicated to not only putting up the best play they can but also to helping me workshop the writing in this piece. They have all been flexible, supportive, and excited.



Who are some playwrights that you admire and why?


Anton Chekhov, Samuel Beckett, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Sam Shephard. I admire them because they are true to their voices.



Now that your time in grad school is coming to an end what are you most looking forward to? 


A nap.


Babes in the Wood | Spring 2019

by Emily Wiest
Directed by Kate Bergstrom

May 1, 2:30 PM
May 3, 8:00 PM
May 4, 2:30 PM