Bonnie Metzgar: I grew up in a town with a dinner theater. The first show I ever saw there was SHOWBOAT. It was exciting, and kind of scary. Mostly, I loved the music. That’s how I came into the theater – I played saxophone in the pit band of musicals.
JL: Next, tell me a little bit about your writing process. Do you have any writing rituals? Do you write in the same place or in different places?
BM: I like to write in cafes. I choose a place and stick with it for the whole play. Right now, I’m working on two writing projects so I split my writing time between the Coffee Studio in Andersonville and Reno in Logan Square.
JL: Why was it important for you to be a part of American Theatre Company’s 10 x 10 Festival?
BM: As a white ally who also identifies as LGBTQ, I am committed to showing up for this movement to stop race-based police violence as a supporter in the streets, or as an artist creating cultural dialogue, as in ATC’s 10 x 10.
JL: Tell me about your plays I’m SO HUNGRY and I CAN’T BREATHE. What do you hope the audience walks away thinking about after experiencing it?
BM: That the gun pointed at a black man in America never goes away. It is always there every time a black man speaks to a white man, even if they are friends drinking a beer on a Friday night. White folks just doesn’t see it.
JL: What role does theater have in advocacy work?
BM: Theater gets bodies into rooms together. That’s the first step in creating change -- get us to look into each other’s eyes. Creating live work that sparks debate and outrage (and sometimes laughter) has been the aim of theater artists for centuries who are interested in social justice. Theater also can give a voice to those traditionally excluded from the mainstream media, and put them center stage.
JL: What next for you as a writer? Where can we follow your work?
BM: I will have a reading of a new play this summer at the Goodman Theater, along with the other members of the resident playwrights unit.
About the Playwright
Join us on March 9 at 7:30pm for a uniquely challenging one-night-only engagement at the American Theater Company, as we are proud to present our annual short plays festival, 10x10.
Tickets are free but seats will fill up fast. To make a reservation, send us an email at ATC10x10@Gmail.com. Due to high demand, we are only able to reserve up to two seats per request.
At the door, we suggest a $10 donation to help us cover the cost of supporting the festival, though we welcome you to pay what you can.
This Year's Playwrights:
Jeff Augustin. Kristiana Rae Colón. Matthew-Lee Erlbach. Jacqueline E Lawton. Bonnie Metzgar. Dominique Morisseau. Lucas Neff. A Rey Pamatmat. Akin Salawu. Aurin Squire.
Kaiser Ahmed. Grace Cannon. Amanda Delheimer Dimond. Matt Dominguez. Azar Kazemi. Reed Motz. Hutch Pimentel. Tlaloc Rivas. Samuel Roberson. Conner Wilson.