Laura Collins is our She Writes associate of the week for another instalment of Writer Wednesday! ?
How would you describe your writing?
“Using both theatre and installation art, my writing aims to dissect gender politics and analyse the way we interact with the natural environment. My work is whimsical, poetic and bizarre, but I try to keep it firmly grounded in contemporary issues.”
What are you working on right now?
“I am currently working on ‘The Cave of Spleen’, a piece of non-naturalistic theatre (to be performed in an outdoor setting) that tackles eco-feminism, female rage, and chronic pain. I am interested in the theory that the expectation for women to suppress their rage can result in various chronic pain conditions. I’m also exploring the similarities between the chronic pain experienced by women and environmental destruction experienced by the earth, and the role of women within climate activist movements.
“To investigate these ideas, I am writing surreal monologues that juxtapose blunt, recurring pieces of dialogue between female environmental activists. The Cave of Spleen is a fictional place referenced in Alexander Pope’s 1712 epic narrative poem ‘The Rape of the Lock’. I was intrigued by his idea of a dystopian underworld filled with women afflicted with chronic conditions and I wanted to transpose his nightmare inducing exploration of pain into a contemporary setting.”
What have you gained from the She Write experience?
“The She Writes program has been a rewarding experience. It has provided me with the opportunity to connect with inspiring playwrights and dramaturgs, in a time where making such connections is difficult, and learn from their processes and perspectives. I have learnt so much from the Q&A sessions and masterclasses held over Zoom, and have been fortunate enough to meet many female theatre-makers who have, encouragingly, found success within the industry. The program has also given me a safe and supportive ‘space’ in which to write. I’ve found helpful deadlines and opportunities for feedback have been incredibly motivating, especially considering how confusing things are right now.