EVENT: Her new play, Happy Happy Happy, "a christmas play with guns and fire," opening this weekend at the Speakeasy Backroom.
What's your worst Christmas memory? "I had really good Christmases--I was super-spoiled. I was a cynical, spoiled kid who didn't want to wake up. I had so many toys that Christmas would just be, 'Oh, more toys, but now they're wrapped so it just takes longer.'"
So what's led you to write a Christmas satire? "Well, it's a hideous time of year. Everyone's grumpy and stressed out and you have to visit your family, which is often really terrible. It's so easy to make fun of Christmas."
And you couldn't resist. "Exactly. You know, I'm terrible at [these phone interviews]--I have a great fear of phones. I'm more of an e-mail girl."
What sparked this fear of phones? "I don't like being spontaneous. I like to be in control of what I say, plan it out ahead of time."
Did horrible childhood events inspire this need for control? "Oh, so many, it would take such a long time."
Oh, tell us one. "No, I can't think of one."
Perhaps this orgy of presents led to a need to pare down. "I'm sorry, this is horrible. My family's very sarcastic and nasty. As the youngest, I was the bitter butt of their jokes. So I only like to make my little jabs in arenas where nobody can jab back. Playwriting's good that way."
How long have you been writing plays? "Since I was really little. I used to write these terrible, epic puppet plays that I would force my family to sit through. The plays would go on and on. And I used to do interpretive dance to, like, the Eagles. Luckily that fell by the wayside."
Luckily for all of us. How did your sarcastic family respond to the puppet plays? "They'd be really nice, then say nasty things under their breath as they left, thinking that I wouldn't be able to hear them."
Because children are so hard of hearing. "Exactly. Of course my siblings were often less kind, they would leave in the middle of it. Which is so hard on a young auteur."