Interview with Lena Hudson and Jess Chayes

Lena Hudson is the writer of SHOWWOMANSHIP, Developed and Directed by Jess Chayes

What are you most excited about in bringing your work to the FGP Festival?

LH: Honestly, most excited that it's just actually happening. Jess Chayes (the director) and I have been tinkering with this one for a good long while now and I'm so excited to actually get to bring you the full piece. Get ready for 45 minutes of FULL THROTTLE SHOW BABY!

Send us an image that describes or represents your artistic process (bonus points for a gif)

Who are some of your art heroes?

LH: I mean, I basically made this play as a love letter to all the big, brassy, passionate women of show. Both those who are famous, and those that toil in obscurity (and everywhere in between).

JC: My fellow travelers at The Assembly. Anyone who starts and keeps up a theater company, especially with as much class and heart as FGP. Also: Caryl Churchill, Anton Chekhov, Annie Baker, The Marx Brothers...

What is a highlight of your process with FGP this past year?

LH: Playground meetings! A true delight to get to listen to the work of and talk with this smart, talented group. Also, Jess, Ian (Axness, our music supervisor) and I created a medley for Showomanship that we call The Show Medley, and it was THE MOST FUN to make.

JC: Putting together the first full showing of SHOWWOMANSHIP was thrilling. We had to go through the painful process of turning Lena's incredible idea--and our very polished ten minutes-- into forty five high-octane minutes of SHOW, warts and all. The response from FGP was so generous and incisive during and after the showing. Rehearsing can be so solitary, and having a test audience of beloved friends gave us a huge boost into creating the draft we'll be showing at the festival. I also loved being asked to sing, act, or play a drinking game. FGP encourages such joyful participation that frees you from your inner critic. I loved jumping headfirst into other artists' worlds and seeing how they informed ours.

Oh no, your process is showing! What's your artistic process guilty pleasure? Or what's the thing you do that you don't want to tell us?

LH: I have listened to the Funny Girl soundtrack more times than should be humanly possible. It's what I do to get myself in the mood to work on this piece, and I'm honestly just gonna take this moment to apologize to my neighbors.

JC: I've started to make "punchlists." What a terrible word.

What other events in the FGP Festival are you really excited about?

LH: ALL OF THEM. But if I had to give a shoutout, Eric Farber is making a f-ing parade, so extra excited for that one.

JC: All of them!! Will Petre's cocktail party game is going to take over the world and help people have conversations with each other instead of looking at their phones. And Krista Knight is one of my favorite collaborators and humans - her new play HIGH BLONDE will horrify you while making you laugh and think.

Come see SHOWWOMANSHIP on Thurs April 19th at 9pm


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