The Interview: Andrea Lynn Green
The Actress/Writer On Theatre Artists Workshop
Conducted by Michael Raver
In the wake of Broadway’s reopening being pushed back to the summer of 2021 last week, theater artists are scrambling to find some sense of normalcy. Since the shutdown of live performances this past spring, zoom and formats like it have become a placeholder for stages everywhere. Connecticut’s Theatre Artists Workshop (TAW) is jumping on that bandwagon, too. Their upcoming fundraiser, The Tawlight Zone is a collection of short works. It arrives just in time for Halloween, premiering on October 28th and running through November 1st.
Actress and writer Andrea Lynn Green (Broadway: Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?) has been a TAW member for the last two years. Her short play Zoomhilda, in which she also appears in the titular role, is one of the pieces included in the benefit.
What prompted this fundraiser?
ANDREA LYNN GREEN: Theatre Artists Workshop is a nonprofit artists’ organization that has been running for 37 years. This virtual fundraiser is in lieu of TAW’s annual Spring Playwrights Festival, which has always been a live theatre event. The COVID-19 pandemic hit just as that festival was gearing up. Postponing the spring festival was a big loss for TAW financially, as TAW relies on those donations to augment member dues, which combined, covers the significant costs of maintaining TAW’s theatre space in Norwalk. This fundraiser could help ensure that TAW has a home to go back to once it is safe for TAW members to reconvene in person.
How did you get involved with TAW?
ALG: I moved from Queens to Norwalk a few years ago, and so my commute as an actor just changed from an hour on the subways to an hour on Metro North. I had really no idea that the town I had chosen has such a special theatrical hub in it. I discovered TAW when I opened the local paper one day and saw an ad for a reading organized by Theatre Artists Workshop. I was eager to meet actors living in and around Norwalk, and making it work. I contacted TAW’s President at the time, Mike Boland, and he told me all about the remarkable history of the workshop. Some weeks later, I landed the role of Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Music Theatre of Connecticut, a professional theatre in Norwalk. I was also approached after one of the performances by members of TAW who encouraged me to become a member. I decided to go for it. I was new in town and really wanted to find my people. Well, I did. I auditioned and was accepted. With past members such as the late Shirley Knight, Lucille Lortel, and Anne Baxter to name just a few, TAW is quite a special organization, and it means a lot to its current members and local audience. We want to see it not only survive this pandemic, but come out of it stronger.
You have a play in the program. What inspired you to write it?
ALG: As this event is taking place over Halloween of 2020, members were encouraged to submit what they have been working on during the pandemic, so this is very special in that way. This production has emerged as a spooky and strange exploration and expression of being trapped in a virtual world. My play is called Zoomhilda, a comedic, absurd, slightly dark exploration of the human condition, and how it intersects with technology. The inspiration came from reflecting on our collective isolation during the pandemic, and what effect that has had on the psyche. Then I thought about how so many of us have come to rely on Zoom, and I let my imagination run with that.
Do you find it challenging to perform your own writing?
ALG: In this case, no, because I had a very clear picture of the character when I was writing her. I play Zoomhilda. I’d love to see other actors take it on in other iterations.
For more information about Theatre Artists Workshop and to purchase tickets to The Tawlight Zone fundraiser, visit www.taworkshop.org