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Savannah Sincoff, Playwright of “Let’s Have Drinks”

March 17, 2012

Savannah Sincoff has always had a knack for writing. Despite her years of experience, she had not tried playwriting until last summer in a Playwrights Project Recollections  series taught by Deborah Salzer. During the course, Savannah created a comedic piece titled, Let’s Have Drinks, about a not so funny moment: a young woman’s recounting the loss of her virginity and how it influenced future intimate relationships. The script was chosen, along with three others, to represent a variety of voices and themes in Playwrights Project’s first full production of works by senior playwrights. The four plays will be presented as Lifestages Reflections, directed by Jessica Bird and performed at the San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Theatre April 20-29. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Lyceum Theatre website.

Photo by Mel Yonzon

How did you first become involved with writing?

I began writing with the purpose of conveying my internal need for self-expression when I was ten years old. I have a very clear memory of lying in bed one night while an intense thunderstorm raged outside. The storm stirred an equally intense inner tumult, and I literally jumped out of bed and wrote my first poem. While I had a very rich inner visual life, I simply could not convey those images through art…but words were available, plentiful and flowed easily. I’ve often thought, though, that if I had been able to paint or draw what I saw and felt…I might never have begun my life-long love affair with words!

How did you come up with the idea for your script?

I had attended a final performance of a class that my good friend had taken. I wanted to support her, and I thoroughly enjoyed her work. I left that day saying, “I could do that!” Suddenly, I heard voices! Characters sprang forth, like Botticelli’s Venus on the half shell, chattering away to each other. I let those characters prattle on for a few weeks and simply took dictation…they spoke, I wrote. And then I decided that I needed to learn a bit more about how to actually craft a scene, much less a play! One of the early exercises we did in class, identifying those “stand-out” experiences in our lives, provided the initial impetus for my script. The script began as a monologue and with Deborah Salzer’s encouragement, grew into a two-character script.

What themes are involved in your piece?

It showcases the fantastically free-flowing narcissism of young adulthood. It questions friendship and loyalty and certainly healthy decision-making. The whole arena of female friendships, especially at various developmental stages, is fascinating to explore.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

I have no specific message that I want my audience to take away, other than how deeply and enduringly compelling are human relationships in all their flawed, delicious complexity

What advice to you have for young playwrights?

Listen! Listen to people all the time and everywhere! And never stop writing.

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